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New business owner brings Plum to downtown Winslow

Owner Theresa Collier inside her new store, Plum.  - Brian Kelly | Bainbridge Island Review
Owner Theresa Collier inside her new store, Plum.
— image credit: Brian Kelly | Bainbridge Island Review

A new store is blossoming on Winslow Way.

Plum — an Asian-inspired, Northwest-style home-and-garden store — is downtown’s newest addition.

It’s located at 124 Winslow Way East,up the stairs in the courtyard alley between Millstream and Petit and Olson.

Though it’s just a few steps away from Winslow’s main drag, the store is a tranquil respite from downtown’s pedestrian-packed sidewalks.

That terrific transition is something that hasn’t escaped those who have popped into the new business, said Theresa Collier, the store’s owner.

“When people walk in here, they’ve said it just feels very calm, and very beautiful,” she said.

Collier worked with local landscape designers Auror Florialis to create the comfortable and natural atmosphere leading into the shop; the alley has been enhanced with pots containing colorful plantings, outdoor furniture and industrial lighting.

“It has a real European alley feel,” Collier said. “When they come off busy Winslow, it’s not like they are walking right into the store. They’re walking up the deck, looking at the beautiful pots, and then coming in.”

Collier said she was hoping to recreate the transformation that people have when they finish a walk at the Bloedel Reserve, where she created the gift store that completes the visitor experience at the reserve’s Gate House.

Collier, who has more than 30 years of retail buying experience (the list includes Eddie Bauer, Frederick & Nelson, Kasala Furniture and City Peoples), said she had been waiting for a space to open up in the much-demand downtown area.

“Before, in my previous jobs, I did buying for others to help them get their stores going, or bought for Bloedel Reserve. This is all pretty much my heart and soul, my personal aesthetic,” she said.

She knew the time was right after Winslow wrapped up its downtown street improvement project.

“This space came available and I decided to go for it,” Collier recalled.

Plum offers a wide variety of home décor and unique gift items; Asian ceramics, local photography, sumi paintings, volcanic ash sculptures, metal constellation lanterns, clothing, small succulent gardens and much more.

“It was a combination of what I think Winslow needed. I wanted to carry a product mix that was different and unique, and that really showcased a lot of our local artists.

A combination of a Northwest aesthetic with a little bit of an Asian modern focus,” she said.

There’s also furniture pieces by Coyote Woodshop, and jewelry by local artists, including Ali Holmes and Lisa Ellis.

Reaction from shoppers so far has been encouraging, and Plum — the name comes from the plum blossom, one of the first blossoms after winter and one of the most resilient, Collier said — has also seen repeat customers from Bainbridge.

“It’s just great,” Collier said, but she quickly added that it “puts pressure on me to always make sure things look fresh, and new.”

Summer store hours are 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The store is online at www.plumbainbridge.com, and can be reached at 206-201-3654.

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