It's a pretty straightforward question posed on Facebook by the owner of a gift shop just off Main Street in Middletown which has stocked local handcrafts lovingly made mostly by Connecticut women, many of them moms.
"Should the Ladybug Boutique stay open or close?"
The time has arrived for Amy Becker, who has run the shop since 2006, to decide whether or not to renew her lease. "Help me make a decision by showing your love for the Ladybug Boutique," she implores.
And to encourage customers to provide feedback on her shop's treasures, on Jan. 31, from 5-8 p.m., she'll be offering 20-percent off regular priced items.
Middletown Patch featured Ladybug this past August (Boutique Supports Goods Handmade by Women), when the Downtown Business District held its first cash mob there, asking customers to bring along $20 in cash to support a local business.
Becker prides herself on finding nearby artists's and craftspeople's wares to stock her well-showcased shelves.
“I’m always on the search,” says the East Hampton resident, for local entrepreneurs. “I didn’t always carry all made in America, but I’ve gotten more passionate about it, so I’m looking for it all the time.”
And there is plenty to choose from in her tiny shop chock-full of candles, jewelry, soaps, cards, wall hangings and other country-style crafts.
“There is pottery from Colchester, cupcake soaps from Manchester, hand-painted wine glasses from Cheshire, Sew Bea It pouches from Seymour, goat milk soap from East Hampton,” Becker says, enumerating only a few of the many purveyors she buys from.
Some of the many items that Becker carries includes Yankee Candles, ladybugs assuming every possible household use — salt and pepper shakers, earrings, wine stoppers, books, garden flags, baby socks, you name it; and local artisans, a smattering of which are mentioned below.
- Cupcake Soaps by Poor & Pretty of Woodbury
- Purring Pottery of Colchester
- Everyday Keepsakes of Milldale
- Baby On the Way Cards from a husband and wife, Roxanne and Keith Franklin of Portland
- Sew Bea It reversible fabric bowls of Seymour and Shelton
- Pottery from Colchester
- Hand-painted wine glasses from Cheshire
- Goat milk soap from East Hampton