After 38 years in Edmonds, Sound Styles to close March 31

Sound Styles at 5th and Main in downtown Edmonds. (My Edmonds News file photo)

Sound Styles, a women’s apparel and accessory boutique in downtown Edmonds, will be closing its doors for good on March 31. 

“It is bittersweet to be closing after the best year the store has ever had,” said owner Jenny Murphy. “But it is time”.

The mother/daughter team of Dolores Bjorback and Jenny Murphy opened Sound Styles at 102 1/2 5th Ave. N. in 1985 with a plan to “try it” for three years and then reevaluate. Murphy had previously worked for 10 years at Nordstrom and Bjorback simply wanted something fun to do. After three years, the team was just getting the “hang of things” so they decided to sign a lease for three more. A line of credit also needed to be repaid, so quitting was not an option.  

“I remember we had a $30,000 line of credit with a local bank and we borrowed $27,000-plus to purchase product and remodel our original space that was then occupied by Lady Haberdasher (now Pelindaba Lavender),” Murphy said. The first month’s sales produced a mere $3,000 back when rent was only $600 a month.  

Sound Styles was a family affair. Dad Ollie helped with the computer and wrote the quarterly newsletter, brother Kris did the window displays, Dolores did the books and Jenny was main salesperson and merchandiser. Mother and daughter traveled to Dallas, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco and downtown Seattle together to attend seasonal trade shows, where they viewed apparel choices they later placed orders for.

With the line of credit paid in full, in 1993 Sound Styles had an opportunity to move to its present location on the northeast corner of Fifth and Main, a space at the time occupied by Peggy Harris Gift Shop. The duo went back to the local bank to reestablish the line of credit.

“Didn’t take very long to pay the line of credit off the second time,” recalled Murphy. “Things were really starting to roll then.”

Sales continued to grow, websites were built, social media was established, online bill paying became the norm, newspaper columns were written and a store blog was put in place to connect regularly with customers. 

“There was always, and still is, so much to learn,” Murphy said. “Sound Styles has been a fabulous teacher for me. Not only have I learned how to embrace change, do business with integrity and make tough decisions, I’ve been able to do it in my hometown of Edmonds, a community I love, with some really special women — customers and employees alike.” One of those special women, Murphy said, was her mom, who recently passed away at 93, having worked until she was 88 years old.

A store closing sale begins Thursday, Feb. 9. Everything is for sale — furniture, fixtures and display items as well as clothing and accessories. Discounts for all clothing and accessories will start at 20% off and all else will be cash only.

Store hours are Monday thru Saturday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. The store is closed Sundays.

 

    1. Agreed . More bars, nail salons, pizza… Nothing useful and serviceable gir us to shop in our hometown. I have heard it said, Edmonds is the new walkable streets to over imbibe on. Sad to hear. Hope for another wonderful clothing store for women and daughters to shop together. A Day in Edmonds ‼️‼️‼️‼️ or Kris can take it over ❣️❣️

  1. sad to see you go. We have enjoyed your window displays. There is always a great find or something to see in your shop.

  2. It would be so nice to have a fabric/crafting store in Edmonds again. Since the pandemic, people have taken up sewing, knitting, quilting, and made a general return to the creative side of life. This would fit in perfectly with all of the artistry that dwells in our town. It would be wonderful to have higher quality products than what Joann and Hobby Lobby offer.

    1. I love your idea. It would bounce off Art Spot nicely too. Multi media Art is hot everywhere. Classes could even be offered. I would love to learn to crochet and make myself an nice Mohair Cardigan Sweater. Or Angora. Hand quilting was my grandmothers gig! As old fashioned as it may sound those old oak quilting frames with all the women and now men too sitting all around and gabbing away! I was there and watched and learned to hand quilt and all as a very young girl. It would tie in very nicely with the Arts in Edmonds. I think maybe they have enough restaurant now there?? Whatever. I like your idea. Quality merchandise is missing on the internet and in the box stores you are right about this Maret. Remember the awesome fabric store in Seattle years ago? Great spendy but beautiful fabrics.

