Port Madison Home on Bainbridge Island. This is where I learned big things, like how to create a design concept and talk to clients about their wants and needs, and little things, like the difference between hand hooked and tufted wool. At one point in time, I could tell you how many double rubs, (on the Weizenbeck wear and tear scale) our best-selling microfiber had. Through working at Port Madison Home, I came to truly understand how to connect new furniture and accessories with eclectic, personal furnishings, in order to make a room feel like home and look great, all at once. For these skills I will be forever grateful.
John Hays, the store’s sole proprietor, put his heart and soul into the store. But it struggled for years. He had several very dedicated employees, who wore many hats during the lean years, trying their best to keep things running as smoothly as possible. They all know who they are, and why they are so special, and I’m sure that John does too. My hope is that each of them finds another great opportunity, and that those establishments realize what talented and resourceful individuals they are.
It’s no wonder why small furniture shops like Port Madison Home struggle to make it work. There’s just so much out there online for less money and quick delivery. Tonight, this state of affairs has got me contemplating how quick I am to defer to major online retailers for current trends and easy access , vs. taking the time to highlight what’s new locally. I hope to challenge myself to look outside this electric box more regularly, and to connect with entrepreneurs and design devotees in my neighborhood. After all, they are the reason I enjoy walking the streets of Seattle. A cozy french cafe to duck into when it starts pouring. A kitschy junk shop with troves of treasures at unbeatable prices. A designer furniture store stocked with design books and fabric swatches to inspire my next project. Literally, all just a short jaunt down the street from my apartment.
I am challenging myself to revert to the tactile, the three-dimensional. I hope you consider this challenge too.
For now, I wish good luck to all of my friends at Port Madison Home. May the best be yet to come. You will be missed…