It was time.
Don’t blame the recession and don’t blame the continuing major street repairs in front of the store.
“I just figured it was time,” said Rondi Boskovich on Wednesday morning, the day she began a “Good Buy” goodbye sale at Jasminka, the Proctor District clothing store she founded in 1983.
The name of the store came from the name of a Croatian cousin of Boskovich’s husband, and the idea for the store came from a love of fabric.
“I’ve always been interested in natural-fabric clothing,” Boskovich said.
She earned a degree in clothing and textiles at Washington State University.
“I knew I always wanted to have my own business,” she said.
She finally decided to make that particular dream come true. She remembers the day.
It was time.
“It hit me like a brick,” she said. “January 15, 1983. I put my head on the pillow and ‘goy-yoy-yoing.’ I knew it was time. I started telling people so I wouldn’t change my mind.”
She opened the store a few months later.
“This is who I am,” she said, surrounded by cotton, silk, rayon and wool; by blouses, coats, dresses and scarves, and jewelry; by thousands of colors and many depths of texture; and by customers she has known for decades.
“It’s not an easy decision to make. I knew I couldn’t do it forever,” she said.
This week, everything in the store has been marked down 20 percent.
“I own the building,” Boskovich said. “That’s my retirement.”
She decided not to sell the business. If somebody bought it and failed, she knew she’d feel bad. If somebody bought it and did better than she did, she’d wonder what she did wrong.
Pat Shuman of Tacoma has been a customer for at least 20 years.
“They’re friendly, fun,” she said. “I was bummed. I have an overriding concern that we’re losing two women’s clothing stores.”
Julie Schmidtke announced last month that she would be closing her store, Julia Ellen, after 15 years in the Proctor District.
Julia Ellen and Jasminka set a tone for the neighborhood, said Shuman.
Jasminka is “elegant and relaxed,” said a customer named Catherine. “Warm, welcoming. It’s like walking into an art museum.”
Hearing that, tears come to Boskovich.
“It’s gratifying,” she said.
She and her husband, who is also retiring, will travel, she said. She will also putter.
She hopes to lease the building. She isn’t sure who might be interested in starting a retail business.
“You’ve got to be young and naive to open up a store,” she said. “If you knew too much, you wouldn’t do it.”
C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535