Hello!! Big news, the kind that is kept simple and clear. The shop is closing at the end of this year. I have much to reflect upon, and I'm sure it will all come out in one form or another over the next few months, but in the meantime…
Will you help me exit gracefully? Let's celebrate all that is and was and could be, this nest of a business known as Villagers. Please come help me disperse the contents like wildflower seeds into all of your sweet gardens and hearths. We will be running the shop as usual from now until the end of the year. We're currently stocking up for the holidays, with the hopes that you'll support this swan song of a season. Gather some gifts for the ones you cherish, snag that tool you've been pining after, or sign up for a class on a topic you have been yearning to learn more about. In the end, we will collectively carry it all to the compost heap, turn it in, with a prayer for all that was given and received, and for each and every person who has ever graced this shop.
One very important ask: please respect the space of the amazing people who work here. I'm sure you have so many questions about why/how/who/what/when/where myself or the business are headed, but it is not their responsibility to explain a decision that they had no part in making. They are here to help you select items, impart their wisdom, brighten your day, and facilitate a pleasant shopping experience. Expressing any concern or gratitude are of course welcome. I feel incredibly grateful that everyone at the shop is willing to see it through to the end with me, and I want that to be as easy as possible for them.
To that end, here are my current answers to your dear questions:
Why are you closing?
This is a complicated question, and not something I can give justice to in a few sentences. In an oversimplified attempt to summarize: this introverted artist created a project and saw it through to its completion -- in terms of what I was able to offer, what I needed to learn, and what I must let go of. Parallel to that, I wish to be closer to family in my native state of California, where a big piece of my heart is tucked in the sand.
Is the business for sale?
Yes, it most certainly is. If you are interested in learning more about the possibility of buying this business, please direct all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that if a signed deal cannot be made by the end of the year, I will continue with liquidation and closing the shop in January. Please act in a timely way if you are interested in this possibility.
What happened to converting to worker-ownership?
Unfortunately we were not able to make a successful conversion to worker-ownership. After a year of consulting and planning, it was determined that the business is too small to make the conversion at this time. The potential is still there, and as of today it remains the only business model (within the current capitalist system) that I have any faith in.
Where else can I find what you sell?
In my eyes, the greatest success of this business has been all of the connections and relationships we built with one another as customers, vendors, and teachers – both in person and in the virtual realm. It has long been a goal to setup a Villagers forum, for customers to share resources and information freely amongst one another. It would also include direct links to places where you can find local products and learning opportunities. While that vision is yet to manifest, I have hopes of doing so once I have finished closing up shop. Please get in touch if you have the interest, skills and resources to help make that happen.
Thank you for hearing me, and see you at the shop soon!! Everything must go ;)