Every year since 2009, when Seattle's Summer is limping into action, Porchlight has an anniversary. This year marks our 8th year in business and I couldn't be more grateful to everyone that's helped out along the way--so this is the annual mushy thank you.
The photo above shows Porchlight before we installed plumbing, painted the walls, or even had a light fixture. Little did we know that four years later, our one story building would be torn down, we'd temporarily move 200 feet away while this building shot up seven stories, and we'd then move back into the same exact spot. We were lucky enough that the situation worked out in our favor and we weren't displaced, having to start over in another part of town.
Capitol Hill has been the hub of so many different forces over the years, and lately it's been the focus of drastic economic and social change. The fact that a place like Porchlight can exist, to me, means that there is still life left in what people have long-associated with Capitol Hill. This is not to say that Porchlight is the embodiment or heart of Capitol Hill, but more of an example of success thanks to the people that make up the heart of Capitol Hill--musicians, artists, the LGBTQ community, and long-time residents. We also welcome all the newcomers to the city that stand beside and support the aforementioned. The fact that a coffee and record shop with no budget could open and stay open is all thanks to you.
Since the beginning, folks have regularly asked me about the story of Porchlight and I realized that the biggest influence on Porchlight was my connection to DIY/punk over the years. Obviously punk and DIY aren't too closely connected with "business", but the approach of doing what you like, doing the work yourself (with a close community), while focusing on making a living--not getting rich and overpricing, is how I connected them. I eventually learned what work to do myself (make coffee, hang shelves, make signs, unclog drains) and what not to do (screen print shirts in between customers, build sturdy things, etc).
Porchlight has never relied on traditional advertising, but has been supported heavily by neighborhood word of mouth, touring bands that make us a destination, and social media. As with any small business, customers posting Porchlight photos via avenues like Instagram and Facebook is so important and helpful. If you like a business, want to support it and keep it in business, yet don't have much to financially offer, I can say with certainty that just posting a photo of that business helps them out. It has helped us over the years and I really can't say "Thank You!" enough.
To the people that have been coming to Porchlight for the last 8 years, or just discovered us last week...
Thank you, thank you, thank you. On July 4th, we're celebrating these 8 years by giving away Sizzle Pie pizza, drinks, frisbees, and Molly Moon's ice cream. Come to our party!