The Chamber is thrilled to welcome one of its newest, and likely its hippest, members - Shanty. Shanty is a trendy, charming boutique offering fabulous clothing, home decor and gifts and a cozy expresso bar to help you start your day right.
Located on Union Street in Newport, Washington, Shanty is the brainchild of local area resident Maggie Christie, where she encourages you to "treat yourself to something you'll love". Maggie has wanted her own store since she was 16, and when the Shanty finally opened in July, 2008, it was a dream come true. She and her husband David Christie, part owner of Empire Construction (building custom log homes for 20 years), worked day and night to transform an older house into the little slice of retail heaven we know as Shanty.Maggie is always on the lookout for new lines and designers and she has developed quite the talent for identifying little luxuries that customers simply must have. Shanty may be small and located off the beaten path, but its reputation has spread like wildfire. Some of the more popular lines she already features include: See Thru Soul Denim, Tag and Voluspa candles. But as for what's in store next, her buying season heats up in February, where she'll be hitting trade shows in Vegas, Atlanta and Seattle "so you'll just have to come back often to see", she says with a wink.
Stylish wares aside, Shanty may be best known for its instrumental role in Newport's latest retail sensation - Who Let The Girls Out (WLTGO, for short). Started in 2008 by a number of like-minded local business(women) who were convinced they could attract more business by joining forces, focusing their advertising and creating a multi-store retail experience catered specifically to women, it is now a semi-annual affair that energizes the entire downtown and beyond. Along with Shanty, the most recent WLTGO held in November, 2010 featured Floral Expressions, The Kitchen Shoppe, Just Because, My Sister's Cottage, Sweet Salvage, Sharon's Country Store and Into the Garden Up to the Lake. Attracting upwards of 600 women from as far away as Minnesota, not only did WLTGO deliver on its promise of "A day of serious shopping, tasty treats and local love," but it clearly demonstrated that Newport area businesses are a retail destination of choice for not only residents but tourists alike. Mark your calendars now for the next WLTGO scheduled for May 21, 2011.
When asked what, if anything, she would change about the Greater Newport area, Maggie wastes no time. "Increase awareness of what shopping local does to sustain our community." She is not alone in expressing this wish. Research has shown that for every $100 spent in locally owned stores, about $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. Compare that to what comes back to our community when residents instead choose to shop at a national chain or online. The math is simple. If we want a vibrant, prosperous, sustainable community, we each have to make a concerted effort to support our local businesses first. Maggie is not for a second suggesting that people stop shopping out of town (she freely admits her love of Nordstrom and Banana Republic, for instance). Rather she just encourages local residents to "shop local first - you will probably be surprised by the selection and competitive pricing you will find inside our retailers' doors - not only will you be finding what you need but you'll be helping our local businesses."
And there is definitely something to be said for local, personalized customer service, especially at Shanty. Maggie's passion for Shanty, its wares and customers is evident every time you walk in the door. Her quirky sense of humor, contagious smile and welcoming demeanor is reflected throughout the store as she strives to ensure customers will always find something they love while enjoying the friendliest customer service and ambiance in town.
In their free time, Maggie and her husband especially enjoy Noni's wine bar in Priest River, local shopping, and any activity that involves their two sweet children and the Pend Oreille River. So it should come as no surprise that Maggie's one wish for a new local business or service is "a waterfront hotel and restaurant/bar where residents and tourists alike can stay awhile and enjoy our area's most precious asset - the spectacular Pend Oreille River".
Whether you're new to the area or a long time resident, be sure to stop at Shanty soon - to sip, shop and momentarily lose yourself in Maggie's eclectic mix of comfort, style and luxury.
Shanty is located at N. 235 Union, Newport, WA and is open M-F 9:30am-5:30pm, Sat 9am-5pm and Sun 11am-4pm. You can find out more about Shanty here.