Joyworks celebrates 35 years in business this month, and we caught up with the ladies to talk about their history and success!
How does a business adapt to changes in the economy and account for shifting demographics? These are some of the things we wanted to know when we sat down with Jana Johnson of Joyworks. Jana gave us some sound advice for new shop owners, and we also talked about some memorable trends through the years and some funny stories.
Joyworks actually began in Lake Stevens 35 years ago, when Clarice Johnson opened it up with a friend, Sue Johnson. Joyworks moved to the Marks Building in Snohomish, and finally occupied the current location. The original storefront was on the corner of Avenue A and First Street before growing to occupy three storefronts. Sue was eventually bought out, and daughters, Jana and Amy have worked with Clarice to make Joyworks what it is today.
The three really have the details down to a science with Jana and Clarice traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada to the apparel show and Atlanta, Georgia to the home decor show each year. Amy focuses on the fashion end of Joyworks making sure to offer styles of clothing for all ages, while Clarice and Jana focus on home decor, but if you’ve ever been into Joyworks, you know that everybody is helpful and kind and willing to help you find just what you need.
Joyworks was really a front runner in the early days as one of the only craft stores around. Here you could purchase your ribbons and trimmings, as well as handcrafted items from brands like Bunnies By the Bay. Clarice began making dried flower crafts and selling them at street fairs in the 1970’s, and after opening in Snohomish began to establish Joyworks as a resource for crafters. Over the years Joyworks has grown to include clothing and housewares, and anyone who shops there knows their inventory is vast and beautiful. Even the basement is categorized and decorated by color, offering something for anyone.
CHANGES IN ECONOMY
Creating a successful long-standing business isn’t easy, especially when shifts in economy and demographics change, but Joyworks has managed to do this by being thrifty, offering amazing value at good prices and knowing their market. When the economy took a nosedive in 2009, Joyworks recognized that people were shifting buying habits from home decor, a luxury in many cases to clothing. So they increased their inventory of clothes at a price point that made it affordable for women to purchase a new outfit without feeling like they broke the bank.
Remember the Beanie Baby craze of the 90’s? Joyworks would have boxes of Beanie Babies shipped to the shop and rolled down the side of the building so people wouldn’t see. Then the customers would line up out the door just waiting to get their hands on some. They were so popular customers were only allowed to buy one so there would be enough to go around. One customer donned a hat and sunglasses to disguise herself and got right back in line for a second one! Now of course, the current trends are lace camis, boot toppers and lacey socks. Joyworks has them all!
The ladies from Joyworks really work hard to offer original items. Jana is also a painter and her work can be found in the shop and printed on towels. They also have vendors who make signs and other things just for Joyworks. Jana says, “Be original, be considerate and roll with the punches when things change.” They are always refining their items, researching trends in fashion and decor and making the shopping experience a fun one. Their attention to the customers is one of the things that keep people coming back. They have customers spanning life experiences from having a baby to that baby getting married!
“We are so blessed to be able to do what we love and share it with our customers! A big thank you to all of our customers and friends who have supported us through the years,” said Jana.
KEEP UP WITH JOYWORKS
Jana writes a popular blog called Shopgirl and can be found here. She loves to write about DIY projects she’s doing, and share images of holiday parties, new items, etc. They can also be found on social media down below.
Thank you Joyworks for keeping our community in vintage style!
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