In the midst of the depression, Harvey Hansen was faced with the need to provide for his family. Being that there were virtually no job-opportunities available, he decided that he would use his artistic skills to help put food on the table. Going door to door, Harvey began to sell various handcrafted items. On one of his stops he saw a woman making lampshades and decided that this was something he could do as well. Although his original plan had not been to sell lampshades, this trade quickly became one of his skills. He even began making trips down the coast selling them from hotel to hotel.He would take orders in the morning, manufacture the shades that same evening and delivering them early the next morning before heading off to the next stop.
When it became apparent that a living could be made from this, Harvey and his wife Emily opened for business at a Greenlake location for $25 rent per month. In 1944, the couple purchased a building on Phinney Ridge for $6,000, giving a permanent location to the new business called Hansen Lamp and Shade. Harvey worked there with his sons Harold and Gail for many years before he retired in 1962.
Previous to Harvey’s retirement, his oldest son Harold decided that he wanted to open a shop of his own. So in 1957, Harold and his wife Millie opened Harold’s Lamps and Shades at 2105 N 45th. Ten years later, Harold purchased the building across the street (1912 N 45th) and it has been located there ever since. Around this same time, Harold’s sons, Peter, Kim and Scott, began to work with him. Eventually Peter and Scott went their separate ways leaving Kim to carry on the legacy.
Kim Hansen has now worked in the family business for over 45 years, working alongside his own children Joel and Tiffany for 20 years. Recently, Joel has decided start his own independent lamp repair business and is doing great. Tiffany continues to keep the torch lit in Wallingford working alongside a great team of employees. Harold’s Lighting has a rich heritage and continues to provide excellent service to its clients both big and small.