CLARKS SUMMIT — The decision to own a business is no small thing. But when the opportunity arose for Laura Moore to become owner of the Willow Tree Shop almost three years ago, it was the right thing.
And now that season is ending.
Her husband recently accepted a job out of the area and the couple plans to relocate. On Oct. 1, Moore announced to her customers that the Willow Tree Shop will close.
“I am very sad to say that I am closing the Willow Tree Shop,” Moore wrote. “It has been an incredible adventure and I have met some amazing and beautiful people over the last few years. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to do something I have wanted to do since I was a little girl.”
Moore explained her dream of owning a shop began in childhood. Growing up in a small town, there was a business on the corner of the street she grew up on. Moore often saw it empty, as businesses came and went. She daydreamed with her mother about what business she could open and run.
Years later, that dream was realized with the opportunity to own The Willow Tree Shop.
“A few years ago, God gave me this opportunity,” Moore said. “The timing was right. Everything aligned to make it happen and I was able to do something I love. It is a great business in a great town.
“I feel blessed.”
Involved in the Willow Tree Shop as a consignor at first, Moore was familiar with the shop and how it ran.
Todd and Amy Jones opened the Willow Tree Shop in 2006, with locations in Scranton and Newton Township. In 2014, the Willow Tree Shop moved to its present location on State Street in Clarks Summit, next to Formosa restaurant. In 2015, the Jones’ relocated out of state. A friend suggested Laura Moore buy the shop.
“I remember the day, because it was my birthday. Everything seemed right at the time for me to do it,” Moore said.
Moore took over ownership of the business in January 2016.
The Willow Tree Shop offers local artisan wares, up-cycled furniture, home décor, handmade jewelry, crafts and unique gifts.
Moore is from central Pennsylvania and came to Clarks Summit to attend college. She met and married her husband, Dirk, and the couple stayed in the Abingtons, building relationships socially and professionally.
For almost three years, Moore has owned and operated the Willow Tree Shop, overseeing merchandising, advertising, web and social media management and building relationships with her customers.
“One of my favorite things about owning The Willow Tree Shop is the connections with my customers. Ladies I wouldn’t cross paths with otherwise have become very special to me,” Moore said.
One such customer, Gerardette, travels from Hunlock Creek to visit the Willow Tree Shop.
“I’ve been coming since they were in Scranton,” she said. “I have migrated to all three locations they’ve had over the years. I love the selection of old and new things. There’s an artistic flare too.
“I am sad it’s going.”
Moore not only built a loyal customer base, but has a talent for merchandising. It shows in the selection of products she offers at the Willow Tree Shop. She has successfully built relationships with her suppliers and consigners and also has a knack for purchasing unique items her customers love.
The journey hasn’t always been easy as a small business owner, but Moore wouldn’t trade the experience.
“Sometimes it’s been trial and error,” she said. “But many things have worked really well.”
Moore shared that she loves being part of the Abingtons.
“I love our community,” she said. “I think it’s a great time for small businesses here. A ‘buy local’ and ‘support small business’ trend is happening. It’s been great and I hope it sticks around.”
The Willow Tree Shop hasn’t yet disclosed the final day it will be open, but a closing sale began on Oct. 3.
“With some exclusions, almost everything in the store is on sale with discounts from 15 to 80 percent off,” Moore said.
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