Crazy – this June marks Harrison’s 12th year in Poulsbo! This anniversary brings us to a total Family Ownership of shoe stores to 32+ years. It’s hard to believe that this much time has passed!
A bit of Harrison’s History:
My Father, Jon Harrison opened the 1st Harrisons in 1984, with a partner, located in Seattle. His career path uniquely took him through most job avenues of the shoe industry including Sales Rep and Shoe Buyer for Nordstrom back in their glory days of shoe dominance. As you may guess I learned quite a bit from him, particularly being partially homeschooled and spending many, many days at work with him in our original store up on “Pill Hill” as a youngster. Initially, my dad chose to take more of a medical approach towards the Poulsbo stores opening. We rolled with that template for some time, but slowly the business changed and morphed into more of a local community destination for running, hiking, casual and everyday work shoes for men and women. Always with quality, comfort, and support in mind with a strong medical understanding (we receive medical referrals daily). In time, we’ve managed to spread our selection out to appeal to a broader group of folks who appreciate a higher quality and a functional product that doesn’t look too frumpy. I would like to thank Europe for this! They’ve stuck to their quality and comfort consistently instead of following many of the American companies which seem to have chosen short term profits over long term success and survival. Quality wins!
Due to these European Companies attention to detail (as well as a few great U.S. companies), we have been able to grow the brand assortment offered in our store to around 30 brands. We have also been able to offer a greater selection of footwear in widths and have enhanced the selection with soft, comfy product by Pikolinos and Olukai which offer nice support and soft plush leather uppers but in a more stylish and visually appealing manner than some of the stouter brands.
Most importantly Harrison’s team has enjoyed growing with this community and growing friendships within our community. I was just thinking yesterday that I’ve known many of our customers now for 12 years thanks to my job. I’ve made friends of all ages and types, friends that I enjoy seeing and speaking to in Central Market, Safeway, Costco, on the golf course, farmers market, coffee shops, hardware stores, on the ferry, at a baseball game and even my doctors. Amazingly and thankfully we are appreciated by customers. In this world of online shopping, Facebook, texting, etc., I find great merit in the actual face to face, eye to eye relationships we’ve developed over time. These relationships are part of what makes a community whole and one of the many reasons I appreciate this neck of the woods as customers are supportive and appreciative of local businesses and I’ve noticed our community does make an effort to shop and support local little shops like ours. Thanks so much for the support and we’ll see you around town.