After 20 years, Diana Anderson, owner of Luna Bella’s Women’s Consignment Boutique on Vashon Highway, has sold the business to islander Tesse Crocker, who plans to remodel the shop and open the doors again next month.
The building has been purchased from Anderson by islanders Dustin Landry and Richelle Nishiyori, who have moved their skateboard shop Vashon Boards next door from its original location adjacent to the Burton Coffee Stand. The sale was finalized last month according to public records.
“I just thought it was a perfect time to leave,” Anderson said, recently marking the consignment shop’s twentieth anniversary following her husband Mark’s retirement last year. Anderson said she is taking fond memories with her, like helping her customers discover exactly what they were looking for, sometimes, she said, as if it was destiny.
While the coronavirus pandemic has been no friend to island businesses, Anderson said after she reopened the shop for limited hours three days a week last month, people have consistently stopped by for some retail therapy and to freshen up their wardrobes with a new look.
“Fortunately, with secondhand clothes, because they’re cheaper, people just need something to make themselves feel better. So they’ll just come and get something small,” she said. “So business has been really good since I reopened… I was very pleased when I reopened how well it went.”
As for Anderson, she doesn’t have any set plans for herself but is looking forward to becoming more of an islander.
“I just want to relax. I want to start joining the community, being a patron … being able to start doing things like the Strawberry Festival as a patron and not as a shop owner,” she said, adding her confidence that Crocker is the right person for the job. “You know, a lot of the things that were happening like Halloween, I was handing out candy, so I missed out on all the other fun stuff. And I enjoyed it, but I am just looking forward to joining the community now.”
Vashon Boards is moving uptown, out of the box truck in Burton that was formerly home to Vashon Bikes. For his part, Landry — an avid skateboarder since he was 16 years old — said the skate shop has generated a lot of enthusiasm among the devoted and growing community of skaters on the island who cruise the bowl at the Burton Adventure Recreation Center and will someday ride on the state grant-funded concrete pump track that nonprofit Rj’s Kids has worked to make a reality for years.
“I think with the growth that’s going to be at the skatepark, there’s going to be even more of a need for [the shop],” Landry said, noting that the park has become an attraction even for off-islanders. “And the popularity keeps growing with it, too.”
The problem with Vashon Board’s original location, Landry said, was that it was easy to miss. Since opening in town on the weekends, Landry said he’s seen an uptick in his business. Finding the right board requires time and attention, he said.
“It’s just almost impossible to buy online because you don’t know what you’re getting. You kind of have to sit there and feel it and look at it and touch it.”
Landry added that professional skateboarder Bobby Dodd, who has a large fanbase of admirers, works at the shop every other weekend and signs autographs for fans.
Skateboarding means everything to Landry. He said he’s looking forward to helping the island’s riders connect with their own emerging passion for the sport, find the accessories they need or help other lifelong boarders like himself back out on the halfpipe.
“It’s something I’ve always done and something I’ll continue to do until I can’t walk anymore. I love it.”
Vashon Boards is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.