Sharing the Love: Donate a Wedding Dress

Planning a wedding can be costly, but finding a beautiful dress that makes you feel like a million bucks doesn’t have to break your budget. Brides for a Cause, a nonprofit bridal boutique with locations in Tacoma, Seattle and Portland, specializes in connecting budgetconscious brides with the gown of their dreams at a fraction of the suggested retail price. The icing on the cake (pun intended) is that every purchase helps fund donations to local and national organizations supporting women.

“All of our dresses are donated,” explains Erin Scharf, founder of Brides for a Cause. “We receive dresses from around the country from traditional retail bridal stores, designers, manufacturers and individuals.” Each dress is then priced by style, popularity, condition and age. When dresses hit the racks for sale, they are marked at 30–70% off retail prices. Special events, like the boutiques’ 50% off sale and $150 Dress Dash, can bring prices down even further.

“In six years we have collected more than 10,000 dresses and donated more than half a million dollars to women-focused charities,” Scharf says proudly. The nonprofit is on track to donate $175,000 in 2018 to beneficiaries like the Seattle chapter of Young Women Empowered—an organization focused on giving girls confidence, resiliency and leadership skills.

Buying a sample, discontinued or repurposed gown isn’t for everyone. But many brides rave online about their experiences finding the perfect dress at Brides for a Cause boutiques. “If you don’t find your dress on your first visit, come back or check a different location,” says Scharf. “We put out new inventory weekly.”

If you have a dress you’d like to donate, drop it off at any of the locations or mail it to the shop. Dresses must be five years old or newer and in reasonably good condition.


For Additional Information
Brides for a Cause
Locations in Tacoma, Seattle and Portland

Panowicz Jewelers: Celebrating 71 Years

Even after seven decades, Panowicz Jewelers still holds true to its
founding: a legacy of quality, integrity and value. Founded in 1948
by Anton Panowicz Sr., the local, family-owned jewelry store recently
celebrated its 71st anniversary serving the Olympia community.

“Retail has to be about outstanding customer service and care,” says
Rob Panowicz, son of the late founder. “We continue to cater to our
customers and put them first in all aspects of the business.”

“As a store, we genuinely care about our customers,” echoes Leslie
Panowicz, general manager. “One of our favorite aspects of this
business is being a part of clients’ special moments that they will
remember for the rest of their lives.”

She said customers will often come into the store and recount a
memory when her grandfather or father helped them choose a ring
that was perfect for the occasion and fit within their budget. “These
memories are so special and help us remember our roots,” Leslie said.
Indeed, adds Rob Panowicz, a unique quality of his team is the
longevity of tenure and the services they provide. With two
goldsmiths and two certified gemologists on staff, Panowicz Jewelers
is able to offer many services in-store that other retailers would often
need to outsource.

Panowicz Jewelers prides itself on its history while also remaining
contemporary in both variety and selection of merchandise. You don’t
need to travel to a big city to find that special piece of jewelry, says
Leslie. “Panowicz is on par with the larger, upscale corporate jewelry
stores with quality and selection. We can also custom order jewelry to
fit your occasion.”

To stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends, Leslie Panowicz
travels nationally and internationally to Antwerp, Belgium and
Thailand. She hand-selects diamonds in order to offer the best value
and quality in the Puget Sound. She says it’s all part of continuing the
70-plus year legacy of serving the community’s jewelry needs.


111 Market St NE, Olympia

Gift Guide 2018

We scoured the area and compiled this list of our favorite gifts.

