Everett’s go-to gift shop, J. Matheson, will close after 30 years

Everett’s must-have gift shop will close after 30 years

File photo of Doug Ramsay

Judy Matheson followed the demand and pulse of the gift industry to transform her Colby Avenue boutique into a regional destination for unique products. Left, Matheson in his store in April 2014.

EVERET — Judy Matheson has been curating her shop for the perfect cookware, clothing, baby clothes and home décor for over 30 years.
But as they say, all good things come to an end.
“I knew I would know when I was ready, and I’m ready,” Matheson said of her store at 2615 Colby Ave.
On March 19, J. Matheson Gifts, Kitchen & Gourmet bows out. The announcement was posted on social media on Sunday, February 6.
“It’s time. I love my clients, but now is the time.
The shutdown is a personal decision to “step back and enjoy life,” said Matheson, 75.
Matheson has created a destination store that draws customers far beyond Snohomish County. Everyone who heard the news supported her decision, she said. “People I spoke to said, ‘Oh my God, what are we going to do? But they understand,” Matheson said.
She couldn’t see handing it over to a stranger. “This store is me – Judy Matheson,” she said. “It’s all in my head” for the way it works.
She stays abreast of industry trends to bring the best to Everett. Customers also suggest what to carry, Matheson said, “and often they’re hits.”
Her loving husband of 54 years, Hugh, has been on numerous business trips to gift shows and exhibitions. She said she was lucky he stood up for her work all these years.
Now they are ready to take trips for fun.
In 1991, Matheson opened her store after years of working as a merchandise buyer. “It’s always been my dream. Thirty years ago, (the stores) were leaving Everett and I trusted Everett. … I know people in Everett wanted quality gifts.
Dreams can be hairy.
“It was scary at first,” she said.
Hard work kept the doors open.
She described working 10 hour days, six days a week for some 31 years. “You have to have a passion to be successful (in business), and I have that passion.”
She has remained true to one principle: handpicking unique finds made with quality at a reasonable price. All the while, she aimed to please.
Many of its products are made in America.
She opened a kitchen store a short distance up the road which operated for five years before consolidating stores at the main location.
Patience, kindness and attention are part of the cement that keeps his store running. His mother taught him: Treat people the way they like to be treated.
The effort includes going the extra mile for customers like gift wrapping, shipping items, and a good return policy.
The shop has been awarded for its customer service.
Matheson encourages anyone with a gift card to redeem it promptly. The clock is ticking now.
The store’s phone number is 425-258-2287.

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