Thursday 24 January 2019
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Local Business Closes…From Love

Story by Gene Brancho     Photos from Eat Sleep Play Beaufort

Small businesses come and go…not just here in the lowcountry…but all across our nation.  Generally, these closings are due to the economy or poor management.  But, here in Beaufort, we have a local business closing…for none of the typical, standard reasons.

      The journey for Joli Home Accents is coming to a close. Mother and daughter owners, Cheryl Hunter and Allegra Craig, are closing up shop.  This decision was made from love, due to Allegra’s illness.

      Allegra Craig was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. Sadly, the cancer has returned.  This time, she will be fighting a harder battle and will be in treatment for quite some time.

     The journey for Cheryl and Allegra began about 12 years ago. After falling in love with gorgeous Beaufort and moving here from the Philadelphia area, the two decided to mesh their areas of expertise – interior design and event planning – to create a shop filled with items to decorate locals’ homes and to help Southerners entertain.

     The original shop opened in October of 2007, located in Habersham’s marketplace. The ‘shopgirls,’ as they refer to themselves, gained a smattering of loyal local followers both in and out of the neighborhood. By the summer of 2011, Joli had outgrown its small Habersham space, and the girls decided to make the move to Bay Street.

     Moving to Bay Street was a new adventure. It allowed the ‘shopgirls’ to truly achieve the mission they had from the beginning, to serve the local community.

     “We love our out-of-town visitors,” explains Hunter, “And getting to know our neighbors and our community members was the icing on the cake. We’re going to miss our regulars, many of whom have become friends.”

     Putting her family first, Cheryl is closing the store so that she can be there for her daughter.

     “We’ve loved being here and have been a fantastic mother-daughter team over the years,” Cheryl said. “When a family member becomes ill, other family members must alter their lifestyle and take on some of the role functions of the ill person, which in turn affects their own normal role functioning. I need to be able to be there for her, completely focused and completely available.”

     The popular store will be open around January 16th for a five day closing sale. “Whatever is left over after our sale will be donated,” Cheryl says,   pointing out that both Friends of Caroline Hospice and CAPA, two local organizations which operate thrift stores, will be the recipients of leftover merchandise and store fixtures.

From Cheryl and Allegra

     We’ve loved these days…

     Many of you, our dear customers and friends, know that the younger partner in our mother daughter partnership was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. Some of you know that the cancer has returned. Unfortunately, Allegra will be in treatment for quite a while and the treatment is no picnic.

     The older partner in this arrangement wants to be able to drop everything at a moment’s notice to be available for Allegra. All of the mothers who read this will understand. It is for this reason that we have decided to close our shop, Joli Home Accents.

     To paraphrase an old Billy Joel song, we’ve loved these days. We have loved being a part of our charming Bay Street shopping district. We have loved our fellow business owners. We have especially loved you, our customers. You have made Joli a joy to own and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

     Joli will reopen for a five day clearance sale in January. Please check our Facebook page and Eat Sleep Play Beaufort for dates and further information.

     Again, we want to thank you all for your loyalty and patronage. It has been a privilege and “We’ve loved these days.”

Cheryl and Allegra, The ‘Shopgirls’