SOUTHWICK, Mass (WGGB)– Lauriejean Amsden opened her very first shop in Southwick only 3 miles from where she is now.
Just over a year ago, she decided it was time for a change, so she moved Lauriejan’s Exceptional Consignment Boutique to College Highway.
At first, the small move made a huge difference. “I relocated, did 72% immediately. So everyone thought, ‘Oh, you’re really going to succeed in this location’ and I was doing very good until the construction started, and that’s when I really started to feel the pinch,” Amsden said.
She’s been at this location along College Highway since last December.
Little did she know, foot traffic through the store would literally come to a halt.
Since construction along 10 and 202 has been frustrating drivers since April, causing them to find alternate routes. “You have traffic control people that’s yelling and screaming at motorists, being very rude and impatient to people. It’s difficult. Then it got worse. It exacerbated and turned into let’s use this lot for all the trucks and ancillary vehicles and they would park right in the entrances. So now my customers can’t get in,” she recalled.
As a result, Lauriejean blames the construction for having to shut down for good.
With all the business she’d lost throughout the summertime and the overhead becoming too expensive to maintain.
After a while, Lauriejean said she got fed up with trying to keep this store open, but she is not out of business just yet.
“You have to turn your business into something else. You have to morph. and I know I do well with accessories here, so what I did was turn it into an online store. A lot of people are saying they’re going to miss the environment. They come here, they chat, they have a cup of tea, and they just feel like they’re in a princess-like environment, and they’re going to miss that,” she said.
Since College Highway is a state road, the town was unable to comment on the matter. They did say that other businesses have also seen a decline because of the construction.
Mass DOT says they were unable to reach those who worked on the project at this time, but it is helpful for business owners to reach out early on.
Lauriejean says it would cost $20,000 dollars for her to remain open.
You can visit her shop’s site by clicking here.