Meet Your Neighbor Kathy (Kat) Peterson

“We had a plan,” Kathy (Kat) Peterson said.

Their daughter attended the University of Washington, while visiting they were introduced to the San Juan Islands and Anacortes. They realized Anacortes fit all the requirements they were looking for in where to retire. Anacortes was welcoming, smaller than Denver, near an ocean, close to mountains, plenty of trees, good restaurants, a hospital, and the ability to just walk around town.

“We live here, we are part of the community, and we want to meet people and get to know them.”

In June of 2015, Kat took the first step and moved to Anacortes, followed by her husband in October. It was hard to leave a town where they had lived their whole life, but they needed a change. They left it all behind and followed their plan.

At the beginning the process of relocating was scary and a bit confusing with not much order. Once Kat joined the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce the transition smoothed out. Kat was introduced to other merchants in town who welcomed her and introduced her to others. Life started to settle in.

In the 80’s, Kat had a gallery in Denver and closed it due to the recession. In 1991, she opened her porcelain and glass painting shop, along with an online store. Kat has been painting on porcelain and glass since 1974.

Her “career” was in Commercial Property Management in Denver, managing office buildings in downtown. For about fifteen years she worked hard and due to the stressful career she found art took the world away and she could relax. The hobby then turned into a small business. She gave up the paycheck and followed her heart.

She brought to her small business the skills she learned in the corporate world. These skills helped get the business off the ground. As part of her plan she started teaching and traveling around the country attending different trade shows. It was hard work but she learned a lot from it.

Quality was a priority for her so she imported her porcelain and used quality brushes and paints. The students attending her classes appreciated the quality of the art supplies.

“I want to offer something good and honest to a community.”

The original plan when they moved to Anacortes was to slow down and sort of retire, but things changed. It changed when Kat saw the space on Commercial Ave and envisioned a gallery at that location..

Since opening her store in Anacortes, Kat has immersed herself into the Art Scene of Anacortes. The diversity and quality of art in this community inspired her and she knew she wanted to support local artists.

“There is everything here and it is amazing,” Kat said.

“And, why not get something from your neighbor.”

Kat wants people to know what The Good Stuff offers and what they are trying to do. “You don’t have to go to Seattle to get exquisite art,” Kat said. “And, why not get something from your neighbor.”

Kat feels a great responsibility to the artists she represents in the gallery, she wants to help to support them. The show changes every two months and it is exciting to see how it all comes together.

Kat feels her shop adds to what the downtown of Anacortes has to offer locals and visitors.

The Good Stuff was part of the 98221 Studio Tour, and Kat recently was a Juror selecting art for the 98221 Gallery at City Hall. The Good Stuff participates each month in the Anacortes First Friday Artwalks. The more she gets into the art scene the more people she meets.

Right now the Gallery has her full attention, but Kat loves to garden, and her husband just bought a boat so short trips around the area are planned.

Kat grew up in the small community of Burlington, Colorado. The family was farmers, but Kat knew she wanted to be something else. Her grandmother insisted she learned to paint when she was a child, turns out grandma’s advice paid off.

When they moved to Anacortes they found the size just right and the community welcoming.

When they moved to Anacortes they found the size just right and the community welcoming.

I asked Kat how she feels she has influenced the community of Anacortes?

The response she has been receiving is The Good Stuff fills a need in the community. The community loves that she is supporting local artists, providing classes, offers quality products, and it is a fun and welcoming place to experience and hopefully leave with a nice piece of art.

Kat feels her shop adds to what the downtown of Anacortes has to offer locals and visitors. As a small business owner it is important to help the community make itself a destination. A recent visitor to her shop said, “I usually go to La Conner but I am going to come to Anacortes.” Kat would like to hear that more often. The Good Stuff wants to be part of the community and contributes as much as they can.

Part of small community is looking out for each other, to help each other out. The Good Stuff and Kat want to be there for the community.

“I just want to be part of the community in anyway I can.”

The Good Stuff

604 Commercial Ave, Anacortes, WA

photo by Jill Kellogg
Created By
Karla Locke

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