Island Thyme, which has sold specialty gifts and tea for the past five years near the heart of town, will close Nov. 30.
“It was not an easy decision,” said Tami Renno, who owns the store with fellow entrepreneur Shelley Davis.
The two made their decision to close in late summer, they said.
“Our vision to offer affordable home décor, garden, specialty teas and unique gifts has been continually at the forefront of our mission. Just when we were at our crescendo, we (were) deeply impacted by the unfortunate economic downturn,” the owners said in a recent press release.
The store will be open all this month, offering specials to shoppers before the doors close and allowing “the regulars” to say good-bye, the owners said.
Lynn Garrison was in the store last week, looking for something to take back with her to Bellingham. She visits her daughter Lynndee Tonkin on Vashon about once a month and has been a frequent shopper at Island Thyme.
“I always come here, “ she said. “Every time I come here I find something that I love. … I think it is a sad thing for the community that they will be closing.”
While Renno and Davis say the hardest part of closing will be to say good-bye to the many shoppers who have become friends, they stress that the closing of their store is not a sad event — and interesting ventures await them both.
Davis will continue running the store’s Web site and its eBay store. Renno will return to the art business she had before she opened the store. She was a muralist and an interior re-designer.
Both say they will still be a presence on Vashon.
“We’re not gone. We have lots of ideas,” Davis said.
They might hold an event quarterly, she added, like their two flea markets, whose proceeds went to cancer and hospice organizations.
“We had a great experience here,” Davis said.
“It does not mean the journey is over,” Renno added. “It just changes direction.”