Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Growing pains to close

  • Downtown Wellington will soon have another vacancy.

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  • Downtown Wellington will soon have another vacancy.
    Growing Pains, 112 North Washington Ave., is closing it's doors. Owner Linde Theobald said she has seen this coming for the past few years.
    "For three years its been gradually getting worse and worse," Theobald said. "To the point where we get two or three people in a day, so I wasn't able to pay my bills any more."
    She said she does not have a date in mind for when the business will be closed, but would like to shut down before winter.
    "I should have shut it down a long time ago," Theobald admitted. "But I just kept hanging on, hoping it would pick back up. Because I like it, I really have enjoyed this business a lot."
    All clothes at Growing Pains are 50% off for the going out of business sale.
    "We've got a lot of clothes, a lot of cute baby clothes," Theobald mentioned. "A lot of maternity clothes that are very nice." The owner is hopeful it all sells. Theobald has another store in Wichita that carries teenage clothes called Trends Fashion Exchange, located right behind Towne West Mall. She said that store has been paying the bills for Growing Pains for quite some time. If the economy does bounce back, Theobald said it was unlikely that she would open up Growing Pains again. If she does try it again, it would be in Wichita.
    "And I've enjoyed Wellington, don't get me wrong," she said. "I enjoyed the people and everything but up there, there's just so much more traffic."
    Shelly Hansel-Williams, Director of the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce said she is both personally and professionally saddened by the news of another business going under.
    "This trend is killing us," Hansel-Williams said. "I'm just reminded, we have to start supporting our local businesses or this will continue to happen."
    Hansel-Williams brought up the 3/50 Project that is a national campaign to buy local.
    "The idea is you pick three businesses in town that you would be absolutely devastated if they went out of business," she said. "And you go there every month and you spend $50."
    Theobald says the idea needs to take hold sooner than later, or Wellington's main street will be empty in just a few short years under current conditions.
    "It's going to be deserted," Theobald said. "There's going to be nothing up here."
    She recalled years past when there was a lot of hustle and bustle along Washington Avenue.
    "We used to always have busy Saturdays," the Growing Pains owner said. "It was a given, but in the last two or three years...nobody comes in."
    Page 2 of 2 - Theobald lives in Wellington, and has for more than 40 years. She has been operating Growing Pains for the last 24 years and wants thank each and every customer that she's had in that time.
    "I didn't think it was ever going to go that long, you know," she continued. "But it did really good for a lot of years." She said she held on for as long as she could, her efforts haven't gone unnoticed.
    "I know Linde has struggled, and she has hung in there," Hansel-Williams said. "I think she's a good business owner and I'm just sad to see that happen."
    Of all the things she will miss the most, Theobald said she will miss going to people houses, meeting them and buying their old garments. She said Growing Pains will always be near and dear to her heart.
    "I'll probably be lost without it for a long time," Theobald said. "It was like a passion of mine, I never had to go to work for 24 years..."
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