Silver Liningz to close next month after nearly six years

On Dec. 17, a downtown shop will turn off the open sign for good.

Silver Liningz Boutique is closing after nearly six years in business, leaving customers to find their sassy fashions somewhere else.

A myriad of reasons led to the decision, said owner Terie Loomis, who will be entering her second retirement.

"I've already retired once from corporate America back in 2012. Then we moved here and decided to open the boutique," Loomis said. "I've retired twice now and (my husband is) jealous."

Her husband, Mike Loomis, works in the oil industry and is eyeing retirement in a few years, and closing the shop is one of the steps they are taking toward full-blown retirement together. But it's not the only reason.

"There is a multitude of reasons behind closing. We have a lot of things going on, personally, a lot of irons in the fire," she said. "I have my two kids left at home graduating this year, so then we're going to be empty-nesters. My parents are aging and I would like to spend more time up in that area (Kenai). And, of course, we have grandkids up in that area."

Loomis has two adult children in the Kenai area as well.

The family usually closes the shop and heads north for Christmas in early December, but this year Loomis is keeping Silver Liningz open as close to Christmas as possible to help people with their shopping needs. To that end, everything in the shop is 50% off. She carries women's fashions, tops, jeans, hats, accessories, mugs and many other items.

Getting those items hasn't always been easy in the years since COVID-19 hit, she said. She noticed wholesale prices increased to retail price levels, forcing her to be more selective in what she purchased for the shop. "I'm not going to choose something that I'll have to boost the prices for my customers because one, I wouldn't want to do that to them, and two, who can afford that?"

Delays in shipping made it harder to get products and some of her vendors closed up shop, Loomis said. Some items were on backorder and never received.

Despite the challenges of running a business on her own, Loomis said she will miss the customers more than anything.

"Everyone who walks in here tells me how sad they are to see me go," she said. "I'll be in the grocery store, and they'll say, 'Oh, I'm so sorry!' They say it like it's a sad thing for me, but for me, it's the closing of a chapter."

One of her longtime customers, Dorthea Rooney, who has shopped there since Loomis opened, said she'll miss the items, but she'll miss the experience and friendly atmosphere more than anything.

"I'm sad that we'll be losing (the shop). Walking into her store is like walking into a chic boutique, it's like my dream walk-in closet," Rooney said. "I know they are so family oriented. I will miss her store but I'm happy for her that she's on a different adventure now."

Rooney said she didn't shop a lot at Silver Liningz, "but buying her products was a treat because I got to visit with her."

Loomis said she'll also miss the laughter of her customers.

"I love bringing fun, sassy things to Wrangell, and having people come in and laugh," Loomis said. "People will come in and read the little sayings (on hats and other items) and they'll laugh. I feed off of that. When they're laughing, I'm laughing at what they're laughing at because it just brings it to the surface again."

Closing the shop will also mean she has more freedom to do the things she wants like spending time with her husband when he's off work, going fishing when the weather is amenable or traveling.

"I like the beach and like to be able to enjoy the sunshine," Loomis said. "Eventually, we'd like to travel worldwide. We just went to Israel back in the spring, so I would like to venture out to Europe and see Spain, France, Italy. There's so much in the world to see and such little time to see it. And I want to do it while I'm young."


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