Card shop prepares to close doors

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By Kate Darnell

Hanging up the 60 percent sale signs wasn’t hard.

Cleaning off shelves and staring at bare ones isn’t difficult either.

But for Tammy Kurz, it was the road sign that got to her.

“Putting up that road sign - that was my breaking point,” Kurz said at Touch of Charm gift shop.

Kurz expects to shut the store doors for good by the middle of next month.

“We’re down to the weeks,” Kurz said.

Kurz opened the store with her friend Tracye Young six years ago, when the previous shop owner closed the doors then.

“How sad that you can’t have a Hallmark store in your own town,” Kurz said the two thought.

And so, they joined forces to see that their small town could have its very own card shop.

Previously teaching aides, Kurz and Young said they were tired of wondering if they would have a job the next year.

They thought job security and stability would come with the store.

“So we thought that doing this we wouldn’t have to worry about that, but a small town and bad economy proved us wrong, huh?” Young said.

Despite a number of loyal customers, Kurz said their business is being lost to large business chains.

“This community just won’t support the smaller businesses,” Kurz said, adding that many residents travel out of town to make purchases and others buy everything at one-stop shops to save time.

“They won’t pull away from that,” Kurz said.

It’s a battle Kurz said her small business isn’t the only one fighting.

“I think everyone, to a degree, that has a small business has that same thinking,” she said.

Kurz said small businesses once thrived in Cynthiana.

“When I was a kid, Saturday was the day you came to town,” she said. “You came in and there was just everything...”

She listed several downtown stores at the time.

The change, she said, happened when large chains were introduced to the area.

“Small businesses cannot compete with them,” Young said.

Including Touch of Charm.

“We fought it and fought it,” she said.

“You can’t keep staying in business if you keep losing money,” Young said.

It’s a decision Kurz said was hard to make and difficult for her customers.

“They’re sick,” Kurz said. “We’ve had them in here crying...”

“There are a lot of loyal customers,” Young said. “There’s just not enough of them to keep our doors open...”

For both Kurz and Young, they’re expecting the last day of business to be tough.

“We’ve stocked up on Kleenex,” Young said. “Our last day will be a rough one...”

Everything in the store is marked 60 percent off, with the exception of the store fixtures.

Touch of Charm is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located in Harrison Square beside LC’s Shoes.

Kurz and Young said they already know what they’ll miss most about the gift shop that has become somewhat of a second home - the customers.

“We’re very appreciative of the people that have supported us,” Young said.

Kurz said she hopes that perhaps their store closing can be a wake-up call for the community.

“Take the extra effort to support the small businesses,” Kurz said.

If not, she said, there’s no way they can stay.