Lake Oswego's Trios Studio set to close in 2021
Trios Studio, a jewelry shop that called Lake Oswego home for 15 years, is set to close next year.
Owners Mary Wong, Deborah Spencer and Kathe Mai have decided not to renew their lease in Oswego Town Square, which is up for renewal in April 2021. But the decision to close was not due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The owners decided to shutter prior to Gov. Kate Brown's stay-at-home orders.
"The main reason for not renewing the lease is that Deborah is moving to Washington to help care for her mom and Kathe is in the same situation with her mom," Wong said. "The family commitments are increasing and the idea of committing to a lease is less than ideal."
The idea to open Trios Studio sparked when the three owners began participating in a local craft show with Creative Metal Arts Guild.
"We'd done it for several years," said Wong, adding that opening a business became a topic of discussion at dinner one day. Combined, the trio had private studio experience and Mai was involved with her husband's manufacturing jewelry business — he eventually provided them with premium fair-trade gems when they opened their business.
"It just seemed to be a natural progression," Wong said. "It was time to use our expertise in this way and further some social causes at the same time."
Throughout the business's 15 years in the community, Wong said Trios Studio filled a niche in the city with in-house repair, custom design and an emphasis on fair-trade gems and responsible sourcing — a movement to promote ethical practices and transparency with supply chain information.
"We just had so many people that came back over and over — and repeat customers. Because jewelry is like a car, it needs to be serviced and repaired and maintained," Wong said.
The people and the sense of community is something Wong said she'll miss the most.
Wong said they will likely still be on the premises through March 2021, but the business has offered a retirement sale through Dec. 24. Wong said the business is complying with COVID-19 safety protocols.
"It's not COVID that's forcing us out; it's just making it more difficult in a way to move on. But it certainly isn't the reason," Wong said.
Wong added that she will continue to make jewelry after the store closes because it's an art form she loves. As the saying goes, Wong said, "The old jewelers don't die, they just grind away."
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