WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — For almost two decades, Jackie Blemel has been waking up every day, opening and running The Jacqueline Shoppes on Main Street.
The Williamsville company has been open longer than that — Blemel purchased the store from the shop’s former owner, also named Jacqueline, in 1999; that owner, was moving on and now Blemel is, too.
“I decided it is time to retire,” said Blemel, with tears in her eyes. “It certainly has kept me busy.”
Owning the store seemed like a natural career move for Blemel who grew up with a passion for fashion – she sewed her own prom dress — and a drive to handle finances; marrying the two together came easy for her as she wanted to independently own and operate her own business. The Williamville shop sells every day attire as well as prom gowns and Mother of the Bride dresses.
“I think we’ve added a lot to Williamsville. We are certainly a unique shop and carry other things. We have filled a niche in the area.”
It wasn’t easy for the owner to decide to step aside and retire and she feels there will be many emotions over the next few weeks as the days wind down to the moment in June where she’ll lock the doors for good. She’s hopeful someone else, ideally named Jackie, will buy the shop and keep it up and running; the employees have all said they’ll stay there. Blemel says after almost two decades, it’s going to be tough to say see you later to customers and employees who have turned into friends and family.
“Let’s have everyone enjoy these last few moments.”