Business

Two moms buck the bad economy and expand their retail business

Sales associates Julie Barney and Mary Jacobs at the new Suburban Soul store in the Issaquah Commons. - Jake Lynch, Reporter
Sales associates Julie Barney and Mary Jacobs at the new Suburban Soul store in the Issaquah Commons.
— image credit: Jake Lynch, Reporter

Never underestimate the power of two driven women with a passion for fashion.

Back in 2006, Enumclaw moms Sheena Sanders and Jessica Anderson came together to talk about the idea of starting a small boutique store. Neither had any experience in running their own retail business, but what they did have was a vision.

They also had a great space — Sheena’s husband Carl is an excavator operator who was eager to try his hand at development, and in spring of 2006 he took on the adventurous project of turning a parking lot in downtown Enumclaw into a unique and vibrant retail space.

“The idea of just taking a corner of the retail building soon blossomed, and we realized we would like to take the whole building,” Sheena told The Reporter. “Carl went to town with it, and found a new talent for store design.”

In March of 2008, the 7,000 square-foot store opened and the two moms, with seven children between them, have never looked back. Suburban Soul was born.

Bucking the trend of a poor economy, Sheena and Jessica made a success of their new venture not only through their products but also a little creative thinking — they added a licensed bar upstairs serving wine and draft beer, and started hosting private events for women and special customer parties.

Soon, the Suburban Soul vision grew beyond Enumclaw.

“We have always looked towards Issaquah as a site for a second store,” Sheena said. “We have many customers in our Enumclaw store that are from there, and they always encouraged us. There’s not anything like us here.”

Last month, those ambitious plans came to fruition, when Suburban Soul opened its

Issaquah store in the Issaquah Commons, a few doors down from REI.

“We specialize in jeans for a wide variety of women’s tastes, budgets and body types,” Sheena said.

Suburban Soul stocks ‘William Rast,’ ‘Joes,’ ‘7s,’ ‘Vigoss,’ ‘Not Your Daughters,’ ‘Jag,’ ‘Worn,’ ‘1921,’ ‘Citizens,’ and ‘David Kahn,’ as well as mens and womens apparel, beauty products, accessories, shoes, baby gifts and home decor.

“Here we are moving forward in a retail environment that is either stalled or closing up shop,” Sheena said. “I think our formula of pleasing women with our styles, fit and excellent customer service is working.”

Sheena said the store is aimed at women from 20 to 60, so there is something for almost everyone.

To check them out, visit the store at 735-D N.W. Gilman Blvd. — between REI and Massage Envy — or visit their web site at www.suburbansoul.net

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