Wednesday, September 26, 2012

gaining some closure on a closing

just about the same time we were settling into woodland, ca, this darling little children's consignment shop called sweet potato pie, consignment clothing for your lil' spud opened up on main street.

now, after three years, the store is closing its doors.  there is hope that the right buyer will be found and it can reopen once again, but as of this friday, there is a finality to was has been.  what it may be will certainly not be the same.

from the "about us" on their website:

About Us
Pin Cushion Two stay-at-home moms have become two "stay-at-store" moms! 
When we decided to open Sweet Potato Pie we had two criteria:

1.  Provide affordable  quality clothing

We live in a time of realizing our wastefulness and we feel that reducing, reusing and recycling can and should be a "fashionable" option when it comes to finding quality clothes for your child.  Buying and trading clothes on consignment is an easy, affordable, "green" way to outfit your little one without breaking the bank!
2.  Make our store a friendly place to shop where children are always welcome.

Having four children between us, we understand, first hand, how hard it can be to shop with children. 
Sweet Potato Pie was designed with little people in mind.  We have a safe play area, a spot for nursing moms and a bathroom with changing table.  Forgot a diaper?  Ask us, we've got some behind the counter!
Our store is a place that welcomes the whole family, where parents/care-givers feel comfortable bringing their children in while they shop.

alice and barb certainly accomplished their goals and so very, very much more.

sweet potato pie has been our home-away-from-home on main street.  it started out for me just as a clean, friendly, comfortable place to bring my kids' outgrown clothing and toys.

i soon had diana convinced it was *the* place to come to look for stuff.  we've worked hard to bring up the kids with the values of reduce/reuse/recycle.  clothing and toys for them is often not new from the store, but new to them because it came from somewhere else.  they feel good about finding other homes for things they are no longer using.  and diana has loved knowing that she's almost always had enough consignment credit available to get whatever strikes her fancy when she shops.  it's less like buying and more like trading.

and over time, ander has found it to be a place of refuge.  he could play with toys to his content, not frustrated by seeing rows of items on shelves that are packaged and inaccessible.  and i've found so, so many consignment toys that have worked wonders for us over the years and i didn't feel pressure about the price because of the credit we had earned.

there were music mornings.  oh, to have a welcoming space to listen to barb and alice play and sing and amuse us to no end!

and lose ourselves for long periods of time the book garden, nestled into the back of the store, enticing and inviting and full of darling stuffed animals and little chairs and spaces for browsing books.

diana put on her own runway shows, trying on outfits to see what worked on her and what didn't, always receiving complimentary suggestions.

she was encouraged to and supported in her efforts to set up a brownie stand outside of the store during the annual main street sidewalk sales. 

we sat in front of the store for the holiday parades on main street, comfortable knowing that we had a clean bathroom to use and a warm place to stay if the excitement and energy became too much to handle outside.

we learned about fun things to do in and around woodland because of the "things to do" page on the website, updated monthly to reflect community activities and suggesting fun crafts.  we found out about resources like family camp.

we advertised and collected donations for the woodland toy library there.

we looked at apartments close to main street when we sold our house, with one of our goals as the ability to walk to sweet potato pie easily from our home.  we accomplished that goal, even building cartography into our homeschooling activities as diana and ander learned the streets and pathways there and back.

we connected with other families in the area.

we made friends.

it is difficult for me to write this, as i tear up each time i think about it.  i hope i have told alice and barb enough, that i have communicated sufficiently in ways that they can understand, to let them know how much i appreciate them as friends.

as stay-at-store mothers, they have created an atmosphere of care and compassion that is practically palpable each time i walk into the store and see one (or both) of their smiling faces.  they have a genuineness and authenticity that i rarely come upon and am grateful when i do.  they take a personal interest in me and my family.  they freely offer and accept invitations for hugs.  they have patiently  listened to and watched my children to understand what make them tick and to make each experience there a good one.  they refrain from judging me as i work through the occasional difficult parenting situations; they unobtrusively offer space and time and a sympathetic look or gesture when it seems welcome or needed.

and they effectively model how to manage the difficult yet oh-so-very-important issues that come up in regards to taking care of family first.

for all this and more, i salute these women.  i honor and respect their decision to close this chapter in their lives, and i will miss seeing them there so very much.  i wish them and their families all the best that this world has to offer, and i think they will get it.  if the world reflects back what these women project out to it, their cups will surely overflow with love, generosity, and joy.

addendum: sweet potato pie has been sold!  the new owner has some stylish shoes to fill.  we'll welcome her into our community and hope we can continue to find a place for ourselves there in the store.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I'm sorry. I can imagine how much you will all miss this home-away-from-home. I wish it didn't have to close.