In the seven months that Tina Ostrander has been pregnant, she says, she’s cried only twice.
Once was at a sappy movie, and the second was last week when she e-mailed customers of her Redbird Boutique to tell them she’s closing.
Ostrander says she hit “send,” and “I bawled the whole entire way home.”
Her pregnancy was the final motivation for Ostrander and her family – her husband, parents and brother – to close the store.
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They already owned Main Street Co. and Kitchen Corner in Newton when they opened Redbird in Cambridge Market at 21st and Webb Road four years ago.
Now they also own a Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Newton.
“Three stores and a restaurant … it’s a lot to keep up with,” Ostrander says.
She says each family member works six or seven days a week.
“We knew we couldn’t continue doing that, especially now that I’m expecting.”
Ostrander says she’d at least “like to have a slight little bit of flexibility.”
“If you can ever do that when you own your own business.”
Ostrander says the store, which sells a variety of gifts, clothing, accessories and jewelry, has done well.
“We did very, very well. It’s a great location.”
The business took time to build, she says.
“I hate to give it up,” Ostrander says. “It was a dream of mine to have the store, but it’s also a dream of mine to be a mom.”
Ostrander says the Newton stores will sell everything that Redbird sells and more.
“We have more space up there.”
She says she isn’t sure when the last day in business will be, but it likely will be the end of January. Everything in the store is now 50 percent off, and the store’s fixtures are for sale, too.
A return to Wichita isn’t out of the question one day, but for now, Ostrander says, family has to come first.
She says she doesn’t want to upset customers and hopes they’ll shop in Newton.
“It’s not that far of a drive to come up there.”