Simply Northwest, the locally owned gift shop well-known for its ornately packaged baskets filled with assorted foods and specialty items from around the area, is under new ownership.
Employee Denielle Waltermire purchased the business from founder De Scott in January. Scott was ready to sell the business she started in 1989 and approached Waltermire with the opportunity. Waltermire had been working there for about five years. The downtown Spokane location was closed during the transaction and Waltermire now maintains the existing Spokane Valley store and production center.
“It’s not as simple as it looks,” Waltermire says of the basket building. “De has built a reputation with how our baskets look … and it’s what our customers are used to.”
Customers won’t see big changes at Simply Northwest, as Waltermire plans to operate the business as usual with the same standards set by Scott for baskets and the store, which is filled with an array of food, gifts and home décor items.
“We’ve always been known that we can think outside the box for (customers) – we strive to do that. I’m so honored that she chose me to carry this on.”
The new owner has a business and marketing background and was in the midst of steering a future toward social work when she accepted a job at Simply Northwest during a holiday season. And she’s never left.
Prior to the purchase, Waltermire had been mostly involved in the retail end of the business. Now she’s learning more about the building of baskets among other things. Scott has agreed to stay on and offer support and advice through the first year of the changeover.
Scott started the business from her home at a time when filling baskets with gifts and candies was mostly limited to springtime and a bunny. Through the years, Scott has become well-known for her professional business savvy and maintaining a clever and unique product. The company sends baskets to and from customers across the globe as well as locally for an array of business clients and others seeking creative input for personal celebrations and fundraising galas.
“The baskets really are our signature item,” says Waltermire, who notes there is a large production facility below the store. “Everyday someone comes in for a basket.”
Next Saturday, however, the majority of customers likely will be partaking in the seventh annual special event coined Desperate Housewives Shop Hop when Simply Northwest and several other local shopkeepers band together to promote their wares with customer appreciation activities.