New store puts forward local goods

AnnaLisa LaFayette is hard at work these days

Tucked into a tiny shop space behind Island Quilter is Vashon’s newest retail establishment — and it is dedicated entirely to local goods.

“That’s been my dream — a great big Walmart of U.S.-made items,” said entrepreneur and owner AnnaLisa LaFayette.

At 18 by 18 feet, a Walmart it is not, but LaFayette considers this a stepping stone to her larger dream. Her intent is to carry a variety of items from Vashon and the near vicinity, within 50 miles or so.

She will carry useful items, she said: clothing, jewelry, eye pillows, cloth book covers she intends to make herself, candles, some furniture, shampoo and conditioner and, hopefully, some items for children, including wooden and eco-friendly stuffed toys.

“A good collection,” she called it, “but not too many repeat items.”

The focus on shopping locally is important, she said.

“It means cutting the carbon footprint and keeping the dollars as close to home as possible.”

An artist herself, she also plans to use much of the space to carry a variety of local art and invites artists of all kinds to be in touch with her.

At 25, LaFayette is likely one of Vashon’s youngest merchants. She hopes to use that to her advantage and make her shop a welcoming space for tweens, teens and 20-somethings, ages that are often overlooked by Island retailers, she said.

Transforming the space — which was once Brian Brenno’s glass studio and then a tile studio — into a retail shop has been a tall order. But she has her sights set on holding her grand opening Thursday, Oct. 29, beginning at 7 p.m. Her hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Wednesdays.

Call her for more information at 769-8627.