Lindsley’s clothing store has been a Winslow establishment for 22 years, filling a hole in the market for basic clothing needs.
After May 18, Lindsley’s will hang up its “Closed” sign for good.
“My goal was to retire when I was 66,” said Judy Lindsley, who owns the store with her husband, Tom.
“My birthday is May 16, and our last day of business is May 18,” she said.
From now until its final day, the clothing store will hold a sale to empty their supplies of shirts, pants, blouses and more.
“We will sell everything,” Judy Lindsley said. “Our props and fixtures, everything.”
The store will be emptied, bringing a close to more than two decades of serving islanders.
“It’s not just that we came here and opened a business, we’ve been a part of the community,” she said.
When Tom and Judy moved from Kansas City, Miss. to Bainbridge Island in 1991 they weren’t sure what they would end up doing. But they did know that they just had to make the move.
“We’re sailors and we love the mountains, so when we decided to make this break with our careers,” she said.
And Bainbridge Island seemed like the right fit.
“Our daughter was 3 when we came out here,” Tom Lindsley said. “We wanted her to grow up in a small community, not a big city.”
“We’ve been to every play, and every field trip,” she added.
The couple had spent years establishing careers in the Midwest, Tom Lindsley as an architect working with Hallmark Cards and his wife as a manager of a retail clothing store. But after visiting family in the area, they could not deny their attraction to the Northwest.
“We either needed to stay there forever or venture out,” Judy Lindsley said.
The couple opted for the latter.
When they began planting roots on the island they ran into Lou Goller, founder of American Marine Bank. Goller offered some significant advice.
“We talked with him about what was needed on Bainbridge Island,” Tom Lindsley said. “His big comment was that he didn’t have a place to buy underwear.”
From there, Lindsley’s was born — a classic clothing store for men and women.
“Our business was always casual clothing,” Judy Lindsley said. “We had underwear and nylons and all the basics.”
They also stocked fashionable clothing for women and shirts for men. The couple began building up the business.
“We did it together,” she added. “[Tom] bought men’s I bought women’s [clothing].”
The store soon became a Bainbridge Island shopping staple. Initially it was located next to Ace Hardware on High School Road. Tom Lindsley designed the space and it served them well. When the store moved to its current location on Bjune Drive, underneath Eagle Harbor Books, Ace Hardware took over the couple’s former store space. It now serves as Ace’s home-and-garden section.
In 1995, Tom Lindsley expanded his entrepreneurial sites and founded Eagle Harbor Window Coverings, leaving the clothing business largely under Judy’s purview.
With her at the helm, Lindsley’s rode the economic waves that came over the years. She recalls the difficult waters after 911, and the more recent recession. But they rode them out.
Now, she is looking ahead toward uncharted waters. Her husband will remain at the command of Eagle Harbor Window Coverings.
“Everything has always been so planned,” Judy Lindsley said. “Go to college, get a job and then this and that. Right now I just want to plan for the end of the business and make it fun.”
And then comes what’s next after May 18.
“I’m excited to see what my next chapter is,” she said.
After Lindsley’s closes, the Wildernest Outdoor Store will expand its operation into space on Bjune Drive.