The story of “Aunt Laurie” is one of a farm girl turned world traveler and furniture maven who embraces life without a fear in the world. OK, she’s terrified of snakes. And she’s not particularly fond of cats. But she’s OK with farm animals, thanks to her upbringing on a family farm in southeastern Washington.
She kept the farm-girl vibe going through high school, attending the same small Connell, Wash., school as her dad (not at the same time, of course). High school highlights include girls’ basketball, marching band and showing off cattle in competitions. She kept up her cattle claim to fame until she graduated from Washington State University with a major in Animal Science.
Then she was bitten by the retail bug. She launched her first shop in 1986, an 800-square-foot store called Gosling Lane on 1960 and I-45. Next up was an English business partner with whom she opened Mclaren’s in 1992. This gig took Laurie on a whirlwind ride through Europe, attending outdoor antique shows, “car boots” and meeting many of her English boyfriends she still gossips about today.
Once her biz partner turned evil and bought her out, she opened Laurie’s Antiques on a small, shabby backwards corner on 2920 and Rhodes Road. She moved to her current location in 2002, switched from antiques to new furniture in 2006, and still whirlwinds to all domestic and many offshore furniture shows and expos.
Her latest trek was to Vietnam seeking new suppliers, and she’s planning a few extensive trips to Europe for summer 2014. Other amazing plans include a remodel of Laurie’s showroom and a spectacular fall festival planned for the east lawn in September.
Aunt Laurie Fast Facts:
Favorite words: Dopey. Boyfriend. Super cute
Favorite color: Pink by 100 miles
Least favorite color: Purple by 2,000 miles
Favorite things: Travel. Pink cake. Naughty children (not necessarily in that order).