Denise Densley and Colleen Volk, co-founders and co-owners of Style Me, give a demo on how to make spring fashions look best on your body type at the March 9 Sammamish Chamber of Commerce Women in Business luncheon. Nicole Jennings/staff photo

Denise Densley and Colleen Volk, co-founders and co-owners of Style Me, give a demo on how to make spring fashions look best on your body type at the March 9 Sammamish Chamber of Commerce Women in Business luncheon. Nicole Jennings/staff photo

Issaquah boutique run out of garage gives women alternative to online shopping

Issaquah resident Colleen Volk’s life changed with a cancer diagnosis.

At age 28, Volk was a working wife and mother of two young sons, toiling away at an ad agency, when she found out that she had stage 4 melanoma.

Miraculously, after a year of cutting-edge treatment, Volk beat cancer, but it changed her life forever. She decided it was time to quit the high-stress, high-pressure job and spend more time with her family. If she were going to work, it would be a job she truly loved, run on her terms.

And three years ago, over a New Year’s Eve martini, Volk and her friend Denise Densley decided to do just that and open a clothing boutique in Volk’s garage. In business since May 2015, Style Me offers women not only clothing, but also the service of learning what looks do and do not work for their bodies.

“My passion was always to own my own business,” said Densley, a former teacher.

Volk and Densley told their stories to attendees at the Sammamish Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business luncheon on March 9. The organization, which meets quarterly, seeks to empower female entrepreneurs in the community and give them a chance to connect with one another.

Jenni Butz, chair of the Women in Business program, called Volk and Densley “smart business women using creativity in their business and putting their hearts in their business.”

Women who walk into the doors of Style Me are given a special experience and treated like valued clients. While sipping mimosas and munching on appetizers, they are given a complimentary style lesson to get tips on what kinds of clothes accentuate their best features. In the era of Amazon and impersonal online shopping, Volk and Densley stand up to the mass market standard and aim to provide their clients with a shopping experience that is the entire opposite.

“All of the boutiques are closing left and right because of online shopping,” Volk said. “We keep our prices down because we don’t have any overhead, and it’s all about pampering the woman … We want to be that Stitch Fix in your backyard.”

And while women of all shapes and sizes visit Style Me, a common theme among them is a feeling of self-consciousness about certain parts of their bodies, be it stomach, legs, arms or hips.

“We have so much insecurity about our bodies. It’s sad,” Volk said. “I wish I could say 99 percent of women have body image issues, but it’s not — it’s 100 percent.”

But by teaching women which body type they have (apple, pear, hourglass or rectangle) and recommending different looks to highlight and accentuate the best features of each, Volk and Densley hope to bring confidence to each and every customer.

“We love to transform women and we want them to walk out feeling like a new person,” she said.

And no doubt some of the members of Women in Business walked out of the luncheon feeling brand-new; the Style Me founders used their skills on the luncheon guests to give them a preview of the full-on Fashion 101 that happens at their shop.

“The best part of our job is styling you,” Densley said. “When women come in and want help, we love that.”

Style Me is located at 4652 243rd Court Southeast in Issaquah. For more information on hours (which change weekly), call 206-696-4325, email stylemeseattle@gmail.com or visit www.facebook.com/Stylemeissaquah.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Women at the luncheon had the opportunity to ask questions about what styles work for them. Nicole Jennings/staff photo

Women at the luncheon had the opportunity to ask questions about what styles work for them. Nicole Jennings/staff photo

More in News

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Surge in consumer spending eases state budget challenges

A jump in tax collections cuts a projected $9 billion shortfall in half, acccording to new forecast.

Issaquah plans to bring back some in-person learning

Kindergarten and first grade could return for some in-person learning by Oct. 15

High speed rail and hub cities explored in Cascadia Corridor study

A new paper outlines a potential plan for the region.

Photo courtesy of Mayor Mary Lou Pauly.
Mayor writes letter for Issaquah residents—100 years from now

The letter describes life in a pandemic, and the plans for future Issaquah

Should state cover school bus costs if there are no riders?

With funding tied to getting students to school, districts are uncertain how much money they’ll receive.

A plane drops fire retardant on the Palmer Mountain Fire last week. The fire is listed as 84 percent contained, and fully lined. Laura Knowlton/Sound Publishing staff photo
Threat multiplier: How climate change, coronavirus and weather are scorching WA

Dry summer conspired with the pandemic and a wind storm.

Screenshot from the state Employment Security Department’s website at esd.wa.gov.
Workers may qualify for an extra $1,500 in unemployment back pay

A federal program will give some of the state’s unemployed a $300 weekly bump for the past five weeks.

King County moves to Stage 2 burn ban

Outdoor fires, even barbecues or in fire pits, are now prohibited.

Image courtesy of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Massive wildfires incinerate WA

All state Department of Natural Resources lands were closed to recreational activities on Sept. 8.

Screenshot of the air quality monitor at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8. Courtesy Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
King County faces unhealthy air quality due to wildfire smoke

Weather monitors recommend people limit time outdoors, especially children, seniors and those with heart or lung disease.

Amazon adds more office space to Bellevue, now as many new jobs as HQ2

The office space for an additional 10,000 jobs, making it 25,000 coming to downtown, is expected to complete in 2023.