Compass Rose

Yesterday I interviewed Tonya, manager of compass rose. I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of her. After my interview with her yesterday, I thought to myself – this was a great idea to start interviewing people. Tonya is very talented, light hearted, and knows exactly what she is doing. She also had a great story. You know one of those “it was meant to be” stories. I really enjoyed talking with her and getting to know her a little bit better. If you are a frequent Compass Rose shopper like me, she will be there to greet you with a smile. The best part about Compass Rose is all the people who work there, are genuinely nice people, and do actually care about how your day is going. Learn more about Tonya in the interview below!

Business Name: Compass Rose


Manager: Tonya   

Tonya has been a manager there for 3.5 years  ( 4 years total) 

How would you describe your business? 

 I would describe it as a small and friendly neighborhood shop, where you can get personal attention for helping you find the perfect gift. It is a store that is one stop shopping. We have an assortment of things. We strive to create an experience from the minute you walk in the door to the time you leave. For example – having excellent customer service (greeting the customer), to the ambiance ( music playing), to helping find the perfect gift if needed, and even the way we package the gift. We love what we do, and we want the customer to feel appreciated.

What is the most challenging part?

Keeping up with the amount of skus and inventory, keeping track of unique products, keeping things stocked, and finding new merchandise.

What is the best part?

Seeing all of the regulars and hearing about the intimate relationships with the people  that they are buying the gift for. Helping people find that unique gift.

What are some of the favorite things you sell?

The kitchen – cook ware, cook books ( I love to cook and bake ) for myself and other people. Cashmere hats, and dress toppers.

What does your average customer look like?

Buying gifts for people – handful of people just browsing for new things ( regulars ) . Feeling fresh new and exciting. 

Enough about the business – let’s learn more about you.

Describe yourself in 4 words: 

Social, ambitious, lazy, and detail oriented 

Are you from Tacoma? If not what brought you here?

I am originally from Issaquah and now live in salmon beach over by Ruston 

What does your average weekend look like?

I normally have Sundays and Mondays off.  I catch up with my life –  run errands, visit friends, dinner, cocktails, crafting, and boating.

What is your favorite restaurant in Tacoma?

Indo asian eatery, wooden city, alma mater, 

What is your favorite bar in Tacoma? 

Red hot,  peaks and pints

What does your favorite outfit look like?

My favorite involves a loose fitting dress, long sweater or cropped sweater, and clogs 

How would you describe your sense of humor? 

Quirky, Sassy, spontaneous, and Fun

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Healthy mix of both

Do you have pets?

A puggle named Lyla,  and two cats daisy and moo

Do you have any family traditions?

I have a Large family, so we have many traditions, some of them include :

  • Once a year all my family gets together and makes sausage  
  • Spend time at the holidays 
  • I always have thanksgiving at my house

Favorite Holiday Movie 

National lampoons Christmas vacay

Do you have any hobbies?

  • Baking ( cookies, cakes ) 
  • Knitting 
  • Sewing 

Does this store give back to Tacoma?

10% of every purchase goes back to charities – international organization alleviating poverty, support fundraising efforts, kids programs, and the arts. 

Tell me a story – 

I owned a deli in the sun valley of Idaho for 10 years. About four years ago, I decided to take a winter break and come home to see family.  I was fortunate enough to have really good employees to take care of the deli while I was gone. I knew that I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing while I was in town. So I decided to apply for a holiday position. One of my friends had mentioned maybe applying at Compass Rose. I missed the hustle and bustle of a retail store around the holiday season. So I applied to Compass Rose. I got the job and worked there for two months. After two months, I went back to Idaho and back to working at my deli. In the back of my mind, I wanted to go back and live in Tacoma full time, because I missed my family.

One day I went to an art walk in Idaho and I received a phone call from the owner of Compass Rose, Paul Shepard. I didn’t answer the call because I was in the middle of the art walk. Then 30 seconds later, I received an email from Paul. He wanted to fly to Sun Valley Idaho or he wanted me to fly back to Washington. So we could talk about a more permanent position at Compass Rose. Three months later, I was back at Compass Rose working as the Manager. I had my deli for about two years after that. I recently sold it, because it was a lot of work going back and forth. It was very serendipitous. I have a great job, and a great boss who really cares about his employees. I feel very happy, that it all worked out the way it did.

Tonya was a really cool person to get to know. I loved hearing her story at the end. Compass Rose is a staple in Tacoma. If you ever need that perfect gift, it is definitely waiting for you there. The original store in Olympia, WA just celebrated its 20th year anniversary. They also have a toy store in Olympia Called “Captain Little”. The Compass Rose in Proctor has been in business for 5 years. 🙂 

Here are a few cute things that caught my eye: Its mostly kids stuff because of Stella. Always have Stella girl on the brain.

Until Next Time,

Maggie ❤


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