Category Archives: New Business

Blogs about new business opening in Shoreline

Have you found the bounty? It’s waiting for you.

The Bounty in Shoreline

When I think of the word bounty, the word harvest automatically pops into my mind.  I see a basket full of fresh produce with tomatoes, cucumbers, loaves of fresh bread, and a variety of other colorful items.   It’s the perfect name for one of Shoreline’s newest sit down coffee spots, The Bounty on 15th Ave in North City.  I remember stopping by there when it was Hotwire.  It was dingy but quaint spot back then and I’m sure if it were still here today, I would stop by there.

I recently went into The Bounty to interview Elena DeLisle-Perry and was happy to see how nicely the new owner has done remodeling the place.  It’s upscale and feels like it’s built to last a while without needing any repairs.  I personally like the stream of cars flowing past on 15th Ave, but James has some nice insulation in his shop, so the traffic isn’t bothersome.  I love the giant wood tables which ring of an old style tavern where you can sit with others, without them feeling like you’re intruding on their space.  All the same, I feel like in this place, customers want to be social.  While I sat waiting for my interview with James to start, a customer I’d never met struck up a conversation with me which lasted about 20 minutes.  I haven’t had an experience like that in a coffee shop in quite a while.

James is new to Shoreline as a business owner, but he grew up in Edmonds and went to college in Shoreline, so opening The Bounty is more like a welcome home.  The quintessential Seattleite, James grew up in coffee shops and opened his first coffee cart in the U district when he was still in his teens.  He talked his sister into buying a coffee cart on the Ave when he was 22 years old after deciding the traditional education route wasn’t his best subject.  He didn’t stop there though, he spent many years as a real estate agent, and almost 5 years ago, he opened a brick and mortar coffee shop in Wallingford.

His expansion plans kicked into high gear when Attorney Gary East (Who owns the building and is on my list of people I want to interview) approached him and asked if he would be interested in the space.  Apparently Gary’s vision for North City involved having a coffee shop in this location.

The North City area is as much “downtown Shoreline” as the Aurora corridor is. “It has that feeling like it’s changed and it’s going towards being a more walkable place, kinda  small business area” James tells me.  He also says there’s a 160 unit apartment building going up across the parking lot which he hopes will create a nice surge in foot traffic.

I felt quite at home sitting in The Bounty, so I asked James about the decor.  He did it himself.  James has done plenty of remodeling in his life, so he was able to see how to build it out to get the feeling he was looking for.  “My style is kinda laid back”, he says, and that comes across nicely in the layout.

I’m the first to admit, I’m not much of a coffee drinker.  I usually only have it when I’m really sleepy and I have to go out, but I drink plenty of tea and my 12 year old loves steamed vanilla soy milk, so I end up in coffee shops regularly.  The Bounty helps keep the Seattle Coffee/Live Music scene alive.  Thanks to James’ designing, the space is well laid out for a band, and he has been very supportive of local talent.

I know for me, until I had a chance to talk to James, to me The Bounty was a new coffee shop in a location I’d been to before.  But now, after hearing his story and meeting this humble guy who’s doing his best to bring something good to North City, I have to admit, I’m more drawn to the place.  There’s a magnetic connection between us as members of the community.  I know James wants his place to thrive, but he’s relying on us to give him feedback.

“One of the things I value most, the most important thing you can do is learn to know yourself, and I think I put a huge focus on that in my early 20’s and up until now, and that’s been the payoff for me;  Knowing my limitations, and knowing my strengths, and letting those work for you”.

I congratulate James on finding something he loves and making a life around it. If you’re feeling stuck, or need some new inspiration, stop by The Bounty.  While you’re there, have a seat at one of those oversize tables, say “Hi” to a stranger, and let it sink in.  You’ll find yourself in a place dreamed up by a guy who created a life of magic, community, and joy for himself, and in so doing, created a place for you to be who you truly are.


