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Community profile: Tiempo's Jody Laine
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Community profile: Tiempo's Jody Laine

by James Whitely - SGN Contributing Writer

Passion for her community, passion for her profession, and passion for her 26-year relationship with her partner Shad, Jody Laine has it. Bits and pieces of her passion are scattered all over Seattle thanks to her heavy involvement in the community. If you regularly attend community events, you're certain to have seen her.

Jody has been a proactive community activist in Seattle for over two decades. She currently serves on the board of trustees for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. She's served on the Pride Foundation board, she's a proactive member of the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), and her partner serves on the board of the Women's Funding Alliance.

Although well-known on Capitol Hill, Jody's passion is much more far-reaching than one might expect. Years ago, Jody helped open the Billy DeFrank LGBT community center in San Jose, California. She served on the interim board before the initial board of trustees was created.

It needs to be said that it isn't easy to write about a single person when they are so inextricably tied to another. I write "Shad and Jody," then catch myself. Originally from San Diego, Jody met her partner, Shad, 26 years ago doing community work in upstate New York.

Shad, a healer, decided to go to acupuncture school in Seattle in 1987, so the two packed up their lives and moved across the country. Shad has since become a pioneer in treating HIV/AIDS with acupuncture.

"Lots of people in this community have held long relationships. There are a lot of members of our community to look up to in that regard," Jody tells me with a smile that seems to say that she is absolutely content with her life. Jody has found "the one," and her demeanor reveals it, almost saying, "This is it. This is life, and it's wonderful."

Jody's passion for her profession is further reaching than just her own business, Tiempo, a watch and clock shop on 14th avenue on Capitol Hill. "When I opened this place years ago & there was nothing on this block," said Jody. Now the block seems to be flowering with groups of small businesses that have popped up, almost all of which are members of the GSBA.

The small business community in the Capitol Hill neighborhood is an inspiration for Jody. "My heart is torn asunder by [the closing of bookstore] Bailey/Coy. We can't let our local businesses fail. It will create a ripple effect," Jody told me, "I think small shops offer something that the big box stores can't. I can give to the community in ways big box stores just can't." According to Jody, this is why she owns a small business, and why she always tries to shop local; she believes it creates a richer community.

Recently, Shad and Jody demonstrated this when they made three of the Approve Ref. 71 ads that were played at the Seattle Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The ad with the interview with the firefighters, the ad with the texting boyfriends that get together to vote and the ad with people filling out and mailing their ballots as a clock is ticking were all created by Shad and Jody.

Jody learned watch repair in one of the top watch technology programs in the world at North Seattle Community College, where she serves on the technical advisory board of the 3,000-hour program. "People graduate from the program, then come to help at the shop, then move on to Ben Bridge or Rolex," said Jody.

Tiempo performs watch repair on a very high caliber. "We're just as happy to put a battery in your Timex as we are to do an overhaul on your grandfather's Gruin," said Jody. Though Tiempo doesn't do clock repair these days, they do full-service watch repair, jewelry repairs, and even wedding rings and stones on occasion.

I was a bit surprised that a watchmaker would work with jewelry, but Jody assured me, "If you can figure out how to fix a watch or a clock, you can fix anything & if you've got the tools."

So wind up at Tiempo, for all your time-related needs. Tiempo is located at 1511 14th Avenue. For more information, check out tiempowatch.com.

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