SEATTLE — Tara Clark pulls vintage ski suits off a rack of them in her home.
"So this is how it all started, this was the very first suit, first came Michael,” she said, showing off a silvery onesie.
Then she pulled out an 80s color blocked one named Pinky. And a purple and pink dotted one named Dottie, a favorite of her sons.
“He would wear this at Crystal Mountain with a disco ball helmet."
Clark names each of her vintage snowsuits. She has dozens.
Tara and her friends skied all over the Pacific Northwest wearing these colorful single piece suits, tearing it up on the slopes, even making a parody video of Macklemore's 'Downtown' called 'Downhill'. The fun they had together, and the loss of one of those friends to brain cancer in 2021, made these second-hand suits special. Tara still has her friend Holly’s vintage suit.
“When Holly couldn't ski anymore she handed it over to me."
That friendship helped launch a new Seattle sportswear startup TaraShakti.
"Holly, even though she's no longer with us, she is the inspiration for these suits,” Tara said.
TaraShakti’s high performance snow suits that look like a blast from the past. The name means star power in Sherpa.
"When you put on a one-piece ski suit, all of a sudden you brighten up and your unique star power comes out,” Tara said.
TaraShakti onesies have a vintage vibe, with modern materials. The jacket separates from the pants easily via a zipper. They'll keep you warm and comfortable in the snow. And looking good, according to co-founder Quan Ralkowski.
"I think the magic is these suits look phenomenal on women of any age,” Quan said.
“All women's butts look really, pretty good in these,” Tara laughed.
The company is as colorful as the suits. Tara and Quan drive around in a vintage camper van named Darla to promote their gear. And TaraShakti’s Capitol Hill pop-up is the only ski gear store we’ve seen that has a disco ball. It all reflects the company philosophy: Be Bold. Be Beautiful. Stand up and Stand out.
"If you're not having fun while working, then why do it?” Tara asked.
The suits retail for $1150, because of the quality of materials and because they’re made in Kathmandu by workers who are paid a fair wage. There’s a charitable component as well. Twenty-five dollars from the sale of each TaraShakti ski suit goes to the Northwest Sherpa Association. Another twenty-five dollars from each sale goes to the Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment.
Inspired by friendship, these suits are much more than sportswear. They're a celebration. And a connection.
"And every single person that's gotten a suit, has brought their magic, which inspires us to something new — keeps us going,” Tara said. "I hope we spread joy — and magic. TaraShakti magic.”
TaraShakti 1515 14th Ave., Seattle, 98122, Tuesday - Sunday 10 to 5 p.m.