What: Printing, scanning, digital imaging, custom picture framing
Where: 516 N. Sequim Ave.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday-Monday
In the months since purchasing Clear Image Sequim, Damon Stamoolis has taken on a number of new skills and brushed up on some older ones.
“I’ve been using my Photoshop skills to bring new life to those old memories,” he said.
That includes family photos on glass slides that date back to 1849.
“I know it sounds a little corny in a period of time where the news is very depressing with what we’re going through as a nation and a culture,” he said, “but with looking at some of these timeless memories it’s like jumping in a time machine.
“I get a kick out of it.”
Stamoolis and his wife Stephanie, a doctor for Northwest Eye Surgeons, purchased the established shop on Feb. 1, which focuses on printing, scanning, digital imaging and custom picture framing.
After some building renovations, the couple re-opened on March 17 — about the same time many regulations and restrictions went into place for the 2019 novel coronavirus.
“It’s not ideal,” Stamoolis said.
“But given the amount of services we have — slides, scanning, prints, converting VHS (and more) — we kind of mustered our way through those first phases.”
Business has picked back up, he said, with more than 100 custom frame orders in the last month, thousands of slides being digitized, and hundreds of VHS and other media tapes digitized, too.
Stamoolis said he’s maintaining previous owner Daniel Jolly’s many services after seven years in Sequim, with half the shop housing custom framing and the other half focused on photo restoration, slide conversion and more.
Prior to his time in the corporate and retail world, Stamoolis earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with concentrations in photography, documentary filmmaking and art history.
“A lot has changed in 20 years, but it’s been a fast and furious learning curve,” he said.
“Given the pandemic, it’s given me a chance to lean into it a little bit easier.”
The couple said they wanted to start a small business in Sequim, and Stamoolis said he’s always maintained a “service first” mindset in any organization he’s managed.
“It’s a complete bonus that it’s in the arts, something I’ve been passionate about my whole life,” he said.
Both Damon and Stephanie Stamoolis are Western Pennsylvania natives, but they met cross country in Portland, Ore. Prior to moving to Sequim in 2016, they lived in Snoqualmie before seeking some place quieter.
“We’re here indefinitely on the peninsula and proud to be small business owners,” Stamoolis said.
“We’re a big outdoors family and love being in the Olympics and fishing. It’s why we all live here.”
To help negotiatie the economic effects of COVID-19, the couple was able to secure a grant through the City of Sequim and Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce to help replace a printer and cover some other miscellaneous costs.
“We are thrilled that the community has embraced us during difficult times,” Stamoolis said. “We will strive to preserve art, memories, and digital content with a service-first culture for years to come.”
Customers have mixed reaction to coming inside the shop during a pandemic, he said. Some opt to drop off their media for the family to finish rather than coming inside.Stamoolis said it’s taking one-two weeks to finish a project.
If you choose to come inside the business, Stamoolis asks customers to practice responsible retail practices and that one household may come into the store at one time.
Stamoolis said they intend to hire an employee as business dictates, but for now Stephanie Stamoolis will help frame on weekends, Damon Stamoolis said.
For more information, visit goclearimage.com or call 360-681-7622.
Reach Matthew Nash at email@example.com.