By Rosin Saez
January 20, 2016

The funky, eclectic shop on The Ave is shuttering its doors. As one customer and longtime fan put it: “The vibe is cool, down to earth, welcoming, and energizing. I love that so many different types of folk feel accepted and represented by Moksha.”

In its 14 years in the University District, it had always been a unique place, but when ownership changed to Karleen Ilagan and her partner Robin Guilfoil three years ago, a shop turned into a community gathering hub, that housed fashions, artists’ exhibits, and performances of all sorts.

Luckily that community won’t be gone for good. While Moksha’s large space officially closed on January 15, the owners are looking to move to the Chinatown-International District come this spring.

We chatted with co-owner Karleen Ilagan about Moksha’s history and future. —As told to Rosin Saez

So I actually used to work here back in college, so I knew the ins and outs. But knowing when the original owner offered it, he said,”‘You guys should save Moksha if you want.” When we decided to take it over our vision was to open it up to more community events.

This last September, we were on one of our trips to Thailand, doing some buying and realized that was probably going to be one of our last trips. And we’ve always been curious about the International District, just seeing how very culturally rich [it is] and the food is good; we always eat there. So we thought it’d be nice to kind of be that landmark down there.

We’re looking to downsize and strictly be retail. Also hoping to collaborate with other businesses in Chinatown, such as Massive Monkees and their studio space, Theatre Off Jackson. Our friends opened up Trichome on Jackson St. So we still want to put on productions and Moksha Presents.

We look forward to building community at our new home.  If the stars align, we will be reopening in Chinatown by Spring 2017!