Brya Ingram / Stuff
Renwick NicNacs manager Anita Ireland used to go to the iconic shop to treat herself when she was a child.
An arts and crafts store in Renwick closes, marking the end of a 41-year era for the town of Marlborough.
Renwick NicNacs, which opened in 1981, was first closed in late 2020 when owner Margaret Gage fell ill.
Margaret’s daughter, Terri Schott, decided to revamp and reopen the shop in March 2021 after her 77-year-old mother passed away.
A year later, Renwick NicNacs will close permanently next month, after more than 40 years of serving the community with a wide range of crafts, knits, crochet and toys.
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Terri Schott, who lives in Australia, said they made the decision because they had to move from their historic premises on Uxbridge St.
“I always knew we couldn’t stay there forever and trying to move was just too difficult,” Schott said.
“And that [the shop] has always been at Renwick, it’s kind of iconic.
“Managing all of this from another country was difficult and the challenges of Covid probably didn’t help either.
“Retail, in all areas, has probably been challenged, especially small businesses, because you can’t really say we’re an essential service.”
Schott said it would be sad for her mother’s loyal customers.
“Mom was always knitting and always had plenty of yarn.
“People kind of feel it [the shop] was a bit of an adventure, like a treasure cove. She [Margaret] kinda liked to pack as much as she could. It was truly unique.
“But we didn’t have a long term plan when we reopened, we didn’t really expect it to be open for as long as it has been.
“I think it was time to say goodbye.”
Family friend Anita Ireland, who ran the store after it reopened in March 2021, said it was not viable to run it all year round.
“I have personally looked at other options, considering buying it, revamping it… But in the current climate, that’s not a risk I can afford to take.”
She said managing the story was a lot of fun. “I love meeting all the people, helping them with their knitting and crafts and things that they do, crochet patterns that they can’t quite work on and that kind of stuff…
“It will be sad to see him go. It will be sad not to have him here in the community.
“But I guess that’s how things are. Time flies and sadly some icons have to too,” Ireland said.
Ireland grew up in Renwick and remembers shopping at NicNacs as a child, buying birthday or Christmas presents for her siblings.
“When Margaret opened the store, there was no warehouse, no Kmart, nothing. There were very few places to buy things like toys and get all kinds of stuff.
“So I guess she thought the name ‘NicNacs’ covered everything you could find in the shop.”