Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dilworth shop Maddi's Gallery is closing

A popular Dilworth shop is closing after a decade of selling handmade artwork, crafts and specialty gifts, the owners announced Thursday.

Maddi's Gallery, owned by Madis and Diane Sulg, will close its doors mid-January.

Charlotte-based Rhyneland Inc., which owns the building Maddi’s Gallery has occupied for 10 years, recently decided to sell it. The Sulgs would need to relocate their business.

Maddi's Gallery on East Boulevard
“For about 24 hours, we looked around (for possible locations), thought about it and said, ‘At our age, starting over again when you’re well past retirement – it isn’t in the cards,’ ” Madis, 69, told the Observer. (Diane is 66 years old.)

The Sulgs are calling the closeout their “retirement sale.” It will begin 10 a.m. Dec. 29, and all inventory will be at least 30 percent off.

There will be interim markdowns until the final day of business, Jan. 19. All sales are final, and the Sulgs are encouraging customers to use their store coupons and gift certificates.

All fixtures and furniture are for sale as well.

Maddi’s Gallery opened at 1530 East Boulevard in Dilworth in October 2002. The flagship store is one door down from Lebowski’s Neighborhood Grill and across the street from Cantina 1511.

Two years later, the couple opened a second location at Birkdale Village in Huntersville.

The Sulg’s daughter, Michaelle Dalton, managed the Birkdale store, which was accompanied by a restaurant in 2007, Maddi’s Southern Bistro. The eatery featured Southern favorites on the menu as well as handmade crafts, such as dishes, glasses and check trays.

They closed the Birkdale location in 2010. “The recession up there was more than we could handle,” Madis said. “The reality is, in September 2008, it was like somebody threw a switch in Charlotte. Virtually all retail took a hit.”

Madis estimates that store has more than 40,000 different customers on file and has worked with more than 1,000 different vendors.

The store’s unifying theme was its handmade offerings, nearly all of which were crafted by Americans.

In 2009, Niche Magazine and trade association the Rosen Group selected Maddi’s Gallery from a field of more than 600 nominees to be the nation’s “Top Retailer of American Craft.” The awards competition recognizes top North American craft retailers.

“We’ve had a wonderful run, we’re really enjoyed it and we’ve dealt with one heck of a lot of really good people,” said Madis.

But it will be nice to relax and enjoy retirement, he added.

He saw evidence of that Wednesday morning, when he and Diane were getting ready.

“My wife said, ‘I’d really just like to stay in bed and read a book,’ Madis said. “At some point in your life, that’s not a bad alternative.”


Clay said...

Best wishes in your retirement!