Everett’s go-to gift shop to close after clocking 30 years
Doug Ramsay file photo
Judy Matheson kept up with demand and the pulse of the gifting industry to turn her shop on Colby Avenue into a regional destination of unique goods. Above is Matheson in her store in April 2014.
EVERETT — Judy Matheson has curated her shop of perfect pieces of kitchenware, apparel, babywear and decor for 30-plus years.
But as they say, all good things must come to an end.
“I knew that I would know when I’m ready, and I’m ready,” Matheson said of her store at 2615 Colby Ave.
On March 19, J. Matheson Gifts, Kitchen & Gourmet takes its final bow. The announcement went out on social media Sunday, Feb. 6.
“This is the time. I love my customers, but this is the time.”
Closing is a personal decision to “step back and enjoy life,” Matheson, 75, said.
Matheson created a destination store that draws customers well beyond Snohomish County. Everyone who’s heard the news has supported her decision, she said. “People I’ve told have said, ‘oh my gosh, what will we do?’ But they understand,” Matheson said.
She couldn’t see handing it over to a stranger. “This store is me — Judy Matheson,” she said. “It’s all in my head” for how it runs.
She stays up-to-date with industry trends to bring the best to Everett. Customers also hint what to carry, Matheson said, “and a lot of times they’re hits.”
Her loving husband of 54 years, Hugh, went with on many of the business trips to gift shows and expos. She said she’s been fortunate he’s championed her work all these years.
Now, they’re ready to take trips for pleasure.
In 1991, Matheson opened her store after years of working as a merchandise buyer. “It was always my dream. Thirty years ago, (stores were) leaving Everett and I had faith in Everett. ... I know people in Everett wanted gifts with quality.”
Dreams can be hairy.
“It was frightening at first,” she said.
Hard work kept the doors open.
She described working 10 hours a day, six days a week for some 31 years. “You have to have a passion to make it (in business), and I have that passion.”
She’s stayed true to a principle: Hand-picking unique finds that are made with quality at a reasonable price. All the while, she aimed to please.
Many of her products are made in America.
She opened a kitchen store a short distance down the road which operated for five years before she consolidated shops back to the main location.
Patience, kindness and care are part of the glue that makes her store go. Her mother taught her so: To treat people the way they like to be treated.
The effort includes going the extra mile for customers, such as including gift wrapping, shipping items and a good return policy.
The shop won accolades for its customer service.
Matheson encourages anyone with a gift card to use it soon. The clock is now ticking.
The store’s phone number is 425-258-2287.
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