Etched in stone, wood or anything else

POULSBO — What began as dream on the arduous commute from Kitsap County to Seattle has become etched in reality on Front Street with the opening of Bayside Engravers. Managers Lainie Patterson and Craig Hammond met while carpooling to their respective jobs in Seattle, where she was a federal investigator and he worked as a project manager for an aerospace company.

POULSBO — What began as dream on the arduous commute from Kitsap County to Seattle has become etched in reality on Front Street with the opening of Bayside Engravers.

Managers Lainie Patterson and Craig Hammond met while carpooling to their respective jobs in Seattle, where she was a federal investigator and he worked as a project manager for an aerospace company.

“I had always wanted to open my own trophy shop, but I couldn’t find the right location,” Patterson said.

She discussed her idea with Hammond during the commute to Seattle, and in August when a storefront at the intersection of Jensen Way and Front Street opened, Patterson said she knew they had the perfect location.

After being told several people were interested in the space, Patterson said she and Hammond seized the moment and immediately decided to leave the security of their Seattle-based jobs to make the dream a reality.

“It’s almost like it was fate, because it all came together at once,” Patterson said.

The two spent the next five weeks bringing in equipment and preparing the store for its October 2006 opening.

“I grew up in Poulsbo in the ‘60s and ‘70s and remember it had a neat little downtown,” Hammond said.

However, after he graduated from Central Washington University with a degree in manufacturing engineering, Hammond said he lived near the Agate Pass Bridge, and didn’t feel he was part of the Poulsbo community.

“I lived there 13 years and I don’t think I ever made it to downtown, because I spent so much time in Seattle,” he said.

When the opportunity arose to team with Patterson, Hammond said he decided to take the chance.

“He was the perfect partner,” Patterson said.

So far business has exceeded their expectations and it has only increased as word has gotten out, Patterson said.

“The second day we were open we had a set of service award watches in from Fred Hill,” Hammond said. “It was kind of amazing for our second day.”

Despite being forewarned about the slow months of January and February for downtown businesses, Hammond said that didn’t ring true for Bayside.

“We’ve actually been pretty busy the entire time,” he said.

The fact that Bayside Engravers has the ability to work on everything from wood to glass and engine covers to coffee mugs is something both Hammond and Patterson are proud to offer.

“We can do pretty much anything, but pets or children,” Patterson said with a laugh.

The average turnaround for an order is one to two days, and customer satisfaction is extremely important, she said.

“We do everything we can to give the customer what they want,” she said.

That includes providing design proofs and showing customers how different things look on different materials, Hammond said.

For as important as running a successful business is to the pair, both Hammond and Peterson said giving back to the community is equally vital.

“We really try to give back to the community, because the community has been very good to us,” Patterson said.

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