Small Business Awareness


Olivia Kee, Staff Writer

 Small Business Awareness

Downtown Olympia is home to a wide variety of unique small businesses. As a result of state wide mandates, most small businesses have struggled to stay afloat. To compensate for their lost funds, many of these businesses have created, or relied more heavily on their online websites. Shops like Antique Olympia and The Popinjays have a lot to offer; they are both perfect places to find one of a kind, high-quality Christmas gifts for your loved ones. On the other side of the small business world, The Washington Center hosts events that include live performances that you can buy tickets to see like The Nutcracker, and so many more. Browsers Bookshop is also another small business located in Downtown Olympia that is known for its numerous good reads, and welcoming nature. We, as students and staff at Tumwater High School, can support our local small businesses by spreading awareness on social media, purchasing from them, and donating if possible. 

  Antique Olympia

Owning a small business can be quite difficult right now, but despite this, Peggy from Antique Olympia is doing an exceptional job. Peggy has done everything she can to cooperate with the state guidelines, and maintain a successful business she is passionate about. This includes altering Antique Olympia’s hours. Antique Olympia  is open Monday-Wednesday: appointment only, Thursday-Saturday: 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Sunday: 11:00 am-4:00 pm. This shop is located in Downtown Olympia, and would appreciate any business that comes their way. Northwest collectables, fine paintings, pottery, native baskets, and other home goods are all for sale at Antique Olympia. One of a kind gifts like these make gift giving during the holiday season so much more enjoyable. Along with shops, performing arts centers such as The Washington Center are doing what they can to stay safe, and keep their door open. 

The Washington Center

Built in 1984, The Washington Center’s goal is to “…inspire audiences and artists of all ages through live performances, enriching the vibrancy of our community.” The Washington Center is described as a safe space for art by many of its customers. Since the beginning stages of Covid-19, The Washington Center has been closed to the public. To stay inside the boundaries of the guidelines, The Washington Center has adapted, and is now holding online streams for people to watch in the safety of their homes at the cost of $20. The Washington Center, like many other small businesses, is struggling to bring in funds to support their needs because over 64% of their revenue is generated from ticket sales, and rental events, which are  being cancelled and postponed.

Browsers Bookshop

Browsers Bookshop has been in downtown Olympia for 80 years, but   it is originally from Aberdeen. Its first owner, Anna Blom was self-educated and well read, which inspired her to make the decision to open her very own book store. Browsers Bookshop was relocated a couple times before ending up on 107 Capitol Way, in downtown Olympia; by this time, it is 1979. The small bookshop is now owned by Andrea Griffith, who has spent years making Browsers Bookshop into a safe space for all book lovers. Browsers Bookshop houses a diverse collection of books from various genres. Some favorites include Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land”, and Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi’s “Stamped”. In reviews, customers have expressed their gratitude for the precautionary safety measures Browsers Bookshop is taking to ensure the safety of its browsers.

Antique Olympia, Browsers Bookshop, and The Washington Center are just three small businesses out of thousands. These local businesses range anywhere from bookstores to restaurants, and everything in between. During the Covid crisis, many of Tumwater and Olympia’s cherished local businesses have closed down permanently, but fortunately, others were lucky enough to keep their doors open, and continue pursuing their passions. The owners, and staff of your local small businesses care about their community just as you do; they are normal civilians that would love to connect, and form relationships with their customers. This is what sets small businesses apart from large enterprises. Antique Olympia, Browsers Bookshop, and The Washington Center each tell their own story that is unique only to them, and once you learn about their upbringings, you’ll feel compelled to support them. Give back to your city by supporting your local small businesses. 


Visit These Websites to Support These Local Small Businesses!

Antiques Olympia:

  • Address: 203 4th Ave W Olympia, WA

Browsers Bookshop:

  • Address: 107 Capitol Way N. Olympia WA 98501

The Washington Center: