A classic storefront in downtown Duluth has packed up and closed after 13 years in business. The colorful local art adorning the windows of Art In The Alley will surely be missed by customers and people driving by.  Owner Tami Lapole Edmunds said now her main focus is the stores at Miller Hill Mall where business is booming.

We’ve been through ups and we’ve been through downs, COVID was definitely a down. The decision to close the downtown Duluth store was one we did not take lightly. That was our flagship store, that was kind of our baby. After three years of the road construction, and then sprinkle a little COVID on top, it just did not make sense. We needed to put our efforts where the customers were.

Although Edmunds misses being downtown, her stores at The Miller Hill Mall have actually turned into a blessing in disguise.  Now 11 of her artists, her husband and herself are all in one building where everything gets done from actually creating the artwork to shipping it out.

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Although both the mall stores which are directly across from each other do get a lot of foot traffic all COVID-19 protocols are being strictly enforced in order to keep everybody safe.  Edmunds also made a point of saying that in the end the address of your business does not really matter it is the love and support you get from your community that gets you through by them shopping locally.

Being someone that works downtown now and driving around here every day I am hopeful to see many of these small local businesses continuing to thrive despite everything that is going on. Sure we all get used to our favorite places being in a certain location, but if you are really devoted to that business or product you will follow where they go.

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