By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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“There’s going to be a lot of very unhappy women who love this place,” said Carole Platt, who is retiring next week after having managed the shop for the past eight years.
“We’ve had women coming in here crying, because they said: ‘We don’t want you to go. Where are we going to go?’”
Officials with the MAC said closing the shop at 155 W. Cedar St. is part of cutting costs.
The museum’s annual operations have outpaced its revenues since 2008.
“The MAC Board of Trustees is very aware of how much Second Chance will be missed by the community, and we did not enter into our decision lightly,” said Priscilla Hudson, vice president of the MAC’s board of directors.
“We are obligated to act in the best interest of our overall organization,” she continued.
“All factors were well-considered, and at the end of the day, with costs outweighing profits, closing the shop was a business decision.”
The consignment shop, proceeds from which have supported MAC operations since 1997, will close at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
A farewell reception has been set for 11 a.m. Thursday at the Rainshadow Coffee Bar, 157 W. Cedar St.
“Though I’m not sure what kind of reception they will get,” Platt said.
Filings with the Internal Revenue Service show that the museum lost $87,372 in 2011.
That followed losses of $45,317 in 2010, $3,094 in 2009 and $43,466 in 2008.
Figures were not available for 2012.
In an effort to reverse that trend, the museum, along with closing the thrift shop, has instituted a $3 admission fee for exhibits at 175 W. Cedar St. for those 13 and older.
It also increased the commission it charges artists who show their work in the museum from 25 percent to 30 percent.
It also is increasing the fee it charges to use the Dungeness Schoolhouse, 2781 Towne Road.
“We’ve got a whole series of things we’re doing to try to keep the revenue gap narrowing,” said DJ Bassett, museum director.
Visitors 12 and younger will continue to be allowed entrance for free.
First Friday Art Walk admittance also will be free.
Hudson said the thrift shop’s profits have dropped over recent years, attributing the drop to competition from other consignment shops that have opened recently.
“No, I don’t agree with that. There’s no consignment shop that can beat us,” Platt said.
“It’s a shame,” said 10-year volunteer worker Janet Littlefield, one of 14 volunteer employees staffing the shop.
“But at least everybody will be able to get a bargain.”
Hudson did not have figures available on how much store profits have dropped or how much the museum would save by closing it.
“It will be interesting to see a profit and loss for next year,” Platt said.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.