Local Shopkeepers say “Buy It Now”

Kamala Boutique owner Kate Lamontague told the Holliston Reporter on Wednesday that sixty to seventy percent of her merchandise is either held up or canceled. Lamontague said that her business hasn’t popped back since the pandemic arrived nearly twenty months ago. People just didn’t come out Lamontague explained.

While Kamala Boutique has reverted to purchasing gifts made in the USA, Kate said that things like candles are even difficult to purchase as the suppliers depend on jars made out of the country. “I’ve gone from seven employees down to two since the pandemic began. “I’m resilient in that I make my own jewelry and clothing”.

The Boutique looked bountiful with many gift offerings, Lamontague said there is no backroom storage with all items out on the floor.  Pottery made in the USA ordered now, won’t be delivered until June! Customers are incredulous until the impact of the supply delay is explained, then they understand. She tells people that “this is what we’ve got, when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Diane Mazzaro at the Grapevine relayed a similar message. “I put Santa’s mailbox for kids out early and I’ve been wrapping presents for the past six weeks”.

Mazzaro (pictured) held out a pair of woman’s printed slacks which she said she ordered in March. That’s eight months and she only got a third of the order! Diane pointed to an orange child’s tutu and said if they don’t like the color “I’m sorry but that’s all we have.”

 While she doesn’t think Grapevine will have more customers this year than last, she does think that she’ll do a higher volume, especially when online stores are out of products.

Mazzaro’s advice to customers “shop now”.

Bobby Blair

2 Comments

  1. Kate Lamontagne on October 29, 2021 at 8:52 am

    One thing I forgot to add to my interview, was that we are being smacked with 5-8% surcharges for increased delivery expenses- costs that we cannot always absorb. So there are also higher prices this year making it harder on everyone with a budget. It is a dance that the small shops do to manage during this pandemic. I have always had a balance of handmade, US made, Fair Trade and imported goods and every category is taking a hit and feeling the impact. Like Diane, I don’t really think traffic will increase considerably over the next weeks, but we do have an online shop and offer free Holliston delivery- this got us through the shut down last year. We show up every day and do the best we can. The small shops love their customers and truly do a jig when we have a sale. The smallest sales count!
    Thank you Bobby for this article.
    Sincerely, Kate Lamontagne
    Kamala Boutique

  2. Janine Gerade on October 30, 2021 at 10:19 am

    It’s true what both Kate and Diane say. We’re struggling to keep lovely items for you to shop but we cannot get what we used to. I cannot guarantee shipping times or custom orders and it makes me sad because I strive to make my customers happy. And yes, I do a little dance when I get a sale too!

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