Barb Signor (left) is assuming ownership of Made on Earth, the North Main Street business founded by Tom and Mary Beth Bryant (right) nearly 25 years ago. Signor says the store has been her favorite for years as a summer visitor. For her, the opportunity to own it is a dream come true. (Photo by Elissa Paquette) (click for larger version)
December 05, 2018WOLFEBORO — Barb Signor saw a sign taped to the register at the Made on Earth store on North Main Street last January announcing that owners Tom and Mary Beth Bryant were looking forward to retiring and "would like to see the store transition to a new enthusiastic person/s" they could teach the "the ins and outs of what we do so Made on Earth can continue to be here another 20 + years." This January, she's buying the business.
She immediately took a picture of it to share with her husband. Signor says she knew at that moment that this was exactly what she wanted. The store has been her favorite since she was a teen spending summers in Wolfeboro. She and her husband moved to Alton three years ago after establishing a hard wood flooring company in Kansas City, Mo. That continues in their new location, but when she saw the sign, she knew this is what she wanted to do.
She reflects, "You know how you wonder what you want to be when you grow up? I never knew what I wanted to do until I saw that sign on the register. I didn't even hesitate."
Signor has shadowed Mary Beth all year to learn each phase of the business – the register, the clientele, the back office work, and is planning to travel to Bali, just as the Bryants do each year to learn the ins and outs from them of designing and importing excluseve custom clothing for the store. "it's the opportunity of a lifetime," says Barb.
As far as Mary Beth is concerned, the feeling is mutual.
"She's a natural," she declares.
It was meant to be. Nothing is going to be lost in the transition.
"Made on Earth is unique in every way," says Barb. "The customer base counts on it."
Mary Beth is pleased that Barb shares the value the Bryants have placed on connecting with other cultures, including Nepal, and their concerns that the vendors are paid fair wages. Beth does have some ideas on expanding the store's online presence.
Tom will maintain the Stay Tuned shop during the summer and Mary Beth remains committed to her Sacred Shared Space studio above the shop. She began bringing local and global Spiritual teachers to the space eight years ago, offering workshops, retreats, evening classes and one on one work with practitioners and plans to expand those offerings.
The public is invited to attend a Customer Appreciation and Meet the New Owner event at the shop on Dec. 28, from 5-7 p.m., and enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvres in celebration of the occasion.