In the 2011 “Best of Renton” contest held by the Renton Reporter, members of the community voted the “Best Gift / Specialty Shop in Renton” for the 3rd straight year, and the owner, was voted “Best Volunteer.” I thought it would be nice to get to know this hometown superstar a little better...
KB: What do you like best about having a shop in downtown Renton (aka DTR)?
MC: I love being in my shop everyday and seeing all my costumers and people throughout the community who stop by to chat and catch up on what's going on around town. I feel like people come to shop, chat, and feel a sense of community. It's the best.
KB: What changes have you seen occur in DTR since you opened happy delusions?
MC: We are definitely an older area, and I've seen a revitalization of young people moving into the area and starting their own shops, and making a point to do things locally.
KB: How is happy delusions different than other gift shops?
MC: We're different because almost all the money made here goes straight back into the community. When you buy from happy delusions you are supporting real people from your community. It's a great feeling.
KB: What items are customers most drawn to?
MC: Jewelry is always a big seller here, and items for kids. People come here when they want something unique. I love it when customers tell me they come here for all their gifts because they know the recipient will love it and be the only one who has it.
KB: What do you look for in items you choose to showcase at happy delusions?
MC: I like a craft that's traditional, but with an edge. Yes we do sell traditional items of course, but I think the more modern twist on the craft resurgence is ideally what I want to see.
KB: Where are most of the designers based?
MC: I have artists from all over, but most are from the Seattle area.
KB: What are some special events that occur at the shop?
MC: We do an open call to artists twice a year with a , plus , and if an artist is interested in having a show here I love to help make that happen. Plus craft swaps, and our Sunday stitch and bitch.
KB: How are you involved in the Renton community outside of happy delusions?
MC: I run the art market for , and chair of the downtown events committee, work with the , was on the city's budget advisory board, and help with various volunteer opportunities, I love being a part of my community and try to get involved where I can. Mostly I enjoy arts activities and event planning.
KB: You grew up in Renton, left, and then came back. What do you love best about this place?
MC: I love the community. DTR is a great representation of a real hometown. Everything in our downtown core is Ma and Pa, and everyone goes out of their way to help support one another. I love that.
is located at 924 S. 3rd St., Renton, WA 98057. The hours are Tues. - Thurs. 11-6, Fri. - Sat. 11-7, Sun. 11-5, and closed on Mondays.