For years a small business in Merrifield quietly shipped products to customers across the nation.
Now Peggy Silker is closing her business. But she said news of her retirement is not a moment for sadness. Silker said she and her husband, John, will now have an opportunity to relax and enjoy the summer.
Peggy Silker began her home-based wholesale business in the mid-1980s. The business started in a building on the Silkers' rural Lake Edward home after her twin boys graduated. Silker, then 40, had ideas and energy. Her husband, already retired, wanted her to have something where she could work from home.
The subsequent business journey was an evolutionary one.
Silker began designing a clothing line for dogs with the highlight being a doggy backpack. She called the business The Shaggy Dog. Dog backpacks led to a line of children's backpacks, then to matching children's shirts. Silker then moved to a line of women's clothing -- sweatshirts, denims and T-shirts.
The women's line took off and Silker stayed with it. The business name was changed to Silkers Manufacturing.
Nearly three years ago, the Silkers leased a store front in Merrifield and added retail to the business. They called the store What's Up Front. The retail business did even better than the Silkers expected.
At one time the business employed 23. More recently Silker tried cutting her workload back to see if she could continue to run the business and still enjoy her time. Currently there are seven employees.
Creating a new line with 50 designs each spring meant three to four months of working seven days a week. Customers included boutiques and hospital gift shops.
Silker said she is now looking forward to having more time for other interests.
The Merrifield store is closing March 8.
Curves for Women on Washington Street in Brainerd, plans to break ground in March on a new building at Jackson and Seventh streets. The move is expected to expand the fitness center's size and parking spaces.
The Dairy Queen in Brainerd opened Friday to become one of the annual business signs that summer is no longer too far away to consider.
A Biz Buzz reader from Nevis wrote in looking for a Menards store update. Two officials who could release information about a potential opening date were out of the office Friday and no one else felt they could comment on an opening date.
Spring would be an educated guess without official store confirmation. Work on the store site is continuing.
In a related matter, Applebee's received approval for its liquor license from the city of Baxter last week.
And here's a tip for those businesses or residents who want to add a little green to the environment.
The National Arbor Day Foundation recently announced 10 free Colorado blue spruce trees will be give to each person who joins the National Arbor Day Foundation during February. The trees are part of the non-profit foundation's Trees for American campaign.
The six to 12-inch trees will be shipped post paid between March 1 and May 31. The trees are guaranteed to grow or will be replaced free of charge, the foundation reported.
However, there is a slight hook. To get the trees individuals need to send a $10 contribution to become a member of the foundation. For more information, go online to www.arborday.org.
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