On October 1, 1962, Max and Alta McClellan purchased Powder Sales located at 2023 James Street (across the street from where our retail store is in Bellingham.) In those early days, they ran what was then Powder Sales with one other employee, specializing in surplus merchandise, logging supplies, foam, paint, and dynamite. Powder Sales was renamed Hardware Sales when we stopped carrying dynamite. In the early 1970's we moved to our present retail location. Over the years we have expanded across several blocks in Bellingham and opened distribution centers in Ferndale, Washington, and Greenwood, Indiana, for sales generated on the internet, employing over 140 people between the three locations.
In addition to sales of hardware and tools and all of the usual hardware store products, we are proud to provide our community with access to an extensive fleet of equipment rentals for both homeowners and contractors. Our Lawn Equipment Service Center, located just across the street at 2100 James Street in Bellingham, is a certified repair center and offers a one-stop shop for purchasing, servicing and maintaining your lawn equipment.
We are extremely proud of the customer service priority that has won us Best Hardware Store more than once; our reputation for having courteous and knowledgeable employees; the hundreds of years of hardware experience that our employees represent; and the extensive selection of tools, materials and supplies we carry.
Left to right: LaDonna George, Alta McClellan, Jerry McClellan and Ty McClellan
Over the years Hardware Sales has worked hard to become one of the Pacific Northwest's premier hardware suppliers. Whether it's plumbing or electrical materials, automotive or garden supplies, housewares or hand trucks, hand or power tools, fasteners or fencing, padlocks or paint, cable or chain - we have them all, and much, much more!
In addition to specializing in commercial and homeowner hardware, we have an Industrial Sales Division that caters to our corporate customers and a Rental Department which offers competitive rates on almost everything we sell!
This award-winning business now fills several buildings in Bellingham and offers over 68,000+ items for sale to everyone from do-it-yourself homeowners to major contractors. What started in 1962 with three people, now has over 140 employees and covers a total of 37,000 square feet of retail and 50,000 Sq. Ft. warehouse In Bellingham & a 32,000 Sq. Ft. warehouse in Ferndale.
More About Alta
In March of 2003, Alta McClellan, at age 87, received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Whatcom County Business Pulse "for her dedication to making Hardware Sales such an enduring success."
Here are a few of the many testimonials Alta received with her Lifetime Achievement Award:
"Alta McClellan sets the standard for dedication and commitment in running a successful business. She's a great role model for all of us."
Pete Kremen, Whatcom Co. Executive
"Hardware Sales is perhaps the most unique store in Bellingham. Under Alta McClellan's supervision, the store has prospered the old-fashioned way: by having all the product anyone could want and providing great customer service."
Mark Asmundson, Mayor of Bellingham
On Alta's 90th birthday, February 11, 2006, the occasion was officially proclaimed "Alta McClellan Day" by Bellingham Mayor Mark Asmundson, in recognition of Alta's contribution to the community.
"Hardware Sales is more than an institution, more than a destination - it's a community treasure. Its long tradition and its success are based in its family business core and the lady at its center."
Mike Brennan, President of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce
Some of our favorite Alta-isms
What she said or did . . . .
1. Buttered her toast to the edges.
2. “Breaker! Breaker!”
3. “Don’t forget please and thank you.”
4. Left room for dessert.
5. “We can give it a try.”
6. Worked diligently.
7. Brought in cookies and candy on holidays.
8. Daily KP (Kitchen Patrol)
9. Reused plastic bags.
10. Wore make-up every day.
What it teaches us . . . .
1. Live life to the fullest.
2. Customers come first . . . Get the phone!
3. Treat each other with respect.
4. Enjoy the little things.
5. Be willing to try new things.
6. Apply yourself 100% to what you do.
7. Celebrate every chance you get!
8. We are all created equally.
9. A penny saved is a penny earned.
10. Put your best foot forward.