This year the Edina team has had the really great experience of supporting the opening of Room & Board’s new store in Seattle. This store has been a few years in the making, but because Room & Board is such a thoughtful and smart company, they are very careful about expanding too quickly or biting off more than they can chew. So, when we open a store in a new market, we hire and train new Design Associates with great care. Our store was chosen to host the new Seattle employees and prepare them for their opening. We actually have had these new Design Associates living in Minneapolis for the past couple of months (with breaks back to Seattle), and learning the ropes at our store. It has been so much fun to teach them what we do everyday – helping customers, being product experts, floor planning, problem solving and so much more. I’ve personally enjoyed how their curiosity and enthusiasm has created such great energy in our store. I think it’s not only rubbing off on all of my fellow DA’s and me, but also our customers. They love having extra people helping, and learning about our new Seattle store. It’s a contagious feeling! They are slated to open in early October, and while I’m excited for what we all have been working towards, I know our store will miss these new Design Associates who have really become part of our team. But now I have a couple of great excuses to visit Seattle – see a store that I helped open, as well as visit new-old friends!