Vendor of the Week
Vendor of the Week: Isaiah John
To sell the Real Change paper, Isaiah John breaks into song.
“I guess, you’d say, what can make me feel this way, Real Change,” he sings, his voice ringing out over the sidewalk outside of a Whole Foods on Ninth and Westlake Avenue.
Isaiah developed his unorthodox selling style about a year and a half ago, when he first started selling Real Change. Music always moved him. Even as a little kid, he’d listen to oldies on the radio, he said.
“I wasn’t getting people’s attention just saying ‘Real Change’ so I started busting out a song.”
Isaiah now boasts over 100 songs, for all occasions and all times of the year. Be sure to listen for “Rudolph the Real Change Reindeer” this holiday season, as he brings holiday cheer to his selling location.
Isaiah may have found his sweet spot. Out of all the places that he has lived, Seattle is his favorite.
The Denver native has spent time in Louisiana, Florida, Indiana, Montana, and did a three-year stint in Las Vegas.
Seattle’s reputation drew him here.
“I needed stability in my life. I had heard good things about Seattle.
Even in Florida I was hearing good things about Seattle,” he said.
Isaiah can’t imagine living any other place. He plans to “make some roots out here,” and eventually meet the woman of his dreams.
Isaiah also dreams of being discovered for his singing ability.
“Hopefully from here I can get on the radio or get on television and get heard internationally,” he said.
His singing and selling have already set him apart. Isaiah recently became a member of the “600 club,” reserved for vendors who sell more than 600 papers a month.
It’s a labor of love.
“I admire the paper greatly. I read it myself and am able to share the articles with people. It helps homeless people make money when they need a job. I back it all the way,” Isaiah said. “That is why I sing so passionately.”
Even when his singing doesn’t yield a sale, Isaiah is happy for the interaction.
“When you see me and you can’t buy a paper that’s OK,” he said. “A smile or high five will go a long way.
Cool stuff, Tyk. Keep it up!
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