Drees of Olympia Demonstrates The Art Of Business

In a world of on-line shopping, Drees still sets the standard for in-home furnishings and gifts after over 90 years.

The home furnishings shop on the corner of Washington Street and Legion Way in downtown Olympia is celebrating its 90th year in business. Housed in a building built in 1890 in downtown Olympia, Drees offers a variety of products including home furnishings, gifts, seasonal decorations and stationary.

The 90-year-old legacy started in 1929 when Jimmy Drees bought the Art and Paint Store and added additional decorative products. He brought the first fine wallcoverings to Olympia in the 1930’s He sold the store in 1965, and it was sold again in 1976 to the store’s current owner, Ruthann Panowicz Goularte. Ruthann has been at the helm for over 40 years.

Ruthann grew up in Olympia, went off to college, and then to Washington DC to work at the Smithsonian. Her return to Olympia was rooted in running the “beloved store where she shopped as a child. We believe that Drees offers more than great products; we create traditions, nurture relationships, enhance homes, and provide a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.” Jimmy Drees quote on his windows.

Drees has not only been a pillar of the shopping community in Olympia, it also gives back to the community in various ways. Ruthann is a founding member of the Junior League of Olympia and has served on multiple boards, including the City of Olympia’s Parking and Business Improvement Area, the Board of Directors at Thurston First Bank in Olympia and member of Seattle Art Museum Supporters. EMILY HAPPY

Drees of Olympia
524 Washington St SE, Olympia, WA 98051