Glassy Baby: votive glass candles
Each hand-blown glass votive is a work of art. As unique as the individual who chooses one, formed by eight hands, born in the USA, each with its own name, one of a kind. Kind of like you.
Indoor Skydiving
Experience the thrill of skydiving without jumping from a plane.
~$79 and up
Batdorf and Bronson gift set
Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters would love to send you and the people you love coffee cheer for the holidays.
Copper River Knife
Chopping it up, Alexandra Paliwoda’s handforged knife’s curved, easy-grip handle and beveled blade allow the knife to make quick work of fresh herbs, cheese, and crispy pizza. A hand-forged, notched steel stand offers convenient storage and display.
Out of print tote
Out of Print turns beloved books into wearable fashions like tote bags and T-shirts to spread the joy (and importance) of reading to communities in need. For each product sold, a book is donated.
Artisan stoppers
Hand crafted, locally made, wood wine stoppers by Peter Yohann.

Fair Trade Gems Protect People

Do you think about where the products you purchase come from and how they were manufactured? Social responsibility is a growing concern for many consumers and businesses. Whether it’s coffee or computers, beauty products or building supplies, or food for pets or people, we want balance between what we’re buying and how it was made.

The jewelry industry was put in the spotlight in 2006 when the movie Blood Diamond illustrated the illicit measures occurring to fund extremist activities. Improvements have been made in the diamond trade since, but little had been done to formalize fair trade practices for colored gem stones.

“We have always done our best to work with ethically sourced gems, but there were few industry standards,” explained Phyllis Harrison, co-owner with her husband, Steph Farber, of LeRoy Jewelers and The Art Stop. “We’ve found a great partner in Columbia Gem House, which is a world leader in fair trade practices for gem stones.”

Based in Vancouver, Washington, Columbia Gem House promotes that its fair trade gems are closely tracked from mine to market to ensure that every gem has been handled according to strict protocols. These protocols include environmental protection, fair labor practices at the cutting and jewelry factories, and a tight chain of custody. Columbia says these protocols eliminate the possibility of treated gems or synthetics being introduced into the supply chain.

“We are confident that we are now getting the full backstory for gems we purchase,” said Harrison. “We know who mined it, how it was cut and what the profits are supporting. That means we can assure our customers that they can wear their jewelry with joy and pride.”

LeRoy Jewelers is a family-owned and -operated business in downtown Tacoma. For more than 75 years, it has been helping customers convey their personal stories through beautifully crafted and unique jewelry.


For Additional Information:
LeRoy Jewelers
940 Broadway, Tacoma

Trend Report: Fall 2018

The trends emerging for fall 2018 can be summed up in one word: comfort. If you love classic pieces and steer clear of the eccentric, then you are in luck. Much of what is trending this season is comfortable and demonstrates a slightly new take on our favorite wardrobe staples.

Puffy coats + capes
The puffy coat is easily the go-to outerwear piece for just about everyone living in the Pacific Northwest. Instead of black, brighten your fall look by opting for a coat in red or pink. The cape is also making a comeback. While not as popular in recent years as the puffy coat, it is an item worth adding to your outerwear lineup. It is comfortable and perfect for day and night, giving you a pulled-together, polished look.

Plaids and animal prints definitely have their place among fall trends from head to toe. The trick with wearing either is not to overdo it. Try pairing a plaid jacket with solid-color trousers or animal print heels with ankle jeans.

Lady in red or pink—or both!
Bright red and pink are going to make a statement this fall, infusing much-needed vibrancy into what can sometimes become a monotonous palette of grays and blacks. Try different hues like fuchsia and millennial pink.

Footwear: Bootie obsession + slingbacks
The ankle bootie has been having a moment for the past few seasons. This fall, designers are showing white booties. This is an unexpected and surprising twist on a favorite. While gorgeous, a white bootie might prove to be a bit of a hassle—be sure to choose a fabric that is easy to clean! Slingbacks and kitten heels are having a revival. Both looks are professional and make for an easy day-to-evening transition.


Rustic Luxury Renewal

Nestled on 11 acres with a breathtaking view of Mt. Rainier, this Pan Abode home made a grand statement when it was built in 1980. Still, the homeowners envisioned an upgrade that would take it to “dream” status for them. Creating great entertaining space was the primary goal of the remodeling project of this Edgewood estate. The lively homeowners throw a lot of dinner parties and pool parties, and even occasionally host wedding events on their luscious grounds.

