Good business

December 23, 2011

I stopped inside a local store today as I was walking home from the other end of town.  I had noticed in passing by the store front while in my car or on a bus that it seemed to have changed hands, and I had even confirmed this at a new local store in my own neighborhood that sells the same sorts of things (things handcrafted by local folks) and is managed by the mother of a classmate of one of my kids.  She even mentioned that the previous store had closed due to health issues of owner.

So, today I finally made it in there.  And I got into a conversation with the owner after asking whether she had taken up some of the inventory of the previous shop, because some of it looked familiar.  And she said she was buying from local artisans, so there was some overlap, where the previous owner had also bought from them.  And that progressed into a conversation about the transition from one store to the next, and sure enough, illness figured prominently.  Terminal illness (mitochondrial disease), of two people, a young mother and a young child.  Apparently, the commercial lease could not be terminated easily, and when the woman I was talking to heard that the previous owner’s family was going to have to file for bankruptcy because of it, she decided that the gallery she had planned on opening some time in the future would open within three weeks.  She assumed the lease.

It meant a lot of scrambling around for her, and she said with a rent as high as it is, she won’t be getting rich, but she said that when presented with such a situation, you do what you can.   I thought it was a wonderful thing to do.  And I was glad I was in the midst of buying something from the store when I first broached the question of inventory.

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