For the past 12 years, Domrad and Eryen LaLonde have been bringing a wave of relaxation and artistry through in downtown Southington.
Their successful run will soon be over, however, as the Southington couple readies to close their business.
"We decided to close for a mix of reasons. We were at the end of our lease and couldn't come to agreeable terms again, and our overhead has continued to go up every year," Eryen LaLonde said. "That, coupled with the economy, it just made sense to think about closing."
The couple began their first entrepreneurial venture when LaLonde was only 24-years-old, opening a smaller shop on Center Street before moving to their current North Main Street location in 2002. There they opened a pottery-making portion of their business.
"I've always been an artist so it's just something I always wanted to do, so when that space opened up, it was perfect," Eryen LaLonde said. "When we close we're still going to offer our signature wedding plates and personalized pottery online, since that's where we have been really successful and have the strongest base."
Aside from creative endeavors, LaLonde said she's always been fueled by her passion for more natural, environmentally safe products and medical alternatives such as Reiki. Her shop was the first in Connecticut to offer products like soy candles, which are healthier for the environment and the home.
"I think now people are more aware and open to the more natural ways of healing and that sort of thing," LaLonde said.
LaLonde has also been President of the Southington Downtown Merchants Association for the past ten years, and will stop down from her post this month. She took a full time job and will continue to grow her business online.
Arthur Secondo said he credits LaLonde with being a strong business downtown before the downtown Renaissance project even began, and said her presence downtown will be missed.
"I don't think Eryen gives herself enough credit. Before the downtown Renaissance movement began she really was a unique, creative store that was a bright spot in the central business district," Secondo said. "Unfortunately the economy has taken its toll on small businesses like this one. We're going to miss her."
The Auracle will remain open certain days through the Apple Harvest Festival.
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