The addition to their home proved challenging, given the unique nature of the structure. But their dreams were realized when owners of American Dream Design Build, Scott Overby and Jim Burbridge, began the project. The team focused primarily on connectivity to the outdoors and the original appeal of the cedar home.

They installed large sliding glass doors, relocated windows, added a sleeping porch and deck, and used lighting and heating units to create a year-round sanctuary. Even the homeowners’ beloved tree was incorporated into the design. The team built the deck around the tree and created yet another talking point for the homeowners’ social gatherings.

Next, the homeowners decided to design an extra-large kitchen for entertaining that also functions for their catering business. Transforming the previous small kitchen into a commercial kitchen twice the size was no small feat. Inset cabinetry with open plate racks line the walls. Brass faucetry pairs beautifully with the soapstone countertop and a custom apronfront sink. A custom copper hood spans 84 inches above the range.

“American Dream Design Build has a team of skilled artisan builders that was able to meet all of our design challenges while keeping our vision intact,” says homeowner Doug Herrick. “We are very happy with the end result.” He added that it will be loved for years!

Upon completion, American Dream Design Build and The Puyallup Design Center were so taken with the remodel projects that they submitted them to the Master Builders Association competition and received REX (Remodeling Excellence) Awards on both projects.


For Additional Information
American Dream Design Build

Throwing Mud Gallery – A Place to Create, Learn and Connect

In January 2011, Mark and Eileen Hudak opened Throwing Mud Gallery in Tacoma’s historic Old Town neighborhood with the hopes of sharing their passion for pottery with the community. Over seven years later, they have a thriving business built on helping people create art and connect with one another.

Mark found his passion for pottery in college. In 1977 he moved to Tacoma and began teaching before he began making and selling his pottery full time. Throwing Mud allows Mark to teach, and it’s a gallery for his work and the work of other local artists. “We love the creative community that has developed through our pottery classes,” says Eileen. “We have a growing group of people who take pottery classes from us year round that have become our friends.”

Besides classes, Throwing Mud offers drop-in studio time to anyone wanting to add their own creative touch to existing bisque pottery pieces. Classes mix beginners with advanced students and hold up to 10 students. Those interested are encouraged to take a Try It class first. Students spend an hour learning the basics and then they “try it” before committing to a full course.

Mark and Eileen have observed that as adults, we don’t always take time to have fun, learn something new and be creative. Throwing Mud Gallery, they say, has become a place where people can learn a new skill and make something beautiful from a literal lump of clay.

In addition to taking classes, customers can shop the gallery for gorgeous, one-of-a-kind art pieces. The gallery carries the work of over 100 artists, in pottery, jewelry, wood, glass and more. The Hudaks say it is very important to them that the items in their gallery are handmade by the artist.

In a world of mass-produced, factory-made items, Throwing Mud is a place where shoppers can buy a special item that is handmade.

Throwing Mud Gallery
2212 North 30th St, Tacoma


North Shore Golf Course Renovates

To celebrate more than fifty-five years in northeast Tacoma, the North Shore Golf Course is renovating. Don’t worry, though– your time on the green won’t be affected by the process, as the course and clubhouse will stay open throughout the summer.

October 2018 is the completion date for the first phase of construction, which includes a covered driving range and a new Golf Shop to replace the current structures. A beverage counter, golfer check-in, and expanded retail merchandise displays are just a few things to expect from the new, 1,123-square-foot shop. Its new location will allow for more efficient daily operations, and relocated cart paths will create more convenient connections around the course. The putting green will be relocated to allow for the course to remain open during construction.

