After more than two years of operating Gray’s General Store in downtown Hoquiam, Britta and Judy Folden have closed up shop and made the small craft store an online-only venture. The storefront’s last day was Thursday, and the Foldens will sell off shelving and other large items during a garage sale today.
They announced the closure on the store’s website and on Facebook in late-May, citing the difficulties of running a small business and thanking loyal customers.
“It is bittersweet to make this change to Gray’s General Store,” their announcement read. “Our little shop in Hoquiam provided us with a great place to make new friends and work on projects while being surrounded by our welcoming neighbors and loyal customers. Still, it can be difficult to survive the daily duties of running a retail shop in a small town. It requires a lot of hard work and passion to keep the storefront warm and inviting and the loyalty of a strong customer base to keep the products moving,”
The mother-daughter duo opened the store in March of 2012, selling coffee, craft supplies, locally-made products and quirky gifts — such as vintage-themed kitchen timers and pillows that look like fresh-cut logs. The store has offered a variety of classes and workshops for adults and children alike.
Britta Folden said she hopes to offer similar items through the online store, which can be found at www.GraysGeneral.com. The Foldens also hope to offer more do-it-yourself kits, such as the T-shirt quilt kit being sold now in the online store.
“Going online will just be better for us right now so that we can work on theother creative things we’re doing,” Britta Folden said.
She also owns and operates Queen B Quilts, a business specializing in creating memory quilts from old T-shirts. And she has a plan to continue offering workshops.
“We did a pop-up workshop at the Westport Winery a little while ago, and that went really well,” Britta Folden said. “We hope to do more of that in the future.”
Gray’s General Store operated on Simpson Avenue, next door to McHugh’s Furniture. Britta Folden said she’s not sure what will happen to the storefront, but she hopes someone will put the space to good use.