      1. Deborah Arthur, there is a wonderful yarn shop, All Wound Up, in Perrinville. The gentleman who made the hand crafted wooden yarn spinner that used to be in the Spin A Yarn shop provided it to them when the Spin A Yarn Shop closed. Great people there.

    2. Hate to see it go but with people working from home and other clothing stores now in Edmonds it sure makes sense. BTW there’s a great and helpful yarn shop in Salish Crossing ” Stranded by the Sea”. Good luck Jenny on whatever you do next.

    3. If you haven’t been to the yarn shop in Perrinville, you need to go. They have beautiful high quality yarns, and have excellent knowledge in knitting & crochet. They can teach, answer questions, and they have social group knitting/crochet days/hours.

    1. This space is PRIME real estate and I am sure someone is going to jump on this in a heartbeat.
      I just hope it is somebody that does not already have a significant presence in downtown already (if you get my drift).
      The Garden Shop and now Sound Styles… Who is next?

    1. Thanks, Kim. I do love yarn. I will check them out. I am also a seamstress and quilter. Fabric is tough to buy on line because you can’t touch it, and see it in natural light. Joann and hobby lobby aren’t really fabric stores in my mind, and the quality just isn’t there. I used to be a manager for House of Fabrics. Sadly they went out of business a long time ago.

  3. Jenny, wishing you all the best in this new phase of your life. I have great respect for your leadership in the business community. Your presence will be missed!

  4. I am so sorry to see Sound Styles go. This shop has been a wonderful part of our community. Jenny and Dolores were always so welcoming and helpful. I loved the bulletin board with pictures of people who traveled places showing the clothes that they had purchased at Sound Styles. I even contributed a picture. I know Jenny has been active in the Downtown Association helping to give Edmonds that small town feel. It’s wonderful to go into Sound Styles and be called by my name, something that doesn’t happen in very many places these days. I wish Jenny the best as she goes forward with new adventures and hope a shop as wonderful and active in our community as Sound Styles takes over the location.

  5. Please, please … not another restaurant or hair/nail salon. Does anybody see an opportunity for a Little People clothing store?

  6. I will sorely miss seeing Shelley Simmons’s creative window designs – always design-driven, eclectic and thought-provoking, they have truly added to the charm of the downtown core.
    Best wishes to Jenny and all!

  7. Dear Jenny…

    Dolores was a special lady! So full of life and joy. I loved knowing her.

    Your business is such a testimony of persistence, patience, and, I am sure, lots of prayer. May your next season of life be as full as this one has.

  8. I am so sad to see Sound Styles closing!
    While I wish you the all the best Jenny, it is a big loss for the Edmonds community!
    Kathy Jones

  9. We’re having some big losses as Jenny, Todd (Bountiful Home) and Lily (Garden Gear) move on to retirement or other endeavors. All 3 stores have been so wonderful for many years. You will all be missed.

  10. I am very thankful to Jenny for the beautiful clothes and the wonderful job. I will really miss the store a lot. I wish Jenny a great retirement and a wonderful future. We need more clothing stores in Edmonds.

  11. Garden Gear is right next to Sound designs it could be one large retail space which would allow for more room for working and experimenting and room for sales of many items. I wish I could afford to have these spots lots of ideas for so many things that could be done. I am into re-purposing in a big way. I have done this all of my life. Repurposing is a great thing for the environment and thru our county there is much solid wood that can be bought at such a low price and turned into something completely different. Something that suits ALL. I have always wished we had a place like this to let our imaginations run wild. It does cut down on internet sales and issues with the boxes and all this type of thing we are trying so hard to eliminate. And it encourages buying local instead of over seas so much. Our box stores take care of that so we should balance it out better I think for the good of the planet and for the good of our minds. It also encourages face to face which I feel is very important too.

  12. Jenny,

    Your shop was my lifeline after I moved to the area from the Midwest in 1986. You and your mother dressed me with care. I will always think of you and your enterprise fondly. All best to you for where your special energy takes you in your next phase.

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