Local businesses shuffle storefrontsWhimsy’s Closet owner Sue Olson has had her eye on the storefront at 207 Bush St. for quite some time.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Whimsy’s Closet owner Sue Olson has had her eye on the storefront at 207 Bush St. for quite some time.
“If (that) space had been open 15 years ago, I would have started the business there,” Olson said.
But the space had been occupied by Wise Penny for 20 years. That is until recently, when the thrift store began feeling cramped.
“We had so many donations that we needed more room,” said Wise Penny co-manager Judy Thuman.
So now Whimsy’s Closet will move into the Bush Street location, while Wise Penny settles into a larger storefront at 405 W. Third St.
For all 15 years it’s been in business, Whimsy’s Closet has been housed inside Pottery Place on Old West Main Street.
The move downtown means this is the first time Olson’s clothing and accessory shop will have its own front door and display windows. That will give the store more independence, something Olson admits is a “little scary.”
“Having an open store and sharing customers gives a sense that you’re all together,” she said of Pottery Place.
However the storeowner said she’s excited for the upcoming change.
“The space is fantastic,” Olson said of her new shop. “It’s a beautiful space with a positive energy.”
Still, Olson stressed that the move is not prompted by a desire to leave her current location, adding that she’s had “nothing but wonderful experiences at Pottery Place.”
“It will just be another adventure,” she said of her move.
And while the store’s address will change, Olson said the store itself won’t. Whimsy’s closet will still sell gifts, jewelry, accessories and clothing.
For now, Olson is working on planning the store’s move. She said she needs to be out of Pottery Place by the end of June, but is not sure exactly how long it will take to move merchandise, if the shop needs to close during that time or how long it will take to settle in.
“I hope we do it in the shortest period possible,” Olson said.
Wise Penny wrapped up its first week in its Third Street location last Friday. So far Thuman said the move has meant more customers have been coming through the door.
“We’ve been very busy. Business has been extremely well,” she said.
The thrift store — which accepts donations and gives all of its proceeds from sales to local Christian schools — has about 100 volunteer employees. Many of them, along with volunteers from nearby churches, helped move into the Third Street location at the beginning of June.
To help make the move easier, Wise Penny held sales to get rid of a lot of merchandise that had been sitting on its shelves for a while.
“We basically started with just about all new stock,” Thuman said. “We had extreme sales to get rid of it.”
The moving process began last October. Thuman said when the shop began outgrowing its former space, its board of directors began looking for a larger storefront. But they knew they didn’t want to venture too far from downtown.
“Just because of foot traffic and tourists, we would not have moved outside of that downtown area,” she said.
So far the move seems to be working out well — for both the store’s volunteers and its customers.
“All the people that walk in say, ‘Oh, it’s so nice. You have room, you have space,’” Thuman said.