Located in a pictureque town on the coast of the Puget Sound in Washington State, Foundry Men's Goods has been working hard to introduce their local customers to better, longer lasting clothing. Gig Harbor is just two hours outside of Seattle but has a vibe all its own - one which is also attracting a growing number of tourists each year. Mark Crowley and his wife Maria opened up Foundry Men's Goods less than two years ago, and Nick Sandy joined the team shortly after opening. We've had the pleasure of working with Foundry for over a year now and are excited to have them as a part of our retailer family. Mark recently took some time to chat with us about his store and his hometown. We hope that you'll make Foundry a stop the next time you're vacationing in Washington.
What industry were you working in before opening up Foundry?
My wife and I have owned a women's boutique, Bloom, since 2004. Bloom is a boutique that offers premium denim and well made clothing and accessories. We felt there has always been a need for a men's equivalent in the area but wanted to wait for the right time. We opened Foundry in 2015 because we were really excited about the direction of menswear in recent years.
Tell us more about Gig Harbor. What are some things you love about it that make it a great place to live and work?
Gig Harbor is a quiet, but growing, little town south of Seattle. There are no big buildings or overcrowded malls. Lots of locally owned businesses in and around the area. The area and the community is rapidly growing but it still maintains the feel of a small town. Surrounded by water and various mountain ranges gives the opportunity for many outdoor activities.
Seattle is only about an hour away from Gig Harbor. How would you compare Gig Harbor and Seattle’s retail markets? Does your proximity to Seattle play a part in how you run the shop?
Seattle's retail market is that of a major city. There is a much larger demographic of people looking for quality men's clothing, footwear and accessories.
We definitely have to be aware of what the shops in Seattle are doing. We need to be competitive to those locations and keep the customers interested in what we have to offer now and in the future. We have also added an ecommerce store, www.foundrymensgoods.com, to help compete.
Being in the Pacific Morthwest means that clothing also has to serve purpose to withstand the weather. Does this affect how you buy for the shop?
The weather in the PNW does play a big part in how we buy for the shop. We see quite a bit of grey and wet weather up here. We have to offer warmer pieces and options for layering that are durable and functional for all seasons.We love to layer up here in WA. The warmer months are pretty short up here so we order pretty light in the summer apparel department.
What are some of your favorite small businesses in your area that you like to support?
We are lucky to live in a small town and be surrounded by a number of local owned businesses. Some of our favorites include:
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