The second phase will include the construction of a 15,046-square-foot clubhouse, boasting beautiful Northwest architectural design elements, including a grand foyer with expansive views of the golf course and a restaurant and lodge with outdoor seating and concrete fire pits for golfers to enjoy. Also, a new event center featuring a ballroom with multiple sections will provide an elegant multi-use space for events that can accommodate up to three hundred people.

“We are looking forward to the exciting changes coming to North Shore Golf Course,” said General Manager David Wetli. “Our expansions will greatly enhance our guests’ experiences and provide more opportunities for connection, expanding our capabilities not only as a fun and challenging golf course, but a new event venue in Pierce County.”

The local team behind this renovation project consists of North Shore Golf Course owners, the Puyallup Tribe and Marine View Ventures, Korsmo Construction, and Helix Design Group. The anticipated completion date is in 2019, when you will be able to enjoy a new Golf Shop, driving range shelter, and beautiful clubhouse at historic Tacoma’s own North Shore Golf Course.

Find out more about North Shore Golf Course at


The Intaglio Salon Moves To Point Ruston

Spend a few minutes with salon owner Kasey Mendoza and you’ll quickly understand why The Intaglio Salon in Tacoma has received rave reviews about its hair, makeup and skin treatments. “We love all our guests,” proclaims Mendoza. “Our move to Point Ruston allows us to spoil them even more.”

After four years near the Tacoma Mall, The Intaglio Salon recently relocated to newly constructed space along Tacoma’s waterfront. The new, larger location means that the salon can expand its services. Four new stylists are being recruited, and the number of makeup stations and treatment beds has doubled to two each. A color lounge provides a comfortable area for guests to watch television, charge a cell phone or enjoy a beverage while waiting for their hair to color-process.

The salon offers one-stop convenience with a full menu of services. Hair, makeup, waxing, sugaring, lash extensions and express skin care treatments are available. “We especially love anything to do with color and helping guests make big changes,” says Mendoza.

As an Aveda Concept Salon, Intaglio shares Aveda’s commitment to caring about the world around us. The Aveda hair, makeup and skin products that are used exclusively in the salon are created and packaged with natural ingredients. They are never tested on animals.

“At the end of the day, we want to know that we did great hair, but we also want to make a difference in our community,” explains Mendoza. The salon’s past fundraising events have benefited the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, a local organization working to protect and preserve the waters of Puget Sound.

Intaglio is doing more for the community in their new location at Point Ruston.


For Additional Information:
The Intaglio Salon
Point Ruston, 5005 Ruston Way, Tacoma

Trend Report: Spring 2018

Spring—the time of year when winter has finally turned the corner and we can look forward to giving our wardrobe a much-needed makeover. So what’s in store this season? The runways were lined with trends that were a throwback to the ’90s when logo T-shirts and flannels ruled. But also seen was a refreshing touch of glamour. Here are some of the top wearable trends we can expect this season.

The Classic Trench

There’s a reason that the trench coat remains a classic. It is versatile and timeless. It remains a favorite this season. Updates to this classic include feminine frills, while some designers opted for a sleeveless version. Although sleeveless might not be ideal for getting through spring showers, it offers a sleek alternative. Consider adding this update to your spring outerwear lineup.

Lady in Lavender

Spring fashion wouldn’t be complete without a palette of pastels reigning the runway. This season, lavender is the clear favorite. Try color-blocking by wearing different shades together, in a top and blazer combination, for instance.

Fringe for Days

Fringe has been popular for a few seasons and maintains its place among spring fashion. This can be a tricky trend, especially in the workplace. In love but not sure how best to wear it? Accessorize with a fringe-trimmed bag or booties— just as statement making and less distracting.

Pretty Pumps

The glitter trend is huge this season and continues south of the ankles. Designers showed us pumps emblazoned in sequins and glitter. Not just an after-hours look, glitzy heels can be worn long before the sun goes down. If sporting a full sequin top as part of your look is too much, then consider stepping out in a pair of sparkling pumps so pretty they would make Cinderella jealous.