Silesia Guitars – A new addition that won’t string you along

I’ve got a soft spot for musicians, because my wife’s a singer, my son’s a metal guitar virtuoso, my other son plays drums, and I pluck an acoustic. My older one, the metal head, he’s 18 now, and has been saying for a few years that he wanted to work at Guitar Center when he was old enough. Ask him what he wants to do, and he’ll tell you he wants to build and fix guitars. For many parents, this might not sound like much of a profession, but I know the kind of time, effort, and craftsmanship (not to mention passion) a person needs to devote to doing such a thing is substantial.  I also believe in doing what you love. “Chasing money is never going to make you happy.  Do what you love”, I tell my kids.

From Wikipedia…”A luthier (/ˈluːtiər/ LOO-ti-ər)[1] is someone who makes or repairs lutes and other string instruments.”

We already know there are countless musicians in Seattle and guitar is among the most common instruments to play. What this tells me is there is a need for qualified guitar repair technicians. In most cases, the purchase of a guitar is a minimum of $200 for anything decent, and of course from there, the prices climb into the thousands. For serious students, something like a buzzing fret or a scratchy pickup can be more than just annoying, it can be a hindrance to playing. That’s where this story starts.

If you’ve recently been to The Crest Theater, or driven through the intersection of 165th and 5th in Shoreline, you might have seen a new shop has opened up where the barber shop used to be. That space is now inhabited by Dagna of Silesia guitars. Besides being a skilled bassist, Dagna graduated from the Roberto Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix and has been practicing her craft for about 15 years. Now that Guitarville has moved out of Shoreline from where it used to live on 15th Ave, I think Dagna’s is one of only two shops in Shoreline doing guitar setups and repairs.

Silesia Guitars

One of Shoreline’s newest additions

She graduated high school and was living in Sweden. She’d always wanted to do something with her hands and was already a bass player. Dagna knew she had to do something, and this was still staying in the music business. Since she only moved here recently, she hasn’t entirely found her roots in our community yet, but she’s looking forward to meeting people and getting more involved.

She used to run the Kirkland Parson’s guitar shop and also had a space “in a dungeon” for a while before she opened Silesia Guitars. Now some of her customers are returning from her past, and some neighbors are stopping by to see who the new tenant is.

When I walked in the door, I could feel good things brewing in there. It has the delightful aroma of a shop, but with the added scenery of several gorgeous guitars here and there. Like a small assembly line, Dagna grabs her next patient off the rack and places it on her work bench. She has every tool she needs, and all the spare parts to boot. But tuning and fixing guitars isn’t all she does, She also knows how to do inlays into the fret board, replace pickups, and pretty much anything else you can think of doing to a guitar.

When she’s not in the shop, you’ll find her poised behind her bass, in her rock band called “The People Now”. She says they are one of the only bands in Seattle doing surround sound at their shows. Although Dagna’s a bass player, she’s learned how to play guitar over the years. If you’re not following me, bass is a type of guitar, but typically when someone says they play “guitar”, they mean one of those 6 stringed things. There’s an acoustic guitar like James Taylor or Dave Matthews plays, and then there’s an electric guitar, think Hendrix or Santana. A bassist meanwhile, plays a bass guitar, which can have more than 4 strings, but most commonly has only 4. Since Dagna plays bass, she doesn’t consider herself a guitar player, but I’m pretty sure she’s a heck of a lot better at guitar than she lets on. When it comes to being a luthier though, she can fix anything, because she knows how things are supposed to sound.

Dagna Silesia

Besides tuning and repairing, she really enjoys doing inlays. Someone can take an outline they have and she can inlay it into the neck. “You can use different shells, like abalone or pearl, or even different colored woods or plastic; anything that comes in a sheet that can be cut.” She likes to tell people “bring in whatever picture you found that appeals to you and we’ll make it fit”.  If she had to say what her specialty is, “it’s inlay work and fretwork.  … anything that has to do with frets, replacing frets if they’re buzzing or if they’re worn out. I’m very meticulous; I always polish them to a very shiny, shiny gloss.”

