NORTH ADAMS -- A gem and fossil shop that opened last month in the Oasis Plaza has closed.
Marcia Brown, owner of Berkshire Geological Treasures, said Monday that the store called it quits Oct. 5 due to an extremely low turnout of paying customers.
"I had high hopes of being successful, and this has been very depressing," she said.
The turnout of people visiting the store to look around was good, but the location proved to be less than desirable for a retail business, she said.
"When it comes to rock shops, all I can tell you is to go to the Southwest and to the West Coast. These businesses thrive out there," she said.
Berkshire Geological Treasures opened Sept. 15. At the time, Brown said the inspiration for the store came from the many trips she and her husband, Mark, had taken to California, where rock and fossil shops are a "big thing." Prior to opening the store, Brown had worked at North Adams Regional Hospital for 16 years.
"Since we did not use banks to finance, we decided to close before we would get financially in trouble. I do not have a job elsewhere, so keeping the store was not an option," Brown said.
She was able to make enough money to cover only the overhead costs associated with operating the business for the weeks the shop was opened, as well as for the month before when she was preparing the space for the store, she said.
"There was no money for bringing in orders on standby and no money for advertising. There was even no money to take for a small paycheck," she said.
The inventory of Berkshire Geological Treasures included an array of rocks and minerals from around the world, fossils, dinosaur-building kits, rock tumblers, stone-carved chess sets, crystals and key chains.
"I feel very bad for the children that we hoped could have enjoyed so much of nature's natural works of art," Brown said.
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