Image obtained from Uptown's Facebook page.

Upon permanently closing its doors in June, owner of Uptown gift shop on Columbia's Main Street, Martha Studstill, notified the public that anyone interested in purchasing the business was welcome to do so.

She initially closed the gift shop temporarily in March in response to COVID-19 closures, however after two months without business, Studstill made the difficult decision to turn to the next chapter after a 12-year long journey.

Michelle Cormier read that Studstill was offering the business to someone interested in buying it. She decided to jump on the opportunity,  and purchased the gift shop.

“We came to an agreement and here I am,” Cormier said. “I owned a store in Massachusetts for 14 years and have worked as an independent sales rep in the gift industry since mid-90s.”

Uptown is best known for its locally themed gifts, greeting cards and women’s accessories.

Cormier will reopen the gift shop in its same location on Columbia’s Main Street in early September. She said the store’s merchandise will remain the same, with the addition of new brands and some of her own taste. “Most of the things I’m adding are to enhance what was already there,” she said. “I’m excited to get opened up and continue the legacy that Martha started and become part of the downtown Columbia family."

Cormier said she is open to suggestions from shoppers on brands and items they would like to see in the store. As fall and winter holidays draw near, store merchandise will shift to fit the needs of customers during those seasons.

Uptown’s store hours will be Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Additional updates on the store’s opening date will be posted on its Facebook page.

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