Iconic toy store Wind Up Here will close Sunday after 20 years in downtown Olympia.
At the corner of Washington Street and Fifth Avenue, Wind Up Here was considered a top business for bringing families downtown.
However, doing business downtown became more financially difficult over the years, said owner Brekke Hewitt, who bought the store in 2007 with her mother. Hewitt expressed her gratitude for the store’s nine employees and hundreds of loyal customers. She said there is no plan to reopen.
“We can’t do it anymore,” said Hewitt, citing financial hardship. “We’re heartbroken to be leaving.”
The sudden announcement came as a surprise for customers who packed the 4,000-square-foot store all day Saturday. All items were discounted 40 percent. The checkout line meandered through the store as shoppers waited up to an hour alongside shelves that were being stripped bare.
Since 1993, Wind Up Here has sold classic toys, games, books and puzzles that can’t be found at big box retailers. Longtime customer Elinor Jordan lamented the loss while waiting to buy a Playmobil horse-barn play set, bouncy balls and glow-in-the-dark stars.
“It’s going to leave a big hole downtown,” said Jordan, noting some of the intelligent novelty toys at the store. “They had better quality ‘feel-good’ toys and good family games.”
Olympia resident Jane Boysen was joined by 11-year-old daughter Elizabeth, who has played with toys from the store her entire life.
“We are so sad about this,” said Boysen, with two full shopping bags sitting at her feet. “This is a big loss for downtown.”
Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869
Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869 or email@example.com