The owner of Esther’s Fabrics on Bainbridge Island, Washington is Susan Skalak. However, she often goes by “Esther 8.” “Esther Fox was the original owner, and all the subsequent owners have informally adopted the name,” she says. “I’m the eighth owner and we’ve all been proud of our business heritage as a store that has been providing sewing and knitting supplies since 1959.”

Despite the shop’s longevity, the pandemic forced Skalak and her team to shut down for an extended period – the first in store history. “Even with the shutdown, my daughter and I passed the time by sewing masks for the community.”

When Skalak heard about Columbia Bank’s Pass It On Project, she knew she wanted to get involved. As such a signature store on the Island, Skalak believes it’s her duty to help the community. That is why Esther’s Fabrics is providing free supplies to not one, but two local organizations, and Columbia Bank is paying the bill. “We are passing it on with supplies to the Senior Center Knitting Circle, which is a group of older folks who have been getting together for years to knit,” she says. “We are also providing supplies to Woodward Middle School and their sewing class. With Columbia Bank’s help, we are going to make sure these two groups have what they need to have fun and learn.”