After five and a half years in business, Greenspace has announced that it is going out of business and will have to close by the end of the month. Owner Lydia Corser sent the news out in a heartfelt email on Wednesday evening.
"This has been a difficult and painful decision. We've done our best to weather the times. We've had a blast. We've learned a lot. We are deeply grateful for and humbled by the generosity, support and patronage of our community. Together, we've created positive change," Corser wrote in her email.
By Thursday morning, the store was humming with business. Not just the vultures looking for deals at the storewide 25% off sale which runs through the end of the month, but friends, family, and community members who support the business.
"This community loves our business and there's a chance that something will happen and we'll be able to reinvent ourselves in a smaller venue," said Corser.
For now, Corser plans to be out of the 4,000-square-foot space by the end of the month, due to the unbearable economic downturn.
"I knew the first quarter would be bad, but then April was bad. And we've been weathering the downs, and weathering the downs," said Corser. "We've operated this business with as much integrity as we've been able to find. There is no way I would be able to continue without paying my employees fairly. We thought ok 'if we do this now we can get out with as much grace as we ran the business with."
Greenspace was a that specializes in eco-friendly paints, flooring, and counter tops, which Corser said kept the business going. But they also offered a slew of green lifestyle merchandise, from cleaning supplies to kitchenware to bedding, to crafts made by local artists.
"I call them the gateway drugs," said Corser,who had hoped that many of the products would catch on and go mainstream. "It gets people in and looking at what we're all about and starting to understand more about the green lifestyle."
What set Greenspace apart is that they took the time to research all of their vendors before they carried their products.
"Green has become trendy, so there's even more deception out there," said Corser.
The fate of Greenspace remains up in the air, and a community member has planned a "Cash Mob" for next Friday.
"If we have a big outpouring and everybody gets their flooring then who knows what will be possible. The best thing would be if we could continue[in the current location], it's in the perfect part of town, it's just the right amount of space for us to do what we're trying to do," said Corser.
The space is valued at $350,000 and Corser is open to offers from buyers.
"I would be willing to work with new owners for a period of time to help re-launch the business, and some of our wonderful staff may be interested in coming on board, too," Corser wrote in her email.
She's researching reopening in the Bay Area or Menlo Park area where the economy seems to be making a comeback.
Corser also plans to reinvigorate her green interior design business, which got back-burnered when she opened Greenspace.
"Change is the only constant," read the header of Corser's email, and it reflects her remorseful yet hopeful attitude about having to close.
Greenspace is at 1122 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. 831-423-7200. They will be closed on Sundays now. Everything in the store is 25% off from now through the end of the month.