opened its doors quietly the evening of Sept. 27, and only those in the know were present to view the store’s luxurious interior, chock full of one-of-a-kind vases, housewares, furniture, wooden carvings and spa lotions/soaps.
Owner and Island native Carly Michele Burns was already busy gift-wrapping some candles for a customer within moments of opening her eponymous shop.
Burns, a graduate of , began her career working for prominent interior designers in Seattle, Los Angeles and most recently New York City, and ran her own design business out of L.A. with satellite offices in Portland and Seattle. But the call to return home to her Island roots was hard to resist.
“This all happened by chance,” she said. "I told my parents the only way I’d move back to Mercer Island was if I could open a shop in the Finders location … three days later I read about Finders closing.”
Burns said she felt that Mercer Island needed a more sophisticated store that offered great gifts for the home.
“I used my resources from New York and LA to find items that are unique to this area,” she said. “I wanted beautiful, creative pieces, like handmade pillows, vases, silver serving pieces, paintings and dishes that are different to what you usually see. I tried to incorporate many styles of housewares so you could find a hostess gift, a wedding present or even a birthday gift—there’s something for everyone here.”
Burns notes that it’s not always necessary to buy something expensive to walk out of her store with a nice gift. Prices range from $7 to $450.
“I’m surrounded by art deco, mid-century pieces, antiques,” she said. “I’ve tried to gather pieces from every style range and aesthetic.” Burns offers interior design services as well.
Hours are M-F, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat-Sun, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. C. Michele is located at 7605 SE 27th St, Suite 102. For more information, call 206-453-4771.