Open for Business: The Gift Shop at The Hearthstone

 In Community News

A PNW native, Sylvia Pugh’s roots run deep in the Seattle-area retail and Lutheran worlds. That made her the perfect Hearthstone resident to give life to our recently opened gift shop. After attending Pacific Lutheran University, University of Washington and Charett School of Costume Design, Sylvia worked her way up to fashion buyer for the legendary Frederick & Nelson.

You could say that Frederick’s, as it was affectionately known, was in her DNA as a holiday season visit there was an annual tradition for Sylvia and her mom, as it also was for so many families near and far, and those trips provided major inspiration for Sylvia when she ultimately became a buyer for the Christmas shop.  It was while working at F & N that she met Melville, her late husband of forty-two years. The two made their home in Seattle’s Broadview neighborhood and had a successful “second act” in the wholesale business together after departing Frederick & Nelson.

Her trajectory to Hearthstone residency went through First Lutheran Church in Richmond Beach where a chance meeting with founding CEO By Baker led to her helming the church’s property committee. After a successful tenure there, she was invited by Baker to join the Hearthstone’s Board of Directors in the mid-80’s upon which she served for nine years. She became a Lakeside Building resident in 2018.

When discussing Sylvia’s tireless work on the gift shop, CEO Reggie Mullis shared that “it was such a pleasure to collaborate with Sylvia on this project. Given her long-time residency here and her tenure on the community’s Board of Trustees, serving The Hearthstone is clearly something Sylvia takes very seriously. We are so grateful she agreed to serve in yet another important function and we cannot thank her enough for making another contribution to the community’s long-term success.”

Given her extensive backgrounds in retail and fashion, Sylvia reports that running the gift shop is second nature. She also takes it very seriously, having spent more than one sleepless night designing the space in her mind and making sure the right items fill the store. That includes the best-selling goats milk soap, which is flying off the shelves along with slippers, scarves and a special reusable shopping bag. Sylvia gives a ton of credit for the gift shop’s success to fellow resident Tim Strand, her partner in the gift shop and in life. Tim and Sylvia have been close ever since a chance, pre-Covid meeting at the salad bar in the dining room. His extensive skills as a project manager and her retail background made them the perfect duo for the project.

Benefiting the Resident Assistance Fund, the gift shop operates Monday-Friday from 1130am-230pm, 430-7pm and on weekends.

From L-R: Sylvia, Tim and Hearthstone CEO Reggie Mullis at the gift shop’s ribbon cutting ceremony.