After much thought I have decided to close The Local Variety. This was a massive and difficult choice for me to make but I know it is the right one. In January I told myself that I would give it one more year, and despite my blood, sweat and tears combined with good ol' Mainer stubbornness and an near-inability to admit defeat, I've reluctantly come to grips with the fact that the time has come to bow out as gracefully as my awkwardness will allow.
To be quite honest, I'm tired of not having anything left in my tank when I get home to my three VIP's at the end of the day. I've missed too many soccer games, birthday parties and even Saturday morning family "trips" to the esteemed Bucksport Solid Waste Transfer Station (you know what they say: if you are longing for a simple trip to the dump, maybe you should reevaluate your life choices). I love my customers and community but I take on way too much responsibility to make everyone happy, and in doing so have put myself and my family on the back burner. Some might say that I should just hire more staff so I don’t need to be at the store as much as I am, but with foot traffic and sales down significantly this past year, that is not an option. A wise community member recently told me that I will never regret spending more time with my family, and that is absolutely true. I'm going to take that whole "they grow up before you know it" advice to heart and try to be around a little more before they're grown up. Plus, after 19 years my husband Caleb and I still like each other and I’d like to keep it that way. The man is a saint.
Second, my sweet husband has had to travel a lot for work this year. That's a decision he and I made together, but it hasn't been easy to put in a 9-10+ hour day at the store, try to be a half decent mom to two kids and tend our little farm (side note- goats are the worst, don't ever get goats, they will literally run your life and eat all of your gardens despite any clever fencing mechanisms you may create). Because of the increase in travel, we are considering a move to somewhere more southern and closer to a major airport. I'm taking one major life decision at a time and maybe we won’t leave Bucksport but a move is definitely on the horizon of possibilities for us (P.S.: anybody interested in some extremely adorable goats?).
I'm really proud of what I have been able to build, along with my amazing staff and all of you, and I'm even more proud to have been part of such an amazing community and exciting time for Bucksport over the last 3.5 years. Even though this part is really hard, I know it's the right thing to do. I don’t know what’s next for me but I do know it will be greater because of all that each of you have taught and shared with me during my time here. November 23rd will be our last day open at 79 Main Street in order to try and get everything cleaned up, cleaned out and buttoned up financially by the end of December. If there are any products left, our online shop will be open until mid-December. So, if you have gift certificates burning a hole in your pocket, now is the time to dig them out!
One thing that definitely will not change is my continuing support to champion the cause of local, small business and community in anyway that I can. If you enjoy having an adorable book store in your town, please spend your money there. If you like having a few different options in town to eat at, you need to go to one for your date night. If you enjoy the convenience of being able to get your hair done without having to drive ½ hour away, book regular appointments and tell a friend. Keeping your money local means so much. Small businesses are created because the owners are passionate about what they’re doing, and they need community support in order to stick around. Thanks for all of your support and keeping us around for the past 3.5 years.
P.S.- If you or someone you know is interested in the possibility of opening an adorable shop in downtown Bucksport in a prime location OR in purchasing any of our equipment, inquiries can be sent to me at email@example.com or by messaging the Local Variety on FB. This offer also applies to anyone interested in mischievous (but adorable!) goats.