“I’m getting all choked up,” said Tina Dixon as she prepares to close the doors on Hanger 18 (4762 N. Lincoln Ave.), which she and husband John have operated in Lincoln Square for the past seven years.
A few pieces of furniture and fixtures remain for sale, with just a smattering of Hanger 18′s trademark quirky merchandise left on the shelves. Sunday is planned as the final day of business, though if there’s nothing left for customers to purchase, the end may come sooner.
“The recession hit us hard,” said Dixon. With little in the way of cash reserves, the couple, who earned their income from the shop, have “gone into debt trying to keep this dream alive.”
In good times, being part of Lincoln Square’s retail mix, which includes fellow gift shops Enjoy and Eclecticity, was a boon for Hanger 18, said Dixon, creating a destination for customers. In a tough economy, though, rather than sharing in the wealth, Hanger 18 became one of several competitors for a shrinking pool of dollars.
“It’s too expensive right now to run a business,” Dixon said. “My heart wasn’t in it anymore. It’s sad; this is not how I imagined it.”
The Dixons will now focus on running an online wholesale business. “Like” them on Hanger 18′s Facebook page to see where they’ll be selling items in the future.
While it’s become a bit of a cliche among retiring athletes and politicians, the couple also plan on spending more time with their family, specifically their 7-year-old daughter. “We don’t get much time with her,” said Dixon. “We’ve missed so much.”
Since posting news of the closing, Dixon has been visited by a steady stream of customers who’ve stopped in to express their appreciation. “People have been so supportive, sharing what the store meant to them.”