About

Store Exterior | The Whole 9 Yards

In Amy’s Words:

We started The Whole 9 Yards in 1991. (I am a painter, and Jamie is a drummer, so of course we opened a fabric store!) We wanted to do something that we could grow together, and would engage our strengths and interests. With my painting background and love of color, texture, and pattern I felt like the world of textiles was a natural fit. Jamie trusted my vision for the store, and set out to be the kindest boss any group could hope for!

This store is really the legacy of our families. Jamie’s parents, Mabel and Jimmy Eoff, led a life of frugality that left the financial resources to start the business. My father, Don Estrin, was a fabric resaler out of Chicago. Later in life he and my mom, Millie, opened a retail fabric store in Salem, OR. They taught us everything to get started! Don built every fixture in our store, and on his good name we were able to place large opening fabric orders without any credit history. I can’t imagine anything like that happening in this day and age.

We are fortunate that since then The Whole 9 Yards has grown to include a full service workroom (for the construction of custom bedding, pillows and draperies) and we maintain strong relationships with local upholsterers and furniture makers. We are now the Northwest’s top retailer for interior fabrics, and we house over 900 bolts in stock, as well as thousands of samples of fabrics that can be special ordered.

Our plan is to continue to honor the legacy of our parents by doing business with integrity, making our customers happy and having a ton of fun doing it!

 

I‘ve been visiting Portland from Montana for five years now, and your shop has always been a highlight for me. – Jennifer H.

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Amy Estrin

I graduated from the Museum Art School (now PNCA) in 1982. I showed extensively, but the highlight was showing with Jamison/Thomas Gallery. I opened The Whole 9 Yards with my husband Jamie Eoff in 1991. Since we opened this store, I’ve thought of it as a great big work in progress. There is an endless source of visual information here, lots of color and design work to keep my painter’s brain happy until I can get back to canvas. My other faves are being with my friends and family, which includes our dog Gussie and my horse Flitzen. To see some of my artwork for sale click here. For more about me, check out my designer profile!
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Jamie Eoff

Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee…no that was my childhood hero! Born in a hospital in Portland, OR. Attended Fernwood Elementary, Grant High, and Lewis and Clark College. With no background whatsoever in design or decorating, I think you’d be wise to avoid my advice on those matters. However, I’m always willing to discuss the three B’s – Baseball, Beethoven, and The Beatles! If you see me on the sales floor, I’m probably working on the cutting machine or up on a ladder fixing the lights. Oh yeah, I am also the co-owner of the Whole 9 Yards with my wife, Amy Estrin.
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Pamela Hartzell

I came to the Whole 9 Yards in 1997 with over fourteen years of administrative and management skill. Being the store manager for sixteen years has given me an opportunity to gain so much knowledge about leadership and the world of interior design. The minute I walked into the store I had a feeling of coming home. Growing up with a mother who was a toy designer, I learned how to sew and work with fabrics at a very early age. In the 70’s I attended The Factory of Visual Art in Seattle, Washington where my focus was in the textile arts and in particular, soft sculpture. Coming to work at the Whole 9 Yards re-invigorated a long dormant passion for the textile arts and provided an environment to learn and practice working with others to help make the process of design playful and successful.
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Pat Gilman

After graduating high school in Portland I headed east to attend Parsons School of Design and then spent the next 30 years designing accessories for women and men, 25 of those years in New York and the remainder in San Francisco. Some of my jobs have included working for Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole Accessories and Echo Scarfs. My one and only side job outside of the fashion industry was a 6 month stint as a live-in nanny for Joan Rivers taking care of Melissa and it was definitely a fun and interesting experience! Tiring of all the international travel, I quit the design industry and returned to Portland and began working at The Whole 9 Yards in 1998 where I am the office manager.
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Alice Sayre

I love beautiful fabrics and imagining all the incredible projects that can be made with fabric. It is that passion for fabric and design that brought me to work part-time for the Whole 9 Yards 12 years ago. I am originally from the East Coast. I completed Foundation Art at RISD, I have a BA in Undergraduate Architecture from Smith College and an Associate’s Degree in Apparel Design from Parsons School of Design in New York City. I designed for many years in the Apparel Industry both in New York and for Jantzen here in Portland. I custom-sew all the beautiful customer pillows here in the Whole 9Yards workroom and I teach the Pillow making I and II classes as well as the Curtain making class. I enjoy teaching people how to have beautiful professional results from sewing their own projects. I am married, I am a mom to a great dog and a naughty cat and I am caretaker to my healthy but elderly mother. Outside of work I am passionate about Natural Horsemanship and I am a 3 Day eventing equestrian.
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Denise Smitherman

