Classy Attic closing after nearly 20 years


December 9, 2013 - 12:00 AM

After 19½ years of business Classy Attic is saying farewell to Iola. The shop at 15 E. Madison Ave. will close its doors for the last time on Dec. 31.
“The economy is just not profitable,” owner Sherry Hart said. “It’s the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Harder than childbirth, leaving my job at the bank after 17 years and divorce after 40 years of marriage.”
Hart said she has held on as long as she could but knows it’s time to close. She sat down before Thanksgiving, “put pen to paper” and made the decision.
“I’m not ready to give it up,” she said. “Financially, I can see the writing on the wall. I was hoping it would grow but it hasn’t.”
Hart started the business with friends Mary Smith and Marsha Burris in July 1994. They bought Old Country from Kim Strickler. Burris left the business in 1995 and in 2004 they moved from the north side of the square to their current location. In 2011, Hart bought out Smith’s portion of the business when she moved to Kansas City.
Hart said it has been tough keeping up with the shopping competition.
“I can’t compete with the big chain stores and online shopping,” she said. “Every time someone clicks that button it puts a nail in the coffin and Dec. 31 will be the last nail.”
Regular customers come in and take a look around. As they come up to check out at the counter they tell Hart how sorry they are the shop is closing.
Her employees Bonnie Perkins, Ginny Hawk, Judie Laver and Pat Parrish have stuck by Hart through all of this. Hart said after the business closes she don’t know what the ladies will do.
“I’m going to miss this place,” Laver said.
The store will participate in the Block Party on Friday and currently the store items are marked at 30 percent off.
“We wrap gifts for free but have a donation jar at the counter,” Hart said. “The money goes to ACARF and Hope Unlimited.”
Now that her long business journey is coming to an end Hart is contemplating the next chapter of her life.
“I don’t know what to do after this,” she said. “I wouldn’t mind having a part-time job or volunteering at Second Chance or Hope Unlimited.”
She also hopes to spend more time with her daughters and grandchildren.

December 11, 2013
November 14, 2012
December 8, 2011
December 18, 2010