Ansley Place to close after 20 years

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bittersweet is how Louisa Baker would describe the decision she’s made to close her business, Ansley Place.

“It’s like a third child I’ve had for 20 years,” she said.

But she’s ready to enjoy some of the things she’s helped her customers do for the past two decades, like entertain, and decorate for holidays.

She and her husband, Cary, have been married for almost three years. She said she’s yet to find time to combine their homes, and with four children and seven grandchildren between them, she’d like to have more time to devote to their blended family.

“There are just so many things I want to do,” she said. “And in retail, our busiest times are the times when other people have free time.”

Inspired by her then father-in-law, Mrs. Baker started Ansley Place as a formal wear and pageant gown business.

“We have always said, ‘We have apparel for all the ladies in our area, from teens to grandmothers,’ ” Mrs. Baker said. “Then, I was the young mother of one of those teens. Now, 20 years later, I’m one of those proud grandmothers.”

The business evolved during those two decades to include women’s apparel, accessories, and everything one could imagine to make gift-giving easier. China, crystal, stemware and flatware from 10 major companies made Ansley Place the place most local brides registered.

In an interview last year, Mrs. Baker said the most consistent thing about the business was the need for change. She’s found that true for herself, too.

“It’s been a wonderful, beautiful thing, to be involved with people’s holidays, and their special events,” Mrs. Baker said. “You feel like you’ve really been important to them, and they certainly have been to us.”

She plans to begin her retirement sale today, and continue it through January.