Baskets and Things to close its doors

Puyallup: Owner presents sale to benefit special education program

Special to the HeraldJanuary 15, 2014 

Baskets & Things will close its doors this month after 21 years in business at 121 W. Meeker in downtown Puyallup.

Owner Darcie Lynn said she’s trying to ensure the closure will take place on a positive note. The building owner plans to occupy the space, Lynn said.

Lynn took the business over three years ago from her mother, Cheryl Metcalf. She and her mom started to provide basket parties in the 1970s before they opened the store.

“That is why the store is called Baskets & Things,” Lynn said.

When Lynn was in high school, she and her mom attended a gift show in Seattle.

“We had a station wagon, and we bought out one of the booths, stuffing all of the baskets into the car,” she said.

Her mom and dad bought the old McLendon’s Hardware building in Sumner, remodeled it and started to sell baskets.

The 3,000-square-foot business became a favorite for shoppers who visited for everything from kitchen and baby items, to greeting cards, holiday decorations, purses, home décor and more.

“The slogan of our store is, ‘Come visit us to see why people call us their favorite store,’ ” said Lynn, who said she listened to customers as they walked through the door. “People say that every single day.”

Before the store closes, Lynn will hold a “give-to-get” sale. From Saturday through Jan. 28, customers who donate $10 to the Puyallup School District’s special education program will earn 10 percent off on items they purchase during the same period.

Lynn said students with special needs come to her store a few hours a week to learn skills. The students are typically 18 to 21 and have graduated from high school. They work at the store for a couple of hours three days a week, Lynn said. She teaches them job skills and said she loves it.

“These kids, they just make my heart warm,” Lynn said.

In the past, Baskets & Things has raised money for families who were facing cancer. Lynn wanted to do something special for the students in the special education program.

“I hope the school district uses the money raised for a special field trip — something fun for the kids,” she said.

Lynn said it will be tough to walk out the door for the last time.

“I’m sure I will be crying,” she said. “I’m broken-hearted but excited for a new adventure.”

Her future plans include selling items online and at the Puyallup Farmers’ Market. She also plans to have a booth at Victoria Sells Antique Mall on Meridian Avenue, and she will sell the popular signs a Lake Stevens vendor makes.

“It is sad to leave because of my wonderful customers,” she said.

“They are great people. I swear I get hugs from them every day, and I will miss them a ton.”

Baskets & Things will close Jan. 31.

Joan Cronk is a freelance reporter for the Herald.

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