We made the decision to close our business...
We made the decision to close our business. It was early this year, early in the pandemic. We had a looming deadline to let our landlord know if we planned to renew our lease at the end of October. The state of our country was up in the air as people were losing their jobs, kids were learning from home and parents were stressed. Like so many small businesses our doors were closed, and our online store wasn’t robust. My daughters and I had a sensical, thoughtful discussion about the past three years, our unknown future, and our goals that would not be met in 2020.
We made the decision to close our business.
It was a cerebral exercise. After that we went to work on the tasks for closing the brick and mortar. I made calls and sent emails to notify, inform and cancel the business side of things while Blair worked on improving our website for a future online. We talked with our customers late in the summer and our vendors, especially our valued local makers, before that. This past week, we moved out all the furniture and painted over our beloved logo, swept the floor and turned off the lights. Our sign will be removed in the next couple days and then it will be a wrap.
We made the decision to close our business.
It hurts. I’m sad. I think I’ve been so busy going about the business of closing the store that I didn’t let it sink in. We had such dreams, an incredible vision of what was a unique enterprise for our area, and we (especially Blair) built an incredible brand. The Vintage Pantry Co went from being a thought dreamed up around the kitchen table to a store with thousands of customers and followers, with talented local makers who create incredible artistic products, and a sense of style unique to us that balances a clean artisan focused modernism with vintage finds. We did what we set out to do but the end result wasn’t to be.
We made the decision to close our business, but we didn’t fail.
Most importantly, we are still alive. The Vintage Pantry co website is thriving. We’ve scheduled at least one holiday market and hoping to add others if these outdoor events can be attended safely. Blair is re-imagining our marketing efforts and we are all very excited about the future of the company. We aren’t even ruling out having another store at some time in the future.
On a personal level, it’s important to me to say we didn’t fail. How can I look at this as anything more than an incredible success? The Vintage Pantry Co gave me memories that can’t be replaced. I’ve met some incredible people like Barbara Rosen, now a great friend and an incredible artist. I met Cindy, Faye, Priscilla and Ronni and so many other thoughtful, supportive and compassionate friends that were as committed to us as we were happy to always see them walk through the doors. There are so many customers, partners and neighbors that I began to consider friends that it is hard to mention everyone. Your smiles, even those I couldn’t see through your mask, made me so happy. I will forever be grateful for all the love and support. You are all wonderful people.
Most of all, I am happy for the past three years for giving me the pleasure of working closely with my daughters Leah and Blair. While mostly a silent partner, Leah was there when we needed her whether that was in the dirt looking for treasure during our many flea market trips or adding a different perspective when we couldn’t solve a problem. Her presence in the store always made my day and if she brought my granddaughter, Cambria, to work with her, that made my year! Her sister, Blair, was and is our leader in this business. Our CEO, Blair and I worked together on a daily basis. I am so so proud of her. She is creative and passionate. She is admired for her style and has only just started to understand herself the level of her talent. Blair is also a smart business leader. She has vision and I can’t wait to see what she does with the brand.
So, while our doors have closed and our sign will soon be down, we were there. You found us, we gained friends, we built a brand, and we made memories that will last forever.
I look forward to seeing you all soon, maybe at a market, maybe at the grocery store, or maybe online but we will see you again. Thank you for your support. Stay safe.