Sharon Shaw’s love for Pike Place Market stretches back 32 years. It was then, while in her early 20s, that she took every opportunity available to escape the offices of her corporate property-management job and wander through the Market. It was there that she found a vibrancy and sense of community that was a world away from her day job.
It didn’t take long for Shaw to strike up friendships with the vendors, and she even turned down a job offer from Mike Ruegamer, the owner of Cinnamon Works Bakery. Then an unexpected thing happened: “It was one of those days when you’re so fed up with your job that you just can’t stand it,” she recalls now. Ruegamer again offered her a job. But this time she accepted.
Soon after beginning work at the bakery, Shaw met her husband-to-be, Michael, who was also working at Pike Place, and in 1990 the couple started their own craft line for the Market: handmaking stained-glass kaleidoscopes. The two quit their full-time jobs to focus exclusively on the new business. They joined the Pike Place art community—and also started a family of their own. “As babies, [our two boys] were [at the Market] every time I was there. They would take naps under the table,” Sharon recalls.
From the beginning, Sharon understood the challenges of building a life at Pike Place Market. It requires hard work and a strong commitment, she says, but it also has tremendous rewards. “It’s such a tight-knit community. We’re like a family. We take care of each other and we look out for each other. There’s a closeness, I think, that isn’t in any other work environment.”
See the full story: https://pikeplacemarketfoundation.org/story/sharon-shaw/