I was stunned when I got the email from Tracy Cranley, owner of home and personal style boutique Pine Straw at 466 Washington Street in Wellesley and 1625 Beacon Street in Waban. The message was simple. After nine years in the business of making lives more beautiful, the Wellesley resident wrote that it was time to turn the page. Both the store’s locations would be closing.
“The time feels right and I plan to continue creating and making my way down the design path,” Cranley said. “I believe it will allow me to enjoy my creative side without having to manage the day-to-day demands of a brick and mortar store.”
All the stages of grief hit me at once. Denial was at the forefront. How can this news be true? I had stopped into the shop literally yesterday to pick up a hostess gift for a cozy dinner party on a Beacon Hill rooftop. After wandering Pine Straw for a few minutes, I found just the thing, as usual. This time it was a vintage stamps puzzle, 500 pieces. That moment was real, dammit. The gift, the get-together that inspired the gift, all of it. I had walked out of that store with a brown paper package tied up with string. I know I did. Logically, that means the store will never, ever close.
Alas, I’m told my logic is faulty. Here are the facts: the Wellesley store will remain open through the 2020 New Year, and the Waban store will keep going through April. Then, that will be that.
These facts are decidedly NOT a few of my favorite things.
At some point I’ll simply have to accept that the go-to place in town for tabletop items, home accents, and person accessories is going to empty out its inventory and shut its doors. In classic metaphorical fashion, Tracy and her husband Thom are about to become empty nesters. The youngest of their brood of four is heading off to college. Colin why, oh why, did you have to grow up so fast?
Tracy is very Evita about it all. “Don’t be too sad for us—we plan to go out with a bang and enjoy this last holiday season by making it our best yet. Our fall and holiday floor plans are queued up and new merchandise is arriving daily. We aren’t leaving quietly! We hope you’ll continue to support us the coming months and remind us why we did this all in the first place!”
I’m sure she’ll do it all with personality and style to spare. That’s just how Tracy Cranley lives, gives, and celebrates.