Sonja, Beautiful Clothes, and Frozen Yogurt Bliss

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Welcoming Sonja!

 

When you visit Sonja, she welcomes you into her shop(s) and offers you a wonderful cup of coffee or tea.  She listens intently as she invites  meaningful, friendly conversation.  She loves to build community.

I met Sonja about 10 years ago while I was working at the Bobbi Brown Counter at Nordstrom, and she was browsing at another cosmetic line.  While I offered her help, she was curious to know about Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and why I adored them.  I loved her interest, and wanted to share my passion for the line.  Sonja found a fabulous red lip color that day, and we each found a new friend!

It’s rare that you connect with someone, lose touch for a bit, and then pick up years later right where you left off.  Sonja moved her store to the wonderful Proctor District in North Tacoma, and added a simply divine yogurt shop during the years that I had to deal with breast cancer and Tyler’s extremely difficult autism behaviors.  I didn’t make time to come for visits, although it would have been a welcome breath of fresh air.

Sonja has two shops; the front of this quaint cottage is Proctor Frozen Yogurt, which truly has the tastiest yogurt I have ever had in my life!  (I will make the drive from Lake Tapps to have this on a regular basis!)  When I was there (twice in the last week) I had a cup filled with Salted Caramel, Milky Chocolate, and Creamy Vanilla.  I added real caramel sauce, bits of roasted sea salt, tiny slices of dark chocolate, and a touch of toasted coconut.  Beyond heavenly!!!

In the back, she has a charming clothing boutique, Sonja – Clothes to live in, right near the Metropolitan Market in the Proctor District of North Tacoma.  I feel as if I’m transported to a lovely Parisienne’s vast boudoir.  The walls are painted the palest pink, and there are intriguing objects to admire in every corner and on each wall; a quote by Collette, a hanging photo of Coco Chanel, children’s drawings to Sonja, notes from her beautiful daughter, Emy, and plenty of girlish trinkets beckon you into this unique space.

Sonja sets you free to “play” and dress up, as you like.  For those of us who love advice and ideas (especially from great creative sorts), Sonja will help you choose fun things to try on.  She has a useful mix of great, comfortable basics, along with eclectic pieces to fit different moods.  I found several fabulous additions for my closet, along with my most treasured item…a handmade Sonja necklace!  Yes, Sonja makes jewelry, too!  We shared our love of all things Parisian (she recently made a trip and picked up buttons, bits, antique-y key chain pieces and old baubles) and I found a necklace to treasure always.  Made of pieces from Paris, hearts and charms from her travels and quirky antique shops, my unique necklace will not only remind me of Paris, but of the delighted feeling I get whenever I visit Sonja’s shops.

Sonja said something the first day I met her, so many years ago, that has never left my mind, and truly influenced my outlook on life.  “I love to build community.”  When I asked her about her shop she said this with such warmth and invitation, that I have remembered it always.  I reflect on this regularly, in light of understanding that we all thrive when we have our own “community” to support us.  It has resonated with me during the toughest “Tyler” years and during my breast cancer recovery.

On a particularly spectacular Saturday during the Proctor Chocolate Fest, Sonja’s shops were a hub of comfortable friendship and connection.  People gravitate to her warmth, hospitality, and creative ways.  Danielle Dunlap had a display of her gorgeous handmade silver jewelry and color-saturated warm, wooly infinity scarves.  Visitors came and went, shopping for jewelry, clothes, and, of course, dining on frozen yogurt.  Everyone seemed to know Sonja and Danielle, and the conversation was genial and good-natured.  I lingered for a couple of hours, just wanting to be part of this “Gritty Tacoman” community!

