Downtown Books & Beads changing ownership
Craig also to see new pet store
February 25, 2010
Craig — Six months after deciding to keep Downtown Books & Beads open, Caroline Dotson will be stepping down as its owner.
Dotson's mother-in-law, Vicky White, soon will be taking over, and the two couldn't be happier with the transition.
"It would not have been the same if the business had sold to someone else," White said. "This is my home, too."
White has worked alongside Dotson at the store for three years and isn't intimidated by the prospects of owning a business.
She said her lengthy background in business and the established nature of the bookstore should ease the transition.
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"I had a moment of panic when I first agreed," she said. "But I've been working here so long, I basically know how to run it already."
The store's second transition in owners comes after the July 29, 2009, death of store founder, Carol Jacobson.
"I talked to Carol's family about the decision because even though the bookstore is mine, I still wanted to give her family the opportunity to buy it," Dotson said.
Dotson decided to sell the store in December.
The decision came after she found out she is expecting her third child. Her husband, Chris Dotson, owns Performance Painting, and Dotson said "things were getting tricky."
Dotson was pleased the store sold quickly.
"Usually, it takes a while to sell a business, but I had some people in mind when I made the decision," she said.
Dotson originally announced she was selling the bookstore to Sharon Dwinell, a longtime customer and friend to her and White, but felt "keeping the store in the family was in the best interest of the bookstore."
Although she won't miss the stress of running a business, Dotson said she will miss interacting with customers and providing a valued service to the community.
Despite a downward turning economy, business at the bookstore has remained steady.
"The community has always been really supportive of the bookstore," Dotson said.
A few months ago after Neolithics closed, White and Dotson began selling beads and gift items. They credit the decision with expanding their client base.
"Although business has been steady, the beads have brought in a different group of people," Dotson said.
The pair also is thankful for the support of other downtown businesses.
"People in small towns stick together and try to help each other out," said Karen Brown, president of the Downtown Business Association. "Getting people to shop local is the hardest part."
In the face of hard economic times and a traditionally slow first quarter of the year, Brown said downtown businesses, such as Downtown Books, are "holding their own."
"I'm sure business has been slower just because of the time of year," Brown said. "The economy has affected everybody a little bit. We're all trying to keep our heads above water."
Pro Image Photography has been closed for more than a year, Brown said.
The building it occupied at 518 Yampa Ave., still is for sale, which Brown said is unfortunate.
"We really don't want to see open stores without businesses," she said.
The building that formerly housed Neolithics at 565 Yampa Ave. will be occupied by a new pet store owned by Clint Gabbert, Brown said.
Kathy Wasik-Wolff, of Pinky's Palace, said the feeling amongst some downtown business owners is "cautiously optimistic."
Despite a good December, Wasik-Wolff said the past six months of business have been "up and down" but that she expects sales to pick up with warmer weather.