Each year around this time, Seattle’s leading designer of tableware, Rosanna Bowles of Rosanna, hosts her biannual warehouse sale. This year’s event is Friday, December 9 from noon to 6 at the company’s recently opened warehouse store. Anyone shopping for the holiday season, wedding gifts, or their own perfectly laid table would do well to check it out. Just keep in mind: All sales are final, and cash or credit cards (no checks) are accepted.
Bowles will be there signing copies of her book, Coming Home: A Seasonal Guide to Creating Family Traditions, and she’s here, answering questions about keeping shop.
WWW: What song or album is playing on your store’s sound system right now?
Bowles: We are always listening to music in the office, and it depends on our mood and the future projects we’re designing—it could be jazz, world, classical, or pop.
What was your first job in retail? What did you love or hate about it and how does it compare to what you do now?
My first job in retail was selling costume jewelry at Meier and Frank in Portland, Oregon. I love all kinds of jewelry and I really enjoyed selling costume jewelry. It’s similar to what I do now because I was selling fashion. It was costume jewelry fashion then, now it’s fashion for the home.
What’s your favorite thing in the store right now?
My favorite item in the store right now is my book, Coming Home. It was a labor of love to write. It reflects who I am and who we are as a company.
Where do you shop when you’re not at your store?
I love to visit the Pacific Galleries Antique Mall. I always get great inspiration for new products there. I also like to explore Susan Wheeler Home for great antique and home accessory pieces. They’ve also got a great selection of vintage costume jewelry. (Did I mention I love costume jewelry?) They are in Georgetown near our store, so I’ll stop by sometimes during lunch.
What do you love about your store’s neighborhood? What nearby restaurants, coffee shops, etc do you recommend?
I love being in Georgetown! We just moved here about a year ago. It is such a wonderful neighborhood with many unique and creative stores, not to mention a great farmers market on the weekend. After working late, I’ll stop by Via Tribunali for great pizza, or the Corson Building, which has excellent food that celebrates the communal table and imaginative, fresh Northwest cuisine. For that mid-day caffeine fix, All City Coffee is just up the street and there is this great grocery store called Carleton Avenue Grocery that I frequent when I forget my lunch and need something healthy. It’s the oldest operating grocery store in Seattle (since 1911). They’ve got a great selection of organic food tucked away, and it’s a charming store.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened in your store?
I’m not sure if this is weird, but each year we have a big warehouse liquidation sale with prices slashed 50 percent or more. At the last sale people were lined up an hour before we opened. Once we unlocked the doors, it was a huge rush; everyone looking for the best deals. It felt like one of those midnight after-Thanksgiving sales, and it was absolutely wonderful to share in that excitement.