One day while sitting in front of a very old beautiful painting at the National Gallery in London, where I was living, I came to the realization that I wanted to be an artist. Being a practical person, I decided to study furniture making at Oregon College of Art & Craft. When I met the wood lathe my life in the woodshop changed, and all I did from then was turn. During my third year I took a class in the metals studio and ended up changing my major. I still enjoy making wearable art, and I sell my jewelry at the Whole 9 Yards.  See selection here. After school I went to work for an upholsterer, learning how fabric can transform a piece of furniture. I joined the Whole 9 Yards in 2006. I believe everyone has an inner artist. I am lucky and grateful to all the customers that tell/show me their stories about their homes and families. Customers motivate me to continually work on my own artwork. Right now I am working on multiple mixed media pieces that tell my story. To balance my life, I ride my bike and visit my yoga mat daily.
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Sandra Elliott

As a child, I always knew I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. Well, I am a visual artist (I paint, draw, photograph and make assemblages) although I’ve never really grown up. I received my BFA from Cornish Institute in Seattle and have enjoyed an interesting mix of art-related jobs over the years…painting backdrops for a circus sideshow and some public artworks, production of artist-designed jewelry, gilding miniature frames and working at a Folk Art Gallery, a History Museum and managing Archie McPhee’s. I live in the woods and find much inspiration from the nature surrounding me. At the Whole 9 Yards, I am in charge of shipping and receiving. I love the moments when unfurling a new roll my breath is taken away by the beauty of what I see. Each day is a gift of creativity around here! A smattering of some of my artistic endeavors are available for viewing online at madamsandra.com
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Victoria Robinson

I am a wife, designer, and mother to one cat. I love growing tomatoes, collecting pottery, and making things with felt. Before moving to Portland and earning my BS in Interior Design at the Art Institute of Portland, I was designing costumes and working backstage with the UC San Diego and La Jolla Playhouse theatre programs. I started with The Whole 9 Yards in 2008, and haven’t looked back since!  Click here to see some of my handmade goods, and for more about me check out my designer profile!
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Nancy Foraker

I came to the Whole 9 Yards in the spring of 2013. Most of my time is spent back in the sample room preparing books and new samples for the floor. I love getting to preview the new fabrics and imagining all of the fabulous projects that can be done with them. Outside of the store I enjoy cooking, gardening, household projects, hiking, biking and traveling. I have a husband and two daughters as well as two cats.
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Nora Garofoli

I may be among the newest employees of Whole 9 Yards, but I am not new to sewing. I am Nora and I have been sewing and doing many kinds of crafts since I was very young. I have my paternal Grandmother and my Mom to thank for my skills and I especially remember a second grade teacher who taught many different handcrafts from the small loom woven potholders of long ago to small crocheted projects. Her teachings certainly struck a nerve in me, a very creative nerve. I have been sewing, knitting and everything else since. I am so glad to be sewing again professionally here at Whole 9 Yards. It is very rewarding for me to be using my skills to help make our customer's dreams come true; taking their many ideas from paper to reality for their home decor. When I am not here sewing I enjoy visiting with my three grown children, quilting and sewing for myself, working in my garden, reading many types of fiction, nonfiction and science related books and magazines. I even find time to enjoy learning about the many little insects that also share my yard and garden with me.
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Gussie

Hi, I’m Gussie. I’ve got a great life! I’m pretty mellow, except when it comes to motorcycles, squirrels, and skateboards. (WHO invented that thing?!!). I really like my job as “Official Greeter” at The Whole 9 Yards. Since Amy and Jamie work for me, I get away with a lot. I like to visit with everyone, so be sure to say “hi” when you come in.
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Tia

Hi, I'm Matia.  I'm usually in the office with Pat, my person, but I do enjoy adventuring out onto the sales floor to say "hello" and chase my froggy.  I recently retired from breeding so I'm still learning my proper manners with people, but I sure do love all the  attention!