Cedar Cove Days was last hurrah for downtown jewelry store

Alex Jarrett is closing her downtown Port Orchard jewelry store - Charlie Bermant
Alex Jarrett is closing her downtown Port Orchard jewelry store
— image credit: Charlie Bermant

Cedar Cove Days may have started a ripple effect that will eventually revitalize downtown Port Orchard, but Alex Jarrett won’t benefit from that trend.

After 20 months in business she is shutting down Goodenow Designs, the custom jewelry store she hoped would draw in people who wanted something a little out of the ordinary.

“I had a lot of repeat customers,” Jarrett said. “But I wasn’t able to turn over my inventory fast enough. When people come in regularly they need to see different things every time. Here, they were seeing the same items over and over.”

“We need businesses like hers,” Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Coreen Haydock Johnson said. “She had a good quality product that you can’t find in many other places. I think businesses can thrive downtown if we just get over that hump.”

“I don’t think it was anything I did,” Jarrett said about her closure. “It was a just the bad economy, and the fact that downtown Port Orchard isn’t quite there yet.”

Even if there were some optimistic times, she has seen a downward spiral in sales over the past few months, making the decision to shut down in the spring if things didn’t turn around.

They didn’t, and she made the final decision to pull the plug about three months ago.

She stayed open for this weekend’s Cedar Cove Days, hoping to go out with a bang.

She has planned to close at the end of August, to avoid paying another month’s rent, but changed her “store closing” sign to “Cedar Cove Blowout” in the occasion’s honor.

On Monday, her last day in business, the signs were switched back.

“Cedar Cove Days was my last push,” Jarrett said. “The organizers did a great job, but as far as sales, we didn’t get what we expected.”

Jarrett, who does not make the jewelry she sells, worked as a vendor for 12 years before opening a storefront.

While she looked forward to the change of scenery, she characterizes it as “different, and harder.”

She likes sales, mostly because, “I love talking to people.”

She doesn’t always love talking to artists, however, especially since she must deliver bad news — that she will not be placing any new orders.

“It’s hard for artists these days,” she said.

Jarrett said she loves the downtown area and the people who come to her shop, and will miss the interaction.

Her space is being taken over by the neighboring Sugardaddy’s Salon, whose business, according to Johnson, is thriving.

“No matter the economy, women still want to get their hair done,” Johnson said. “Even if you have to sacrifice big-ticket items, you still want to look nice.”

Jarrett agrees, saying, “In tough times, the last thing that some people will want to buy is jewelry.”

Jarrett expected to place her unsold inventory to other area stores. She planned to put together a flyer and distribute it to her customers and post it on her front door, noting where the jewelry is being sold.

“I’ll tell people where they can go to get something they’ve seen here and didn’t buy in time,” she said. “Of course, it won’t be on sale anymore.”

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