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New face, same drive: Stephanie Huber says farewell to North Bend office supply store, new owner Donna Hayes brings art focus
After 40 years in the Valley and 14 years in business, Cascade Office Supply owner Stephanie Huber has sold her business and is saying goodbye.
She turns the keys over to a local who proved herself behind the counter and has big plans for the office and art supply store.
North Bend resident Donna Hayes took over on September 19, buying the inventory and taking on the lease. She is changing the name of the store to Mount Si Art Supply, Office and Printing Services. Hayes is an artist; her vivid paintings—today, they include scenes of cyclists and portraits of Marilyn Monroe and a cat named Mr. Hobbs—hang in the front of the store. She’s focusing the place on arts, while keeping vital office supplies in stock.
“There are so many artists in this town, and no art supply store,” Hayes said.
In back, she’ll sell office and printing supplies, while in front, she’s creating a gallery with gourmet coffee, wine and WiFi: “I want to just bring people in.”
Her vision includes an art studio with guest artists in the front window, doing their thing. Hayes started painting up front in October, and her public presence entices customers inside.
Huber’s next direction
Huber is moving to Cle Elum, “changing life up a little bit,” and focusing on something new.
She’ll continue her remote, full-time work at Preston-based SanMar apparel, and is becoming a mobile notary.
For two years, Huber has had a busy schedule, splitting running the shop with her other full-time job.
“I’ve always had somebody during the day,” said Huber, whose son, Jake, helped run the shop while she worked for SanMar.
Huber decided to sell after working with Hayes, who was her employee, and watching her lead.
Working double duty, “I’ve never been able to change everything” at the store, said Huber. “I haven’t had time.” Enter Hayes, who took charge. “On my birthday, she had everything organized. She was cleaning it up, taking ownership,” and getting the shelves spruced and ship-shape.
“That was important to me. That was a sign,” Huber said.
“It’s perfect,” she said of the change. “Timing is right. It’s what needed to happen.”
After 14 years in North Bend, saying goodbye “was a little hard, that first week, after I signed papers,” Huber said. “This is almost bittersweet.”
Yet, Huber says she’s leaving the business in good hands. Hayes, she said, brings the same drive that she did, the same attention that kept Huber constantly seeking to meet customers’ changing needs.
“Her work ethic is the same,” she said, and Hayes has already rolled out a lot of big ideas. “I’m just hoping the community will support her,” said Huber, “as much as they did me.” She survived a number of ups and downs in the business, every recession, “but you always come out on top if you want to,” she said.
“Do what she wants to do with this business,” Huber advises her successor. “Make it what she wants. Follow her dreams. Also, take into consideration our community, what they’re asking for, and incorporate it, if you can.”
• Mount Si Art Supply, Office and Printing Services is located at 131 E North Bend Way, North Bend. Call the store at (425) 888-8815. The business held a farewell reception for Stephanie Huber on Nov. 9. Hayes plans a grand opening in the near future.