ONE OF THE OLDEST RETAIL STORES IN EUREKA IS CLOSING ITS DOORS AFTER 27 YEARS OF BUSINESS
EUREKA, CA- After decades of operation in Eureka, longtime business owner Betty Hooper will be closing the doors to one of the oldest retail stores in the city. Clothing store “Connie A. Lee” will no longer be in business by the end of the year.
A familiar story, sale signs, discounts, small business closing everywhere, but for Betty Hopper this is her home. She has spent the last 27 years serving the community. Hopper told us, "I said I would never retire. But I’m being forced into it. I don't know what I’m going to do. I do not know."
She has been working in women’s apparel for 58 years. She started her career in downtown Eureka at White House Fashion in 1954.
She later moved on to start her own business. Hopper said, "We started out with 30,000 dollars and a handshake. And then went to market."
A wholesaler as well, she sold her sweaters to giant retailers like Nordstrom and Nieman Marcus. However, it was the friendly customer interaction that kept her in retail. Hopper added, "When you go into a home owned store. Most of the time people acknowledge you whether buy or you don't. You say hello you associate with them."
She says the down economy has forced her out. Closing down means saying good-bye to her business, but always to years of memories. Hopper added, "There are lots of memories here. And I don't want to throw anything away that I would like to keep or pass on. So it is very hard."
In her years she has dressed generations of women. Hopper added, "I’ve had 3rd generations come in. I have sold their grand mother, mother, and themselves."
Now the store will close its doors for good. Come December 31st Betty Hooper’s business will be a memory, a memory of friendly retailers, and mom and pop shops.