The apparel of Believe in One Body JC mixes religious themes and street trends, which sounds too rad to be real, but it's real. The store rests in Columbia City (4405 Rainier Ave S, 856-7275), in an ordinary brick building painted pale gray, in the space previously occupied for more than 35 years by a television repair shop run by a fellow named Claude Forward.
From inside, the windows display a workaday view: a Tully's, a Walgreens, and a parking lot. The furnishings are workaday, too, with industrial-grade short-pile carpeting, fluorescent lights, and white plaster walls—though the wall in back is draped with thickly ruched valances and features local airbrush artist L. Davinci's mural of blue skies, appendages, and swollen white clouds. "I told him I wanted a hand reaching from heaven down to earth and a hand reaching from earth up to heaven, and that's exactly what I got," says co-owner Kari Rollins, a Sunday-school teacher and fashion visionary.
She begins with premade garments, then L. airbrushes them, or Kari adds embellishments using screen prints, puffy paint, or rhinestones cooked on with her heat-press machine. The rotating stock may include jeans with pockets festooned by gold chains ($20), or a pastel tank top with side seams ripped apart, shredded into strips, and knotted evenly back together ($5). (This technique brings to mind the clothing embodiment of kissing a stranger in mirrored sunglasses during a county fair's fireworks show.)