Julia Ellen, the upscale boutique that’s called Proctor home for 15 years, is closing its doors.
“I’ve done this for 32 years total, 20 years of owning my own, and you hit the point where you are done,” owner Julie Schmidtke said today. “We decided this was the best time of year to have a big closing sale.”
It started Thursday, and the store will close when everything’s gone, she said.
Schmidtke said that she started about 18 months ago to try to find a buyer for the store but that all of them fell through.
To get into business “you have to have more faith than fear,” she said, and in this economic climate fear is a hot commodity despite the fact that Julia Ellen’s annual revenues are between $500,000 and $1 million.
Julia Ellen, which is Schmidtke’s first and middle names, opened 20 years ago in Old Town, then moved to the Proctor District five years later. Schmidtke briefly opened a store in Tacoma mall six years ago, but it closed after three years.
Schmidtke, who put her age at “almost 50,” said she didn’t have any specific plans after Julia Ellen closes, but that she has been approached by other people who want her advice on opening their own business.
“We really wanted to close with the same integrity and special-ness that we opened with,” Schmidtke said. “I didn’t want to be one of those stores that people thought, ‘she should have closed a few years earlier.’ “