MASSENA - Nineteen years ago Wendy S. MacCue took her grandfathers home interiors business, World of Color, and relocated it in downtown Massena.
Within a matter of weeks, the business will close.
Ms. MacCue said World of Color opened in May 1994, selling paint and wall paper while also offering custom framing.
She operated that business for 13 years before turning World of Color into Precious Memories, the store she owns and operates today.
Originally I went to school for business, Ms. MacCue said. My grandfather started the interior design business in 1968 so I just moved the business from Watertown to here.
However, after running that business for several years, she said she realized she needed to change her business model in order to stay successful.
I couldnt compete with the chains, so I got out of the paint and wallpaper and there was a need for prom dresses, she said, adding she kept the custom framing portion of the business open.
Surprisingly prom season is from January to June and thats a really slow time for framing, so that really helped fill the void, Ms. MacCue said, adding that began to change a few years ago.
Its been slowly getting worse and worse for the past two or three years, she said. Framing alone isnt enough to support the business.
After business started going downhill, Ms. MacCue returned to school, earning a masters degree in education.
When it started slowing down, I knew if I didnt do something I would end up jobless, she said. She is now in her first year of teaching a fourth-grade class at Salmon River Central School.
Ms. MacCue said the store will remain open through the end of the 2013 prom season with all dresses and merchandise, other than custom framing, marked down 50 percent.
Were closing at the end of June, she said, adding that while the decision to close was not easy, staying in business simply was no longer feasible.
Its been a pleasure serving the community for the past 19 years, and Ive made a lot of wonderful friends, she said.