Island clothing store Tatters wins award
November 24, 2008 · Updated 6:08 PM
The Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce announced today that Tatters, a women’s fashion store on Mercer Island, has won the coveted Business of the Year award. The award has been established by the Chamber to recognize a business in the Mercer Island community that, in the opinion of a panel of judges, has made a significant impact on Mercer Island’s economic vitality and has brought value and benefit to the community over the past year.
Michele Tesler started Tatters in November 2005 at the encouragement of her family and friends. She wanted to give Mercer Islanders, and those living in the greater Seattle area, an opportunity to shop for unique and stylish fashions here on Mercer Island. Tatters has created a unique and exciting store which owes its success not only to the wonderful inventory and service but to Tesler’s dedication to the betterment of the Mercer Island and greater Seattle community.
As testament to her corporate philanthropy, Tatters was the first retail business to establish a giving program during the holidays to benefit our own Youth and Family Services. The ‘YOU BUY, WE GIVE, THEY RECEIVE’ campaign delivered over $2,000 to Youth and Family Services in ’06 and they are repeating the program this year.
Tatters’ giving program has benefited several organizations throughout the Puget Sound and on Mercer Island, including: MI National Charity League; Pixie Hill School; Stroum JCC; The French American School; Wooden O Theatre; Sunnybeam School; Mercer Island Sister City Association; the Mercer Island Kiwanis Club and Gilda’s Club.
Tesler, a former oncology nurse at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has lived here since 1985 with her husband, a physician. She said that part of her decision to start her store was because the Island needed more retail establishments. She had been thinking about such a business for some time, and “since this is where I live, this is where I wanted to do this.”
She said that many have shied away from starting retail businesses here because they believed there are not enough buyers here and off-Islanders would not shop on Mercer Island. She feels she is reversing that trend.
Many of what she termed her ‘core customers’ are from off-Island she said.
“The more retail that is here” she said, the more that will come.
In addition to regularly advertising in the Mercer Island Reporter, Tatters has also reached out to other Mercer Island retailers for co-promotions. The business teamed up with Bennett’s to give to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and had a successful co-promotion with Cellar 46 for a summer sale and wine tasting event. Tatters is also a charter member of the Mercer Island Art Walk association.
Last Year’s winner was Albertsons and the previous year went to Mercer Island Florist. The first winner was Roger Page and Island Books.