In a world of online shopping, Drees of Olympia still sets the standard in home furnishings and gifts after 90 years.
The home furnishings shop on the corner of Washington Street SE and Legion Way SE in Olympia is celebrating its 90th year in business. Housed in a building built in 1890 in downtown Olympia, Drees offers a variety of products including home furnishings, gifts, seasonal decorations and stationary. The 90-year-old legacy started in 1929 when Jimmy Drees bought the Art and Paint Store and added additional decorative products. He sold the store in 1965 to a previous owner before it was sold again in 1976 to the store’s current owner, Ruthann Panowicz Goulart. Ruthann has held the helm for over 40 years.
Ruthann grew up in Olympia, and went off to college to school, and on to Washington DC to work at the Smithsonian. Her return to Olympia was rooted in running the “beloved store where she shopped as a child. We believe that Drees offers more than great products; we create traditions, nurture relationships, enhance homes, and provide a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.” The quote that Jimmy Drees used to display in his windows that sums it up was, “Enjoy our Browspetality.”
Drees has not only been a pillar of the shopping community in Olympia, it also gives back to the community in various ways. Ruthann is a founding member of the Junior League of Olympia and has served on multiple boards for the city, including the City of Olympia’s Parking and Business Improvement Area. She is also active on the Board of Directors at Thurston First Bank in Olympia and a member of Seattle Art Museum Supporters.
For Additional Information
524 Washington St SE, Olympia