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It is with deep gratitude to the greater North Shore community that we announce the closure of the Lad and Lassie clothing store at the beginning of 2020. For 67 years, multiple generations of our family have served multiple generations of yours, and we are honored to have had the opportunity to be part of your lives.
Lad and Lassie was opened in 1953 by our grandmother on our mother’s side, Beulah Leipsiger. Our father, the late William (Bill) Evans, began managing the store in 1959 and soon after took over operations, growing the business through hard work and a dedication to quality products and customer satisfaction. Since opening day, Lad and Lassie has been a family-run operation, something we take great pride in, which perhaps is also the most difficult part about letting it go. But it is time.
Our parents had eight children, each of whom grew up on the North Shore and many of our childhood memories are centered around the store. Our father worked 7 days a week to provide for his family of 10, which involved each of the kids chipping in at different points in our childhoods. Many summer days and after-school hours were spent helping customers, stocking shelves, and sometimes falling asleep in the attic while we were supposed to be checking inventory. It was a way for us to spend time with our father and learn the value of hard work, which we carried forward into our adult lives as owners and operators.
It is no secret that retail has been changing for a long time. The way people purchase products over the past 15 years has altered dramatically. As a family, and thanks to our loyal customers, we have evolved with changing markets. However, after years of difficult contemplation, we have finally decided that now is our time to let it go. Our father grew this store with a deep sense of dignity and pride, and we intend to leave it with those same qualities intact.
We want to thank our dedicated employees and the great people of Wilmette and surrounding communities who have supported us for years. Many of our regular customers have been shopping at Lad and Lassie for generations and are like family to us. Understanding the changing retail environment themselves, countless people went out of their way to purchase our products, when similar items were easily accessible online or at larger box stores. We are deeply grateful to every one of you and consider you the reason for our many years of success.
It is time for something new for us also. While Lad and Lassie will be shutting its doors, our family-owned business will continue in the form of a newly created handmade home goods business called Geez Louise Goods. The line will be available in local retail stores and online. Our decades running a family-owned store leave us well-equipped to step into a venture aimed at making homes more cozy and delightful. We are also looking forward to Saturdays off for the first time in 40 years.
Again, from the deepest corners of our hearts we would like to thank our valued customers and the community for supporting us for so many years. This was a bittersweet announcement, but we were focusing on the sweet part since we knew we’d continue to see many of you, and because we feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve you.
We’re going to miss you, too.
Mimi, Patty and Zee Evans