Dagna’s not shy; rather she’s confident and willing to say what’s on her mind. She won’t hesitate to tell you what she’s thinking when it comes to your guitar. As far as my story goes, I’m not shy either. I’m an open book when it comes to my motivation for writing stories about people like Dagna.

If you pack up your $800 Martin guitar and drop it down at Guitar Center, first, they don’t really care. The luthier at Guitar Center couldn’t care less if you’re there or not, there’s plenty more where you came from. Second, the relationship you have with your GC tech doesn’t do anything to support your neighborhood. Guitar Center started as something small and wonderful, and today, is a great place to buy things, but they’re not a neighborhood business. The $100 or $200 you spend at GC to get your 12- string tuned up doesn’t do much for anyone, but at Silesia, it’s so much more.

Dagna didn’t make the decision to move her business to Shoreline lightly. She thought carefully, planned accordingly, and is now doing what she can to serve the needs of the people, your needs. She loves what she does, and she needs our support. Stop by and introduce yourself to her. Even if you don’t have a guitar, you know people who do. A gift certificate for a guitar tuning at Silesia Guitars makes a great gift and supports your community. Support local businesses.

Silesia Guitars Map

Wallcotts – A ray of sunshine in the middle of Shoreline

When I was looking for my next interview, it wasn’t hard to see Wallcotts shining brightly from what used to be a state liquor store in the Gateway shopping plaza. One thing I’ve learned about spotting a jewel of a person is to look for something designed in a beautiful and creative way. I first noticed this when at the Oregon Country Fair. I discovered that when an artist has art I like, I’ll probably like the person, because that’s how they feel on the inside. It’s just a theory, but it seems true so far. Next time you’re out, look for a business that’s beautiful to you. Chances are, you’ll like the people inside too.

Louise Frias who has designed and created Wallcotts to be a reflection of her was an absolute charm to talk to. If you’re a local artist and you haven’t stopped in to see her, it’s time you did. More than half of her inventory is from local artists, and she’s constantly on the hunt for more. If it were up to her, I think she’d want it to be 100%. After 25 years in Retail, and travelling all over the world in operations and merchandising, she was ready to bring her talents back to Shoreline. She loves Gateway Plaza. She says they appreciate art in Shoreline, and the Shoreline Arts Council wants the businesses to participate. “Shoreline just felt right” She says.

Wallcotts owner Louise Frias

She loves when customers come in and are in awe. “They love that it’s affordable, and they’re surprised how affordable it is! “ To bring more awareness, and to promote creative talent, she reaches out to local neighborhood associations, “We’re new to the area. We have a unique gift store and are reaching out to inspire local artists. We’re promoting creative talent in any way we can.” Wallcotts has classes every Sunday in their workshop, although Louise is hoping to increase the number of days because Sundays are currently booked into February.
She says it’s a delicate balance. She doesn’t want to carry items that are too high in price, nor does she want to have to little of a collection. Since Wallcotts is only 4 months new, her inventory is constantly growing and changing, meaning you can find something new each time you visit.

She’s got a great sense of humor, and says her passion is art. She really wants to connect with local artists, and for the most part, she says has a wide appreciation. “The whole idea of having local artists here is to help the starving artists, because there’s not a whole lot out there for them. Whereas the galleries charge 50% for the most part, we are offering 25%.” Louise points out several artists who didn’t fit their parameters, but because she wanted to help the community, she took on their work anyway. Louise says “If they have wonderful work, we’re not going to turn them away.”

Wallcotts Sign
From the sign to the flow of the store, Louise designed it all. “What I wanted was a feel of my favorite place in the whole world, which was growing up in a cottage with my grandmother and my family. Wallcotts is the first golden retriever; my aunt’s dog was Wallcott. She told me it meant Cottage Lover. I wanted the feel of warm comfortable cottage, the place you go to when you want to get away from everything. I wanted it to have that feel of something special”.

