When asked what she sells at The Pink Chandelier, owner Letha Grapenthin glanced around her new shop.
“Everything lovely,” she said.
That’s how Grapenthin described the home decor and gifts in the The Pink Chandelier, a business she opened in downtown Puyallup in August.
“People who come in are looking for feel-good treasures,” Grapenthin said.
From candles to slippers, tea cups to jewelry, The Pink Chandelier has it. Grapenthin runs the store with close friend Mary Worthington, who is manager of the shop. The two just recently decorated the shop in time for the holidays.
“They’re in awe when they first come in,” Worthington said about her customers.
A Puyallup resident, Grapenthin said she remembered loving pink and glitzy things growing up.
“Anything pretty, anything lovely, that was my thing,” Grapenthin said. Some of the products in her shop are even adorning mini tiaras. “Everything with me has to have bling.”
Grapenthin and her husband own real estate, and for more than 30 years, Grapenthin ran her own catering and event planning business.
She also worked at The Exhibitors Boutique & Trellis Cafe on South Hill for 21 years. That’s where she met Mary, who worked there for 17 years. There, they developed their passion for all things “lovely.”
“We used to have coffee on Thursdays and dream about our own place,” Worthington said.
When Grapenthin’s son bought the building in downtown Puyallup, she saw the opportunity to start her own shop. She chose to name the shop The Pink Chandelier, after her favorite color. Sure enough, a pink chandelier painted by her friends at The Exhibitors Boutique & Trellis Cafe hangs in the center of the ceiling at the shop — but it’s not for sale.
For months after the purchase of the building, Grapenthin and Worthington prepared the shop at the corner of 121 W Meeker to open. It was formerly the home of Baskets & Things, a flower and gift shop that had been closed for some time. While the two were cleaning up outside, they found a patch of old pink cement. It felt like a good sign.
On the inside, Grapenthin wanted to make sure the space was open, inviting and accessible.
One woman in a wheelchair was emotional when she entered the shop. She appreciated how she could easily enter and maneuver herself around.
“She said, ‘For 11 years or so all I’ve done is window shop (in Puyallup) because I couldn’t come in,’” Grapenthin recalled. She still visits from time to time.
Since they opened, the store has been busy, Grapenthin said. She finds that many of her customers come in to shop during lunch breaks, or to just relax. It’s exactly what Grapenthin wants — for them to feel comfortable. She provides her customers with coffee or hot cider as they browse. The Pink Chandelier also provides gift wrapping for its customers and free candy for children.
“We’re trying to bring back the customer service that’s been lost,” Grapenthin said. “Just those little details that people love that stores don’t do anymore.”
Customers can also visit with the shop’s three zebra finches, Chanel, Dior and Coco, which were named by one of the customers when the shop first opened.
“We have had so much support from the community,” Worthington said.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better place,” Grapenthin added.