In today's edition of the Star Democrat, Irish Traditions is featured announcing its closing at the end of the month. Due to personal decisions, owner Margaret McLemore has decided to operate from their online store and Annapolis location. As this will be the eighth business in fewer months to close its doors in Downtown Easton, its a good of a time as any to emphasize the importance of supporting independent businesses. As the article states, only two of the businesses (to my knowledge) have closed due to economic reasons. This eases my fears as I assumed it was due to a lack of business. Our locals are the "bread and butter" to sustain independent businesses - they keep business as usual throughout the year when our tourism season is at bay. As more corporate businesses come to Easton, its easier to rely on the outskirts of the town limits for our goods and services. However, the beautiful tree-lined avenues, historic buildings and museums, quaint bed and breakfasts, eateries that truly care about the food they serve and where it comes from, shops with sought after one-of-a-kind items that you cannot find in the major retailers are some of the reasons why we find our town so appealing. This is what lends Easton the desired charm of a small town. It's a part of what has kept us here.
So as this door closes, let another open. Lets take this as an opportunity to engage our independent businesses. I urge you to #makethepledge to Shop Local - help keep Easton (in its entirety not just Downtown) sustainable by supporting our independent merchants.
The following article is courtesy of the Star Democrat.
Easton's Irish Traditions to close
Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 12:45 pm | Updated: 7:33 pm, Tue Aug 11, 2015.
By JOSH BOLLINGER firstname.lastname@example.org
EASTON — For those who haven’t noticed the signs in the windows at 35 N. Harrison St., Irish Traditions is expecting to close up shop in downtown Easton at the end of August.
Though it won’t have a physical shop in Easton, Irish Traditions will continue to live on at its Annapolis location and online.
The boutique, Celtic-inspired store has been at its Easton location for 10 years as of this past May, owner Margaret Barry McLemore said. In 2010, McLemore opened a second location in Annapolis.
The store is known for having Irish goods including gift items, jewelry, apparel and custom kilts, most of which are imported directly from Ireland or Scotland.
McLemore said she’s only closing her Easton shop. Her youngest child graduated college in May, “and it’s time for me to simplify my life a little bit,” she said.
“Managing two shops really is a lot of effort and it’s just time to streamline a little bit,” McLemore said.
McLemore, who sits on Easton’s Economic Development Corporation board and is a former member of the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce board, said that while the store prepares to close, everything in the store is on sale, from 10 to 30 percent off.
Inventory not bought in Easton will be moved to the Annapolis location, at 141 Main St., which will remain open.
McLemore said having one brick and mortar establishment will allow her to spend time on Irish Traditions’ new website, which is currently being developed. Irish Traditions’ current website and online store can be found at www.irishtraditionsonline.com.
“For the last decade, Irish Traditions left an impression in Downtown Easton,” said Julie Phillips Corson, executive director of the Easton Business Alliance. “We will miss Margaret — she is a business leader in (the) Easton community.”
Corson said in an email that she’d often visit Irish Traditions, an EBA member, to pitch ideas and get feedback from McLemore.
“I will miss that,” Corson wrote. “We are sad to see this store close and wish her all the success at her Annapolis location.”
Corson wrote that, though there are empty storefronts in the core of Easton’s downtown grid, of the eight businesses that have closed their doors over the last several months, to her knowledge only two have done so due to economic circumstances. Others have either been a result of internal circumstances or landlord/tenant issues, she wrote.
Now is a time more than any to realize the importance of supporting local independent shops, she wrote.
“As residents of this community, I think we should continue to take pride in our town in regards to retail shopping — as more independent merchants close and more corporate businesses come to Easton, we have the potential to shift from a ‘charming small town,’” Corson wrote. “As our county grows in population, we need a balance of these types of business along with varying industry. We choose to live here, the small town charm appeals to many; yet to keep the appeal, a continued effort to support independent business is vital.”
Corson also wrote that Easton’s merchants today have done a wonderful job of adjusting their inventory and price points to reflect the current state of the economy and ultimately, the purchasing decision of their buyers.
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