OTTAWA — Merle Norman in Ottawa will close the end of this month after providing beauty services to women for the past 24 years at the location.
Sandy Gillespie, owner, said she is retiring the end of the month when the store at 146 W. Main St. will close.
She opened the Merle Norman store in 1995 in Findlay and opened the business in Ottawa in 2001.
“I am almost 80 years old and want to spend more time with my husband Larry, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Gillespie said.
She said she will miss her customer base and the support they have given her over the years. When she moved her business from Findlay to Ottawa her business doubled, according to Gillespie.
In addition to the in-store business, she also has had customers she has mailed products to in Arizona and Florida.
Merle Norman sells foundations, skin care items such as moisturizers and toners, lipsticks, lip gloss, eye shadows and makeup brushes. Body creams are also available for sale.
Some of the makeup from the fall line is currently 25 percent off.
In addition to makeup for sale, there also are accessories that are half off including necklaces, earrings, bracelets and purses. Other items are makeup mirrors, watches, wallets, knitted hats, sunglasses, flameless candles, scarves and Christmas and Halloween decorations.
Gillespie said anyone going through cancer, an illness or divorce can have a brighter outlook on life when they wear makeup.
She has done makeup for homecomings, proms and weddings and enjoyed seeing the young girls mature into women.
“I am going to miss the customers, and I treat every one of them the same,” Gillespie said.
Once her customers learned she is retiring they have come into the store hugging her with tears in their eyes and sent her cards.
Over the years she has earned trophies for the highest standard of excellence in cosmetic retailing and she earned Business of the Year in 2014 from the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce. In 2001 she was selected to be one of 10 employees to visit the Merle Norman headquarters in Los Angeles.
She spoke about the importance of shopping local and supporting local businesses.
“Smaller local businesses offer friendliness and have what other stores carry at a lower price,” Gillespie said.
She has plans to sell the building after it closes.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.