“I am a painter, and Jamie is a drummer – so naturally we opened a fabric store!” said Estrin. “My father was a fabric wholesaler in Chicago and my parents moved to Salem in 1976 to open a retail fabric store. I helped my folks open that store. I was committed to painting, but my dad told me I had a talent for fabric and design. Eventually, he won me over. His good reputation in the business helped Jamie and me to start our business. Today, he would be absolutely thrilled with what we’ve done with the store.”
Eoff and Estrin live in the Hollywood neighborhood in the home where Eoff grew up. The couple opened their business in the Pearl district in 1991 and moved into the home of the old Columbia Neon plant on East Burnside in 2005.
“It was all concrete and barbed-wire fencing when we remodeled,” said Estrin. “We transformed the space into a welcoming spot that opened up the neighborhood – with a wonderful garden. We were able to grandfather in the frame of the old, neon sign and accommodated our name to suit its shape. We saved every original 1950 element that we could, honoring the building’s past, but making it more neighborhood friendly. The area has become truly a close-knit community. We have watched great restaurants move in, and small businesses. While years ago it was more of an industrial area, there is now a nice mix of business diversity, which enhances the experience of community.”
Community is a cornerstone for Eoff and Estrin’s business.
“We are not a chain,” said Estrin. “We are a locally-owned, family-run business and our fabric selection represents who we are and where we come from. I believe that business is personal. My dad taught us how to do business ethically, and with responsibility to one’s place in the community. It is this personal connection to the neighborhood and environment that is at the heart of good business. I feel good that we have employed people through the years and become part of a place that is a home to us – in addition to helping customers create beauty and comfort in their homes. I believe in the domino theory of positive connection. We send our clients off with our best, because that is the way we can effect a more positive community.”
Today, The Whole 9 Yards is the number one retailer for interior fabrics in the Pacific Northwest.
“We have over thousands of uniquely curated upholstery, bedding, drapery, and pillow fabrics as well as an on-site workroom where we create custom soft furnishings,” said Estrin. “We have a dedicated staff of creative, friendly people who have helped countless families make their house a home and we oversee incredibly detailed design projects from inception to completion. We also have designers who can come to your home. We are big advocates for our neighborhood and have made our own restaurant guide, with a map for our customers who like to pause for lunch or dinner. We are also proud to say that many wonderful Portland restaurants use our fabric in their dining rooms. Our shopping experience is truly one-of-a-kind and we have made it home-like so customers can feel comfortable staying awhile, touching and feeling the fabrics – something that just doesn’t happen through online shopping.
For more information, call 503-223-2880 or visit www.w9yards.com.