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Owner of Eva Morris boutique closes store in Duluth and plans to move on

Stacy Foster closed Eva Morris, her women's clothing boutique, in February to explore new opportunities. She's pictured here at her former business, United Colors of Benetton. (File / News Tribune)

Maybe it all came down to that moment last fall when Stacy Foster stood in her store and asked herself, do I really want to do this another year?

With a small women's clothing boutique like Eva Morris, it's the quiet times that got to her.

"You burn out being alone," she said. "Personally I was burnt out."

Foster realized the answer to the question was no, she didn't want to run the store another year.

With her son graduating from high school next year, a change was coming to her life, anyway. He would go away to college, and she would move from Duluth. Where she will go, she doesn't know yet. But she's ready to start

exploring the next phase of her life now,

"I'm just ready for a new adventure," Foster said. "It's a very exciting time in my life. I'm ready to go to a bigger city, somewhere that offers more jobs and more social life. I'm not really a cold weather person."

So, in late February, she closed Eva Morris, which had operated at 732 E. Superior St. just shy of a year.

Before that, she had owned and operated United Colors of Benetton in Fitger's Brewery Complex. It was one of the last remaining Benetton franchises in smaller U.S. cities.

Business had plateaued, and she didn't see a way to grow business there. She also wanted more flexibility in store hours, more freedom in what merchandise she carried and the ability to carry larger than the petite sizes favored by Benetton.

So she closed the store, left Fitger's and opened a new clothing store a block east, next to Coppola Art Imports and Va Bene restaurant. Operating with a month-to-month lease, she called the shop Eva Morris, a combination of her paternal grandparents' first names.

Her store closing sale last month, offering 50 to 70 percent off, was hampered by the harsh weather.

"It didn't do as well as expected because of the weather," Foster said. "It started out well, but then we had a couple weeks of terrible weather when I would have one or two people come in a day. It was either 20 below or snowing to beat the band. Who is going to venture out in that?"

Still, she's happy with her decision and is selling her remaining inventory on eBay and though consignment stores.

The vacated storefront already is taken. The space will house the Kitchee Gammi Design Co, an interior design business.