The owner of a new Sixth Avenue boutique never abandoned her retail dreams.
Petal Home Gift Botanical, 2509 Sixth Ave., Suite B, in Tacoma, is the end result.
Jillian Fried has lived in various parts of the country and has spent the past 10 years in Tacoma. Fried says her new business started in her mind around age 20 in college.
“I’ve always wanted to have a boutique,” she said. “I had a jewelry-design business for many years, worked retail, merchandise, was a copy editor, volunteered in a lot of different places and just decided when I turned 50, I said, ‘You know what? I’m doing this because it’s time.’
“I would rather put all of my skills and all of my joy into my own business.”
Asked about what inspired the boutique’s name, Fried wrote via email: “Petal is just one part of a whole. I liked the idea that to have one solid entity, there are many pieces and parts that work together to create something beautiful.”
That is reflected in her range of curated merchandise, with about 95 percent being either handmade and/or local.
That inventory includes candles, succulent pots, Hilltop Artists’ glass, tagines (which look like a cone-shaped casserole dish) handcrafted jewelry, soaps, journals, pottery, towels and robes, tea towels with local designs, handmade bags and Johnson’s Chocolates. Fried has plans to add more.
She found the former garage space in July.
As she described it: “In the 1940s, the front of the building was an auto body store, and the owner used it for his cars. Years later, it became his office, but was still ‘a garage.’”
The site also has off-street parking.
With the help of a friend, she has transformed the space into her boutique and opened in November.
She also noted that most of what she used to set up shop was repurposed, given to her or found. A mirror was discovered in her alley, for example. She bought her shelving from another business owner who was going out of business. She replaced the garage door that used to be the entrance to the shop with a side-sliding door.
Overall, she said it took four months to convert the former garage into her own space. She’s not done, with plans for an open house in the spring (date still to be determined) and plans for hosting a book club, knitting class and community Sunday brunch.
It’s a long to-do list, but she sees Tacoma as a vibrant, growing community with Petal playing a key role.