Latest Fabulous Revelations:

  • Shopping at Sonja’s for yogurt, clothing, or jewelry is a visit with a warm and welcoming community builder
  • Kindness and generosity know no bounds; Sonja sends you around the neighborhood to check out the other local shops
  • I can revisit Paris in my mind at Sonja’s
  • She has the best coffee and frozen yogurt I’ve ever tasted
  • A friendship can endure and grow even when it’s been on “hiatus”
  • “Building community” is magical

 

When you have the opportunity (or make the opportunity!) to go to the Proctor District in Tacoma, Washington, stop by Sonja – clothes to live in and Proctor Frozen Yogurt.  It will put a smile on your face and warm your soul as you visit with Sonja Silver, one Gritty Tacoman with a heart of gold!

Support your local shops everywhere!  It’s such a great feeling and I am certainly encouraged to do more; build community!

Cheers and xox!

Kim

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The front of Sonja’s “cottage” — Proctor Frozen Yogurt and Sonja – clothes to live in. You can take a seat on the front porch and enjoy your visit!

 

Sonja and Danielle; jewelry extraordinaire!

Sonja and Danielle; jewelry and community

 

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Lovely Sonja jewelry, carefully displayed for the Proctor Chocolate Fest Event

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Danielle Dunlap’s gorgeous silver, handmade jewelry and color-rich infinity scarves. A cozy assortment of Sonja’s sweaters and more from the shop.

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I was captivated by Sonja’s trinkets from Paris and antique spots; what inspiration for her beautiful jewelry creations!

 

A fabulous picture of Coco Chanel, hanging on a wall in Sonja- clothes to live in

A fabulous picture of Coco Chanel, hanging on a wall in Sonja- clothes to live in

 

Love this!  One of Sonja's cherished pictures.  Such inspiration!

Love this! One of Sonja’s cherished pictures. Such inspiration!

 

Love this quote that casually hangs on a wall by Collette

Love this quote that casually hangs on a wall

 

A wall of the Proctor Frozen Yogurt shop; drawings from appreciative children, a meaningful quote

A wall of the Proctor Frozen Yogurt shop; drawings from appreciative children, a meaningful quote by Wilferd Peterson

 

Step into the lovely pale pink backroom that is Sonja - clothes to live in

Step into the lovely pale pink backroom that is Sonja – clothes to live in

 

A peek from the yogurt shop to the clothing spot in the back

A peek from the yogurt shop to the clothing spot in the back

 

A playful chandelier illuminates

A playful chandelier illuminates

 

 

Sonja!

Sonja!

 

My beloved necklace, made by Sonja with baubles from Paris!

My beloved necklace, made by Sonja with baubles from Paris!

 

Sonja creating

Sonja creating

 

A quiet spot out back, for conversation, coffee, tea, or frozen yogurt

A quiet spot out back, for conversation, coffee, tea, or frozen yogurt

 

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4 thoughts on “Sonja, Beautiful Clothes, and Frozen Yogurt Bliss

  1. Kim–
    I am (and you know how chatty I am so this is something!) SPEECHLESS. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for you and your heart. That you took the time to write and create this thoughtful, generous post. I am going to go back and read it S L O W L Y and take it all in. I was feeling a little blue (and afraid) today and asked God to help me not have fear around this economy. I came home to this.
    Happy tears. A full and grateful heart. With much love, Sonja

  2. I met Sonja some time ago and found her to be quite friendly. I mentioned to her that my son went to SOTA (Tacoma School of The Arts) and that he was a fashion photographer at the time he was 15. Fast forward his Junior year he got to do his internship at her shop. and do a fashion show there. Every time I look at it I see her happy smile and it makes me so proud & happy too. She remembered me when she saw me pick him up one evening. He had a fabulous time there and learned a lot about the business side of fashion. I am so glad that they met and she was such a positive influence in his life. Thank you Sonja.

    • Thank you for your kind comments! I absolutely agree; Sonja’s generous spirit and inclusive nature is so inspiring. She is truly a gracious and giving person, growing community and loving to see others find happiness, success, and fulfillment. I am so glad to know her, too! Thank you, Margaret! Kim