After announcing plans to close on social media, it didn’t take long until the Lazy Llama in Marine City was crowded with visitors.
Co-owners Diane Street and Wendy Kellehan, who first opened the home décor boutique seven years ago, admitted the decision may have seemed sudden.
But they said there was no big reason — other than wanting to retire — that spurred it.
The holiday sales season went well. They’ve got a wealth of customers. And they aren’t sure what’s next for them — nor their building at 214 Broadway St. downtown. Instead, the duo is taking it one step at a time.
Street said the decision itself didn’t come until after Christmas.
“Every year, we go on a buying trip for the year. We bought our plane tickets, and we had our hotel room. And I went upstairs and said, ‘Wendy, I think I’m done.’ And that’s when we just canceled the trip,” she said.
“Our plans right up until the end were to continue on. And then, I thought about the investment we have to put in,” Street added. “… It’s not just your time. It’s a lot of money out of pocket to build a store. And we just weren’t ready. We could. We just chose not to.”
The store has specialized in a range of merchandise from furniture or décor items like wallpaper and small fixtures to frames, scarves, wall items, and other knickknacks.
Kellehan, also a former Marine City commissioner, said she’s retired once before after working in education and still plans to continue her side gig as a travel agent.
Like Street, she recalled the community’s feedback to the news they’re closing, calling it “heart warming and overwhelming.”
“They’re so supportive,” she said.
And Street said she hasn’t thought too far ahead in terms of what she’ll do in retirement.
The Lazy Llama was her third store after 40 years in retail. Now that they’re dropping the hook, she said, she’s feeling the wear that can come from running a business.
“I want to do it all, right?” Street said. “For me, seven years, seven days a week, nine hours a day, you know what I mean? I’m a little burnout.”
As so much is still in motion, they said they also don’t have a closing date, meaning they’ll be open for a few more weeks.
They encouraged customers to keep an eye on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheLazyLlamaMarineCity for more.
Since Jan. 1, store hours have migrated to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The store is now closed on Sundays.
“We’ll keep putting it on sale until we get rid of it all,” Street said. “It was an hour and a half wait in here on Monday. It was packed.”
Contact Jackie Smith at 810-989-6270 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Jackie20Smith.
This article originally appeared on Port Huron Times Herald: Lazy Llama to close in downtown Marine City