By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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Come next month, however, the couple will close the doors on their Hallmark store in the Washington Plaza, 680 W. Washington St, where they’ve been for the past 15 years, for good.
The couple owned and operated Hallmark stores in Sequim and Port Angeles for the past 37 years, dispensing friendship along with cards, holiday ornaments and a wide variety of keepsakes from Phillips Hallmark.
“We’ve really enjoyed this business,” Willa Phillips said.
“We’ve been through a lot with our customers, and we’ve really gotten to be good friends with a lot of them.”
Willa said the store’s lease runs out at the end of February. They will likely stay open until Valentine’s Day, she said.
Until then, every holiday will be celebrated inside the store, with special items for Christmas, Mother’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day all out for sale on the floor.
Even the fixtures and shelving will be up for sale, Willa said.
Technology has made it easier to contact loved ones, Willa said, reducing the need for the greeting cards that line the rows and rows of shelving inside the Phillips’ store.
“People buy less cards,” Willa said. “Now, they connect over the Internet or through text messages.”
The “devoted customers” that have frequented the Phillips’ store now will have travel to Poulsbo to pick up the franchise’s trademark keepsake ornaments and Precious Moments figurines.
Customers will be able to redeem their rewards cards at other Gold Crown Hallmark stores, Willa said.
The Phillips have five employees who will be out of work when the store closes.
Before their 15 years in Sequim, the Phillips had a Hallmark store in downtown Port Angeles for 22 years.
“It’s the economy. I don’t know if it’s following us or what,” Willa said.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.