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Debbie Nordstrom modernizes the Bellevue antiques business
Debbie Nordstrom comes by her love of antiques honestly.
As a child, playing in the fields at her grandmother's place in Maple Valley, Nordstrom would drop everything at the sound of a bell. Mounted to the top of the farmhouse door, it rang whenever customers had come to buy antiques.
Back then of course, the store was a dusty barn and the customers were little old ladies trying to buy teacups.
When Nordstrom grew up, she would both carry on her grandmother's legacy – plus update it, a little.
Since opening Haystack Antiques in May, Nordstrom has drawn in clientele who she says come for the dust-free environment, the one-of-a-kind and re-finished or re-purposed items. The store is big enough to occupy customers for several hours, but not cluttered. Booths are laid out with style and new items daily.
"Maybe it's an old, galvanized square baking pan that now becomes that perfect little cookbook holder on your counter," she said.
Despite the name of her store, finding a worthwhile item isn't like finding a needle in a haystack. The 25 antique dealers hand-select a variety of different styles. There's even a wait list to be a Haystack dealer.
If shabby chic isn't a customer's thing, he or she can move on to upscale, fine furnishings for example.
The former real estate professional was inspired to open her business when she used to pick one day a month to go on an antique hunt, the quest to find unique, non-catalogue home furnishings.
Once she dropped the kids off at school, it was a mad dash for Snohomish, Arlington or Bellingham for the antique malls.
"I've always had a passion for that one, fantastic find, which you usually have to go through thousands of square feet of stuff to get to," she said.
Nordstrom aims to bring urban-dwelling antique lovers, such as herself, closer to home and cut down on time spent searching for that one fantastic find.
She said she has nothing against catalogues or big home furniture stores, but even Pottery Barn can mix-and-match the old and new.
“Wouldn’t it be great if that Pottery Barn couch was accented with a one-of-a kind pillow and root ball table which just knocked it out of park?"
Haystack Antiques is open from 10 a.m.-6p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m., Sunday at 144 105th Ave. NE, Bellevue, 425-455-1515, http://haystackantiques.com/.
Gabrielle Nomura can be reached at 425-453-4270.