Sibley's West: The Chandler and Arizona Gift Shop is the creation of Michelle and John Wolfe.
Longtime residents, the Wolfes thought downtown Chandler needed some additional retail outlets to complement its selection of restaurants and vibrant nightlife.
The idea of a gift shop had some potential. Having visited many shops in Phoenix, including ones in the airport, the Wolfes were disappointed to find so many items and souvenirs made overseas. But at some shops and local festivals the couple encountered attractive gifts produced by Arizona craftsmen and artists. They also sought to identify larger manufacturers that call Arizona home, coming across firms like Original Dirt Shirts, Armadilla Wax Works and Cheri's Desert Harvest.
Embracing a mantra of "From Arizona," the Wolfes sought out suppliers while arranging to rent space in downtown Chandler. The vision culminated with the opening of the gift shop in December 2010.
And about the name ... Sibley's was a department store in Rochester, N.Y. started in 1868 by John's great-grandfather, Rufus Sibley. His son, John, took over following Rufus' death in 1928 and ran the company for 30 years.
Sibley's was an institution in the community, combining fine service with fair pricing. It was purchased by Associated Dry Goods and later became part of the May Co. Its name was changed in 1990 to Kaufmann's.
The Wolfes decided to resurrect the name -- albeit on a much smaller scale -- to celebrate this heritage.
Steve M., Store Manager
Steve joined Sibley’s West in the fall of 2012. Born in Globe, he is a rare Arizona native and has lived here all of his life. Steve started his own custom imprint business in the valley in 1978, which he and his brother still operate today. With more than 30 years of small business retail experience, Steve is a valued member of the Sibley’s West team. Steve also brings a creative eye for signage, producing all of the shelf talkers and display signs for the store. A huge Disney fan, Steve has two daughters and lives with his wife in Chandler.
Teresa M., Assistant Store Manager
Teresa grew up in Kansas but moved to Arizona with her husband in 1994. They have two children. She's a former elementary teacher as well as a fifth degree black belt in Aikido and was an instructor for over 20 years. Her joys include playing tennis and piano, doing crafts and spending time with friends and family.
Ellen K., Sales Associate
Ellen was born in Virginia and has lived in a number of spots -- including Chicago, her favorite escape -- before landing in Arizona in 2004. She is a home shopper and also makes jewelry. She loves animals and volunteers at the Arizona Animal Welfare League.
Sandy B., Sales Associate
Sandy is retired educator who loves to shop! She moved to the Chandler area five years ago and is active in local church and community activities. She's also a member of the Sun Lakes Rock and Gem Club. Sandy is a mother of two sons and grandmother of five.
Kathy P., Sales Associate
Many of you have probably met “Peach” at Sibley’s West for an author event for her children’s book, “The Tiniest Tumbleweed.” Now she’s here more often, as a sales associate. She moved to Arizona in 2009 and earned a degree in early childhood education from ASU’s Barrett Honors College in 2014. She is a native of Tennessee and has two daughters, one of whom lives in Arizona, and grandchildren.
Dave T., Sales Associate
Dave grew up in Rockford, Ill before moving to Chandler in 1995 with his wife and two daughters. Those daughters, Chandler High grads, still live in Chandler. Now Dave and his wife enjoy caring for a rescue dog. He spent his career since 1983 in the air-conditioning/refrigeration industry, first in Illinois and then in Arizona.