Tacoma Local Stories

Wren & Willow's new Carriage House Project

Historic Tacoma Living recently sat down with Laureen Skrivan, president of Wren & Willow, a contracting company in Tacoma that specializes in design-build, custom homes, home remodels, commercial, architecture, and interior design. Laureen says, “It’s really a one-stop-shop. We have our own architect, Stacy Ostlund, and can start designing a project from the very beginning. It then goes over to our construction division and interior-design team. We can do it all. Nobody has to go anywhere but here.”
Laureen and her partner and project manager, Cliff Kendall, opened the doors of their new company in 2008, right in the middle of an economic crisis, which Laureen laughs about now. “It was probably not the best time to start a contracting company, but we made it through and are very proud of where we are now.”
And where they are now is growing. With 15 employees and over a decade of experience, Laureen and her team are expanding, building...
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004 - Meet eliseo - a New Name for a long-time Tacoma Community

Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community was founded in 1938 and has been a long-time staple in the greater Tacoma community, and they plan to continue that tradition for decades to come.

During its 82-year history, they have provided exceptional 5-Star service to more than 375 residents who call eliseo home. 

Listen in as we talk with Alexandra Vick about the new name, and what this means for the future of eliseo in terms of how they plan to continue to serve our community.


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Meet Giampaolo Falchetti and Kathryn Philbrook - Owners of Crudo & Cotto

Kathryn has been a native of Tacoma dating back to 1987. Giampaolo grew up on a farm in Umbria, where the family food traditions were a large part of his upbringing. One step inside Crudo & Cotto and you’ll feel the welcoming, familial environment.
After studying Irish Theater at the University of Puget Sound, Kathryn traveled to Ireland on a 4-month work exchange program at a youth hostel in Dublin. Giampaolo was in the United Kingdom at the time, working on his English and studying the language. He traveled to Ireland and ended up staying at the same youth hostel where Kathryn was working. They actually met on Halloween and a relationship sparked. 
After Kathryn left Ireland to come home to Tacoma and Giampaolo returned to Italy, they maintained a long-distance relationship before Kathryn decided to move to Italy in 2004. They lived together in Italy for just over 2 years before moving to Tacoma together. They eventually married and have a wonderful...
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Meet Mason McCleary of Spartan Plumbing Inc.

As we sat down to talk to Mason, owner of Spartan Plumbing Inc., we could tell that he takes great pride in the company that he honestly helped build from the time he was 16 years old. Mason grew up in Bonney Lake, Washington, and spent a lot of his time with his dad, whom he credits a lot of his knowledge and work ethic to in regards to this same business. Mason’s father, always having a construction business, did some work for Spartan Plumbing putting in all of their sewer lines. He built a strong relationship with the owner at the time, and when it was time for the owner to retire in 2004, he approached Mason’s father and offered him the company.

Mason started working for his dad at this time, digging water lines and ditches after school and in his spare time, eventually working full time after graduating high school. The fact that his dad was the owner did not keep Mason from the hard work of completing an apprenticeship, learning how to lead a team, and slowly...

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003 - Finish Well | An Interview with Ross Hjelseth

talking-shop-show Jan 29, 2021

In this episode, we welcome our very first guest to the show, Ross Hjelseth.

Ross is a former collegiate football coach and head of school for a local Christian School in Tacoma, WA. He recently wrote and published a book entitled "Winning Words" which is also the name of his podcast.

Listen in as Ross shares insights that will not only help you in business but in life as well.

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Budget Blinds of Puyallup - Interview with Dusty Elliott


Budget Blinds of Puyallup offers extraordinary window coverings, and a lot more, at reasonable price points for any budget. Listen in as Dusty shares with us what Budget Blinds has to offer, as well as how they are keeping the community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Matt Welch & Auburn VW - Making Lives Better, One VW at a Time


We had the pleasure of interviewing Matt Welch of Auburn VW this past Spring of 2020. In the midst of business shut-downs in response to COVID-19, listen in as Matt shares encouragement for other businesses and members of our community. 

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