The Op ShOp.

Jane Horowitz brings in the last of the items on the sidewalk outside of the OpShOp. © Ryan Schierling

Seattle P-I columnist Robert Jamieson, Jr. penned an article last Thursday that broke my heart. The OpShOp, a Lower Queen Anne establishment for the last seven years, was being pushed out. It pains me to see any small business in my neighborhood struggling, but Jane Horowitz's OpShOp was not your ordinary small business.

Jane took over for a consignment shop seven years ago, and has since become a neighborhood hub of generosity, of charity, and of help for those who need it most. Her mantra of "pay with your head or with your heart" benefitted everyone, including the
John Hay Elementary School, who received donations above and beyond the rent payment. Jane was also a savior for those without many means. She'd get homeless folks in and out of her shop, and she knew them by name, providing shoes or coats or sometimes just a hug and the assurance that things would be better eventually. But with budgets and wallets tightening lately, apparently charity has taken a bit of a hit. And the landlord's letter asked Jane to leave because "the shop invites 'a different element.'" To which Jane replied, "huge blessings to that element."

Julie met Jane about six years ago, shortly after Julie moved to the neighborhood. I met Jane through Julie a few years later. As far as we're concerned, she and her husband Elliott and their kids are family. Which is why this story is so important.

There will be more opportunities. There will be more OpShops. But there's only one Jane Horowitz. And we are
very thankful for her.

(L) Jane sweeps out the store before leaving for good Wednesday night. (R) Jane Horowitz. © Ryan Schierling

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