Three years ago, lifelong Foxborough resident Sandy Ivatts opened a small business on Central Street because she loved antiques and thought she could bring something unique to the downtown.
“I wanted to see a different type of a shop as opposed to the typical businesses in the area,” said Ivatts.
So Ivatts opened Mustard Seeds Antiques at 4A Central St. to bring her passion to life in a quaint downtown shop filled with antiques, reproductions, candles and gifts.
Business was good in the beginning.
“I read in the Bible if you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can move mountains and that’s where [the shop’s name] came from,” Ivatts said. … “In the first two years I did fabulous but in this last year it’s been tough.”
The tough year of business has been devastating to Ivatts, who will be closing her three-year-old shop at the end of October.
“I am hoping it’s the recession,” Ivatts said of the closing. “People aren’t spending. … I wanted to see a shop in downtown but just one shop can’t survive on its own, you need more.”
Ivatts recalled a time when people used to shop Foxborough center but times have changed and too many shops like hers have come and gone.
“The center used to have a flower shop that had gifts also and there was a cheese and oils shop,” Ivatts said. “But I just think if people could understand they really have to support the downtown if they want it to survive otherwise it’s just going to go away. … People don’t come just for one store. You need more than one [for the downtown to survive].”
Ivatts also cited parking as an issue in the downtown, which may have contributed to a lack of business for her shop and others.
“I think parking was a real big issue,” Ivatts said. “As much as I would try and tell people there is parking out back, the signs just aren’t big enough.”
But she isn’t making excuses.
“I could have gone to [town] meetings,” Ivatts said. “I am not complaining. There was parking out back but even that’s pretty hard to find parking because all the shop owners park back there.”
Ivatts is holding a closing sale at Mustard Seeds for the remainder of the month before she permanently closes the shop.
Everything in Mustard Seeds will be 30 percent off this week and 40 percent next week with the expectation of closing at the end of October.
Ivatts said she will miss the people she met at her shop most.
“I so enjoyed meeting the people,” Ivatts said. “You cannot believe how many people came in and you get to meet a lot of regulars and people that aren’t even from Foxborough. That’s going to be a tough thing to let go of.”
And of course, her display window.
“The window,” Ivatts said. “I’m going to miss doing up the window. … I wish I could have stayed because it really was a cute little shop.”
As for Ivatts’ future plans, the Foxborough resident said she’s not ready to give up on antiques.
“I’m hoping to do some antique shows,” said Ivatts. “I’ve already looked into it. Before I [opened Mustard Seeds] I looked into doing that.”