The founders met after church one day at Birch Bay and found themselves discussing the fact that the region had no educational store or place to buy sound educational gifts for their children and grandchildren. From that point forward they began our dreaming and planning. Launching Success Learning Store opened in May 2003 after a year of extensive research into the needs of educators in the region. They had a lot to learn about business as they were mostly teachers. To their pleasant surprise, folks loved the store!
They soon found themselves working closely with private schools and a growing number of homeschooling parents in addition to public school teachers and principals.
In 2005 the store allied with Dallas Pen Corporation to prepare it's general catalog and online store. The local Chamber of Commerce then heralded the store as one of the best new small businesses.
A year later the store allied with Appalachia Distributors (also known as STL) to enlarge the homeschooling department and to achieve their designation as HOMESCHOOL HEADQUARTERS for this part of Washington State. Shortly thereafter, the store worked with A-1 Uniforms to provide our customers with a wide range of low-cost school uniforms.
Once the store moved into the new 5,600 square foot building in the Cordata/Bakerview area of Bellingham, it was able to expand by adding a new department in educational games and toys.
Again, the store was nominated one of the top 3 best small businesses in Whatcom County.
In 2013, ownership passed to employees Jen and Kristen. They continue to carry out the mission and vision of the store.
"We attribute the success of the Learning Store to co-founders Bob and Sandy Hiorns, and Dan and Barbara Sanford. They worked tirelessly to make this store what it has become to day. We're happy to be able to carry on the mantle they have passed down."
-Jen and Kristen, owners
The store was again nominated for Small Business of the Year, and it was awarded in 2017. Jen and Kristen were thrilled to win! They continue to seek out the best products and methods of helping parents and teachers in the community educate the precious children we've all been given.