Wallcotts color burst

I could really feel the impact of color and the vibrant accessories stood out in a color coordinated rainbow sort of flow. It felt bright and clean and fun the second I walked in the door. If you are interested in appreciating color and artwork, Wallcotts definitely fits the bill. You’ll always get a warm greeting, and if it’s your first visit, Louise or her staff know every artist and can talk quite a bit about each piece. One example is that they carry material goods items which are a well-known Seattle brand started by Lauren Burman. Lauren started Material Good as a way to honor her grandmother who had been diagnosed with cancer.


Louise thinks it’s important to tell people about the art, because it’s hard to know the story when you’re just walking by. On many items, there is a tag or a flyer telling you about the artist and their work. She even has a couple of her own pieces on the wall.
I could tell from the first smile she flashed at me, this woman has a big heart and she truly cares about what she does. It’s not just a job to her, it’s her life. She made her store beautiful, because that’s what she sees when she looks onto the world.

Material Goods

Material Goods

The way I describe her business is an upscale Pier1, but owned locally, supporting local arts, and with reasonable prices. If you truly care about your community, you’ll stop by Wallcotts, and you’ll tell your friends to stop there too, because Louise is exactly the type of business owner we want in our city. If you’ve read some of my other interviews, you’ve already read how I feel about the subject of supporting local business. While writing for is a new role for me in the community, talking about self-employment is not.

The reason I write is because I believe in you. My vision is that people care about the survival of businesses in their community. It’s not enough for a business to just turn on their open sign either, business owners need to know how to reach and listen to their customers. Louise is in her startup phase, which is a critical time for a business. You have the power to help her be successful. Stop by and see her.
Wallcotts is on the web at
And in real life at:
18336 Aurora Avenue Ste. 105
Shoreline, WA 98133
PHONE: (206) 629-5170 HOURS
Mon-Sat: 10am – 8pm
Sunday: 11am – 6pm CRM for automated small business support

About the business

Rhapidpro is a customer relationship manager (CRM).  it’s a way for business owners to keep track of who they talk to and it also automates the process of following up.  It’s actually just one in a series of CRM and business related websites I operate.  If you are familiar with Salesforce, Zoho, or Constant Contact, you’re probably familiar with CRM’s.  I’ve used all of them, and was not satisfied.  They were either too expensive, too cumbersome, or just didn’t have the features I needed.  I built Rhapidpro specifically to help small business owners make money by being able to close deals.

About the owner

Meet me, Russ.  I’ve been working on building businesses for nearly two decades.  I’ve worked in sales, marketing, operations, finance, technology, and HR.  In the past few years, I’ve been in the software business, and I use this as a way to connect with business owners.

I’m starting the new year off by doing a community service project called Project888.  The goal is to help 888 people start businesses that make a difference in the community as well as having it be something they love.  I don’t charge for this.  It’s just my way of giving back.  I’m curently concentrating on North Seattle and South Snohomish County, although I’ll likely have to expand to Seattle as word gets out.  The site is at


Winding Willow School of Shoreline; A Waldorf inspired preschool

Winding Willow School of Shoreline

About the school

Founded on the principles of Waldorf Education, we nurture and teach young hearts and minds through song, story, play, and imagination. Located near lower Paramount Park, where we love to explore, our school is a wonderland for children. From gardening and playing in our natural digging pit, to our outdoor clay oven and wildlife sanctuary, we bring magic to your child’s life each and every day.

About the teacher

Meet Aureole (pronounced like the bird Oriole). An aureole is the halo around the moon. But, in our case, Aureole is our lead teacher. Full of light and love, she sings to your children throughout the day in english and spanish. Aureole has spent many years training in the style of Waldorf Education. She is loved by the parents, and adored by the children.

