Written by Joy Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 11 July 2013 00:00
After ten years of gracing Port’s Main Street with a shop like no other, owner Helen Lee of Lou Babs & Moogs (95 Main Street) will be closing its doors on July 20. Votive candles, baby clothing and gift pillows, eclectic greeting cards, neat jewelry, handbags and more will be missed. Yet, Lee is hopeful that there may be a bright-eyed buyer nearby who wants to take over her store. Lee views it as a goodwill sale for the community – a way to keep this “go-to shop” with a twist alive. She is even willing to stay longer to make the transition to a potential new owner go as smoothly as possible.
“I am not interested in valuing my business and all the potential sales,” Lee said. “I feel it’s a unique turn-key situation and I wish the opportunity was present for me when I first opened my store.” The next owner would just need to come in and paint, she said. She is happy to work with someone, introduce her/him to the loyal customers, share her existing vendor relationships, and even attend the August gift show together. “I am happy to go through all of my customer lists, pass on to the new owner the keys, the built-ins, and all of my expertise and knowledge,” she said. She welcomes someone with little to no experience too.
Lee, a local Port resident, started Lou Babs & Moogs 10 years ago after she had tired out from her 20-year, exhausting commute into New York City’s garment center. She had three young children then and the store was a sure-fire way for her to stay close to home, and still allow her to use her creativity. She also had the pleasure of getting to know the friendly local faces in town – many of which have become her close friends.
How did Lee come up with the not-so-easy-to-remember name? Lee smiled, “That’s the fun of it, those are the nicknames of my three children.” Lou is her daughter Devin, Babs is her son Julian, and Moogs is her daughter Morgan. “I’ve been calling them that since they’re babies,” she laughed. Her youngest is 16 now, and the oldest is 26 and attends medical school.
Lee said she always dreamed of making the store like a Kate’s Paperie. She said it began like that, but as her business evolved, she learned what the community needed and wanted. She offers many of her items online at lbmgifts.com and has a large following out west in Arizona and California.
Lee believes her time has come for something new. In fact, she’s already got another creative project in the works for the Port Washington community. Lee and her partner Michelle Arnold, also a Port resident, are gearing up for the Blue Moon Project, opening after the Fall season. It will be a fitness and spiritual wellness center for kids and adults. “It’s something very new to the community,” said Lee.
Get ready for 3,000 square feet of relaxation, stretching classes, inspirational speakers, changing rooms, holistic healers, homework club, birthday parties and more. Lee hopes her customers will stop by, leave their emails and look forward to her next venture to benefit Port Washington. So although it may be good bye to Lou Babs & Moogs, soon we can say welcome to Blue Moon Project — Lee’s 4th career may just be her best yet!