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Art & Culture Center of Whidbey Island

Langley – Wish By The Sea

Author: Langley Chamber of Commerce

Date:

Howdy! Our names are Rachel and Lindsay and we are the owners of Wish by the Sea, a gift shop full of country and

Howdy! Our names are Rachel and Lindsay and we are the owners of Wish by the Sea, a gift shop full of country and coastal home decor, vintage, re-purposed and whimsical gifts. We also carry a variety of local, artisan-made one of a kind treasures.

As sisters, we dreamed about owning a gift shop for longer than we can remember. Dreaming came naturally in our family, as our mom always talked about her different business/plans at the dinner table. We remember when she decided to turn one of her many dreams into a reality and started her own gourmet soup line. Her small soup line grew into a brick and mortar soup kitchen where we spent many after-school hours (voluntarily or involuntarily) on the soup line making the gourmet soups. Our family worked hard to support the business and stayed positive through the bumps and bruises, of which there were many!

Dreams changed when our mom became sick and was ultimately diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. After our mom passed away, dreams of a gift store didn’t surface as often in our conversations. Here and there the thoughts would surface, but without our mom involved in the process, if felt like something was missing.

We both went about our paths in different career directions. Lindsay taking the artistic and creative side, and Rachel focusing on the operations of a business: accounting, HR, taxes, etc. ultimately leading her to the Pacific Northwest. Along the way, we both realized something was missing and started having

conversations again about owning our very own gift store. Through our many late-night phone calls

(Lindsay was still in Utah), it felt almost disrespectful to not pursue our dreams when our mom sacrificed so much to pursue hers.

As the conversations intensified and geography now being an issue (Lindsay in Utah where we grew up and Rachel in Seattle), the urgency to make a change in life became stronger and stronger. Rachel ended up moving to Whidbey Island to start exploring a different path and Lindsay immediately came out for a visit. While on the Island for a week, she decided to uproot her entire life and subsequently moved her family out to the Island. Lindsay, being very in tune with energies and her dreams, realized the magic that Whidbey held within one week (really it was about one hour). She wandered Langley that first week and came to the same conclusion as Rachel, my new home is here.

Within a few weeks, Lindsay and her family were now on Whidbey Island and ready for an adventure. An adventure that ultimately led to a part-time job at a little shop on 1st Ave in Langley, called Wish. Lindsay adored the store and showed her passion for the treasures in the store daily. Rachel visited often and eventually the conversations started down the path of “what if this place was out gift store?” To our surprise, Susie and Chet, the previous owners, decided it was time to recognize different dreams in their future and decided to pass along their priceless treasure, Wish. Sometimes, we wonder if our conversations and dreams manifested our gift store or if our mom really is still a part of our dreams and plays a bigger hand in things. We hope it is both options….

Well, we are now 9 months in and loving it! Sure, we’ve had nights where we stared at each other and wondered what we got ourselves into. Whoever said owing a small business was easy, was so very wrong. Actually, we don’t think anyone said that since it is hard, like really hard. You crunch the numbers so many ways until the numbers are no longer numbers, you stay up late hours counting inventory and you wish for more hours in the day to source more and more cool artists for the store.

Luckily, you meet amazing people along the way, your voice counts and if you are really lucky, you get to do this with your best friend.

We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity Susie and Chet gave us, our mom’s passionate drive always telling us to do whatever it is your soul yearns to do, and our family’s support through all the twisted roads that led us to Whidbey Island. It’s been 14 years since our mom passed away, and we know if she was still with us, she would be our best repeat customer. Well, she would most likely be running circles around us…she truly was a magician with operations! In her honor, we will be donating a percentage of our profits to The ALS Association on 5/18 and every year going forward.

If this adventure leads to different roads and paths, as so many adventures do….we know for certain, that sometimes you simply have to jump, no matter how scary it may feel. Our mom always said, “Just remember who you are and where you came from, and you won’t lose your way. You can do anything!”

We hope along your travels, you find yourself on the Tokitae ferry heading to Whidbey Island. When you do, make sure to stop in Langley and visit us on 1st Street. We would love to share stories about our magical home and hear all about your dreams.

 

Wish By the Sea

Rachel Jeppeson & Lindsay Sorenson

208 First Street, Langley   206-221-4969

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