This school is one of my favorite businesses in Shoreline, not only because my wife owns the business, but also because of the tremendous amount of love and compassion she teaches the children throughout the day.  While it’s only in it’s first year, the Winding Willow School is well on it’s way to becoming one of Shoreline’s treasures.

Getting off on the right foot

I don’t care what anybody says, making money and being happy in self employment is hard work.  It’s hard physically and mentally.  If you’re not feeling exhausted by the stress and the endless list of things to do, then you’re probably not going to make it in self employment, at least not the level you see possible for yourself. This is a game for people who are serious about getting somewhere in their business career.

I’ve been self-employed since 2002.  No health insurance unless I paid for it.  No leads unless I generated them.  No paycheck unless I collected the money.  No ability to buy food for my family or presents for my kids unless I made more than enough money than my business costs to run.  I had to learn everything; computers, marketing, sales, HR, operations, legal issues, scheduling, dealing with utilities, contracts, lawsuit, both for and against, PR, tax filings, audits, licensing, the list goes on and on.

I haven’t been fortunate enough to have a chunk of money handed to me at the right time to allow me to hire professionals to do these things for me, and you probably don’t either.  If you’re thinking of cashing in your 401K to start an interior design business, don’t do it without talking to me first.  Bootstrapping is one thing, but spending your money to go into business without having someone who’s done it already looking over your plan is just plain stupid.  You’re not smarter than everyone else.  Your brains are not going to prevent you from making the same mistakes that we who have been there have made.

Your only hope is to slow down and ask for coaching.  Notice, I said coaching, not help, not advice, not guidance.  Coaching!  That means you choose someone you believe in, who can guide you properly, and you do what they say, trusting that they’ll get you where you want to go.  When you start analyzing whether you like what you’re being told and then you take some and leave others, like cafeteria style, you’re not in a coaching agreement, and most likely, you’re going to fail.

Being successful in self-employment is challenging, but it’s entirely possible for just about everyone.  Don’t be discouraged by this, but be aware of where you aren’t looking.  I’m not a coach, I’m a leader.  I can show you where the path is, and I can show you how I got onto the path.  I cannot get you there without you doing the steps, and neither can anyone else.  No book, no website, no video, no seminar, webinar, and nobody can get you there.  It’s on you friend.  We’re just a support system.  We can be the vehicle, but you’ve gotta push the gas.  We can be the words, but you have to listen.  If you don’t have the drive, ambition, determination, and mental fortitude to take your own life into your own hands and make of it what you desire, then don’t start your business until you do.  The support system can get you to that point, but none of us can hold your hand the entire time.  You, and only you, are the engine.  Not your family, not your friends, and not any of us.

And, now that I’ve said all that, here are some of the things I recommend.  The order is not as important as making sure you do all of them

1. listen to Jim Rohn’s “the power of ambition”

2. listen to Michael Gerber’s “Take charge of your business and your life”

3. Listen to or read “The Go Giver”

4. Create your goals list using either Jim Rohn’s strategy or Scott Fox’s strategy from Click Millionaire

5. Register for the next Millionaire Mind Intensive that comes near your home town.  Don’t pay for any of their other courses just yet.  For now, just go to the free one and then take some time to be clear what your next move is.  The enthusiasm they get you to generate is important.

6. Read Rich Dad Poor Dad

7. Play the Cashflow game at least once

8. Learn some form of martial arts and/or start meditating. I think both is best.

9. Do the landmark Forum.  It will help you get out of your own way in life.

10.  Write your life story.  Having to articulate how you got to where you are is the absolute best way to see where to go next and what you need to do.

In 2014, I’m going to help 888 people start businesses doing something they love that also makes a difference in the community. I’m not charging for this, it’s my community project.  For more information, go to

Success can be yours, but remember, that doesn’t always mean money

Russ Shulman

Rhapid Results