Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Old Postcard Wednesday--Black Lily, Silverton, Oregon

I shopped at this store in my town, Silverton, last year. Not much, but I did patronize them, and, should I desire to do so this holiday season, that is just too bad. Black Lily closed its doors in late June 2010 after three years in business. It was someone's dream, took a lot of hard work to build the little business, and had some real admirers in residents and tourists alike. I thought it was a touch of class to have an actual postcard at the cashier counter given to patrons for a memento/advertising. So, where this is not by any means an old postcard I am posting it for Old Postcard Wednesday because the store it boasts is a thing of the past, and an indicator of how tough this year has been for so many.

Since Black Lily closed, the corner retail space in a fine old three-story brick building downtown has sat vacant. It looks pitiful, especially this time of year -- and particularly because they created fine seasonal window dressings that I miss. Click here for a complete list of Retail Store Closings in 2010 (last updated 10-12-10). Black Lily is not on the list, as it appears that by "store" they mean larger retailers and chains. In any case it is an interesting list and there is a bit of positivity there, in that the 2010 closings appear to be behind the completed list for 2009 closings.

However, is anybody else out there just waiting for the other shoe to drop? This particular Wednesday is one of my husband's personal unpaid "furlough" days in his job with the state. We expect that these will continue throughout 2011, but will not complain because one has to have a job in order to be subjected to unpaid "furlough" days! Their impact on our household is that even if Black Lily was open for business this holiday season in downtown Silverton I could not have shopped there, not this year.


I don't want this post to be all doom and gloom, and will end on a high note.....a successful small business! My cousin Marjorie "Midge" Dey has a beautiful store featuring unique gifts in Massachusetts called Marjorie's. In business now for 15 years, she is assisted by her daughter, Jen. This mother-daughter team would love your business, in person or via their online boutique, so if you have some last-minute gifts you might want to take a look (or keep them in mind for 2011). Really, their website is a treat with its Online Boutique, "Our Story" about their business - complete with photos, and a great section called Favorites in which they give links to Cape Cod websites and other points/vendors of interest. Visit the shop at Marjorie's. You can also connect with the store at their Facebook page!

These great coasters are an example of Midge's "Shell Inspirations." She collects the shells during her beach walks, and designs and creates some truly special shell artwork (see more of Midge's Cape Cod and Beach Inspired Gifts here). I am so impressed with her artistry and the love that she and Jen have put into Marjorie's.

{Hey, Midge, this is my holiday greeting to you and the family...with love!}



madamebutterfly said...

Reading other peoples blogs is also a real education for me - I had not heard of "furlough" days before. I guessed for the context what it meant but still looked it up.

We are also too used to seeing shops close up now - in the towns around the country what were once busy high streets shops stand vacant or (another sign of the times) factory outlets/charity shops spring up taking short-term leases.

As the offical "recession" starts its 4th year I can't help wondering if the boom years of this particular "boom n bust" went on for so long?

Lydia said...

madamebutterfly~ As you said, butterfly, it is educational reading others' blogs. It is through them that I have come to realize the depth and universality of the recession. We are all in this together in so many ways.
I think the "boom" years were, at least toward the end that you mentioned, an illusion perpetrated on the people by world banks and the politicians and business leaders who were cozy with them.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

yeah - they closed down and demolished a big 1950s shopping centre and replaced it with a modern mall. Even though it was dark and dingy and a bit scary i still miss the feeling of going into the depths and finding all these little shops. Now the new mall just feels like every other shopping centre - no personality.

It's sad when you see a closed shop, because it does represent the loss of someone's dream - but i think part of the truth is that just because you are passionate about something it doesn't make you a good business person: you have to be very committed and very sure before you start

Lydia said...

Pixies~ You make a very good point in your final statement. I'm capable in business, but the idea of having my own business has never appealed to me.
Your old 1950s shopping center sounds like it was a good place, one I would probably have taken a picture of as a tourist.

naomi dagen bloom said...

Lydia, Meant to tell you that we may have seen your unusual Mayor that night we were in Silverton for "Hamlet in Love." Very distinctive personage sitting at an outdoor cafe on a corner.

We enjoyed the yarn shop you mentioned and bought some. Have to go back to complete the hat so I guess it should be sooner than later with the way things are going in your town and ours.

Furloughs have shortened our grandkid's school days by a lot.

Lydia said...

naomi~ You just described (beautifully) the Mayor in one of his favorite places to meet people.
So strange about the yarn shop, because after I first wrote to you in NY about it the shop closed. Some months later it reopened in the location you visited. I do hope they can make a go of it.
I so hate to see furloughs affecting education...



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