(Click! proprietors Frances and John Smersh look into their new space from its rear “mezzanine”)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
By the time they closed its doors after a farewell toast, John and Frances Smersh had nicknamed their original Click! Design That Fits location in the Admiral District “Click! Classic.”
Sunday was the last day their home accents/jewelry/more store (a longtime WSB sponsor) was open at the “classic” location. They are working now to finish their new West Seattle Junction space in hopes of a “soft open” this Friday – the sixth anniversary of the day they opened “Click! Classic” – with an official “grand opening” celebration planned for October 16.
One night last week, we met with Frances and John to check out the construction at the new Click! space (4540 California SW, vacated just a month ago when Friends and Company consolidated its operations on the Eastside).
Though there was much to be done when we visited, they said work was moving fast, and showed us some of the unique features of the new space, which appealed to them because they needed more room – they’re wistful about leaving Admiral, but they’d just outgrown the space. It’s been a fast turnaround to The Junction, but they said there was really no other way to do it – holiday prime time for retailers is just around the corner.
A bigger space means more merchandise. In addition to their own Smersh Design Jewelry, featuring Frances’ creations, they will add more jewelers, phased in once they’re settled, like Daphne Olive‘s laser-cut bamboo, and Sarah Loertscher‘s silver creations, among others. They expect to have more room for furniture, too, though they stress they are NOT turning into a furniture store.
“We’re not going to do sofas and dining room tables,” John promised. “It’s all about home accents, more lighting options …
The process of remodeling itself has had its fun moments as well as hard work. A small door into the front display-window space on the south side of the store (to the left of the double doors, in the photo above) has been nicknamed the “robot door” – they laugh while trying to explain, that’s because a friend suggested someone could squeeze through it and show off in the window, doing a robot dance.
They’ve taken photos along the way – John reviewed some of them on a laptop while we were there. Most memorable – finding traces of old signs covered up by newer ones:
(Photo courtesy John Smersh)
While the space itself looked sweeping – before shelving and other furnishings moved in, while even the floor was only half done last week – it’s also got more than a few nooks and crannies in the same vein as the “robot door,” such as a long, narrow passageway in back. The wide-open areas will be in the spotlight, however, including one section of wall that’ll be painted brown, to showcase glassware; other walls have been painted a less-colorful shade, so the merchandise steals the show.
They reiterate that they’ll miss Admiral, including their “most awesome” landlord, whom they recommend highly, for anyone interested in their old space. And they are thrilled with the reaction they say they’ve gotten from their new Junction neighbors, the same way they also are excited to be celebrating their sixth anniversary in business as they flourish despite the economic challenges of recent years. “On a personal level, we’re so grateful” for customers’ support, Frances says. In a reversal of what some brick-and-mortar businesses say happens to them, John says some customers tell them they browsed to choose/research an item online, but then come to Click! to buy it, declaring, “we want to buy it from YOU.”
The Smershes shop local, too – including, when possible, sourcing merchandise, like South Park-based urbancase, whose proprietor is helping get their new space in shape – and hope that what they offer will entice you to keep doing the same. Frances is introducing a new line of jewelry as they move into their new space, the Tattoo Collection. “A little more design-based” than her previous work, John explains – “her first new body of work in several years,” following their decision to move her studio out of the Click! retail space, even before they hatched the plan to move said retail space a couple miles south.
At the moment, though, the biggest “body of work” for the co-proprietors is the new shop, and getting through the finishing touches, so again, they’re closed through Thursday this week, before the aforementioned “soft open” planned on Friday. We’ll have an update if anything changes – and you can also watch the Click! Design That Fits website, the Click! Facebook page, and Twitter account.
Mark your calendar for upcoming events such as the October 16th formal “grand opening” – including appetizers by Fresh Bistro, Frances notes – and then other events in the fall, including West Seattle author Kim O’Donnel‘s apppearance on November West Seattle Art Walk night, Nov.. 11th.