Blink of an Eye, a Kirksville business located at 108 N. Franklin Street on The Square, will close its doors March 31.
Owners Keith and Katherine Jackson say the reason behind the store closing is a lack of business due to a low amount of traffic through the store.
Katherine, a finance professor at Truman, says the idea for Blink of an Eye came from her passion for making jewelry and her thought that there was a niche market not being filled in downtown Kirksville. She says she thought there was nowhere in the downtown area for customers to buy specialty purses and jewelry, so she filled that market by opening Blink of an Eye.
Throughout the first year and a half at Blink of an Eye, Katherine says she brought in various products to sell, including purses and other gift items. She says the business did very well during that time because there was not a similar business in Kirksville. Katherine says she and Keith opened the store with no previous retail experience, but she says they did their best to provide a needed business as well as support the community.
Katherine says she used Blink of an Eye during her teaching career as a learning experience for her marketing students at Truman.
Regarding the issue of the business closing, Katherine says she thinks it was a fun adventure. She says while the business had a good run, it took up a lot of time.
“The closing is bittersweet,” Katherine says.
Keith says Blink of an Eye opened Aug. 15, 2009, with the slogan “unique, fun and affordable.” He says many members of the community might recognize the business by its distinctive logo, which was designed by his wife.
Keith says the majority of Blink of an Eye’s customers are women from Kirksville and the surrounding area, but he says there are not enough customers coming in to sustain the business.
“You can’t convince people to come downtown,” Keith says.
Keith says he thinks the lack of parking in the downtown area contributes to the store’s low traffic levels.
Local organizations such as the Kirksville Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Improvement Committee have acknowledged issues like these and are working to revitalize the downtown area. The organizations involved in this project, which Keith has personally been a part of, are the Kirksville Chamber of Commerce and the Kirksville Downtown Improvement Committee. These organizations work to help businesses generate revenue and improve customer bases.
Keith says neither the city nor any other organization is to blame for the store closing, as the issue is more a matter of location.
Keith says Blink of an Eye always has employed current and former Truman students, in addition to other local employees.
Keith says everything in the store currently is 50 percent off its original price. He says he invites community members to come shop, as new merchandise will be put out each day until the the store closes. He says he and his wife would like to invite community members to come to the business’ closing party March 31, where he says there will be refreshments, goodies and the ending of an era.