About Lew Rents East
In 1928 George Eklund laid the foundation to what would later come to be known as Lew Rents by purchasing Olympia Hardware Co. in downtown Olympia. The store’s longevity and customer service began to spawn a new idea and a new business.
The year was 1956; George Eklund was ready to retire and in swept the next generation of Eklund's. Lew Eklund took over the family business, with a fresh new idea for expansion, the historic Olympia Hardware Co. started to evolve into a new type of business. Olympia was growing and Lew decided that it was time to grow with it, the idea was implemented and Olympia had its very first tool rental company. Hardware and tool rentals were what The Olympia Hardware Co. was now all about.
The idea took off, local contractors and homeowners loved the idea of renting a tool for a job. Instead of having to purchase a tool they could rent what they needed. Lew decided that it was working so well that the family’s future wasn’t in hardware it was in rentals. In 1961 Lew Rents moved to a new location on East Fourth Avenue on the Eastside of Olympia. The Olympia Hardware Co. that was started in 1854 became Lew Rents.
In the later part of the 60’s interest on the part of two of Lew’s five children began to grow. Dale and Dean Eklund, like their father, became interested in the family business. The two started out in the service shop and worked there way to the front counter learning the ins and the outs of the family business. The 60’s had passed and Dale decided that he was going to go to college. Dean stayed behind and worked along side of his father in. After graduating from college Dale returned home and once again began to take part in the company. In the later part of 1977 Lew and his wife Geraldine Eklund retired and Dean and Dale took over Lew Rents from their father.
Three generations later, Lew Rents would once again evolve. In 1980 Lew Rents expanded. The demand for tool rentals was increasing and one store could not fill the need being produced by their customers. The two brothers found a building on Harrison Avenue and opened Lew Rents West. Dale ran the store and Dean continued to run the Eastside store on 4th Avenue. The store suited the needs for about 6 years before they decided that it just wasn’t big enough. In 1987 Lew Rents West was moved to the corner of Mud Bay and Mcphee Rd. Finally Lew Rents West was able to expand and fully meet the service and rental needs of their customers.
Today there are two stores and they continue to work closely with one another as the fourth generation of Eklund’s have already began to show interest in their father’s family business. Dale’s children Jason and Jessica work closely alongside their father at the Westside store while Dean’s two sons Josh and Jamie work alongside their father at the Eastside store.
Dale and Dean feel that the secret to staying in business generation after generation involves not only family but also hiring the right kind of people, emphasizing on customer service along with strong family participation. With four generations and eighty years in business Lew Rents has a vast selection of tools and equipment to fit every customer's needs and the knowledge to give you the answers you’re looking for.