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Penny and Bill Smith, owners of the Bald Eagle Flag store, have relocated and will open Saturday in Spotsylvania County.
Date published: 9/1/2012
By Cathy Jett
PENNY AND BILL Smith
But the Spotsylvania County couple kept coming back to the Fredericksburg area.
They finally found what they were looking for in the Salem Professional Center, a two-story brick building just off State Route 3 between Trivett's Furniture and a RoomStore in Spotsylvania County. They'll open their doors at 10 a.m. today.
"We're excited about having a place for our regular customers to find us, and lots of new ones. It's so nice to start over, just a fresh, fresh start," Penny Smith said.
She plans to stand in front of the store with a sign on Saturday to let people know that it's open, but don't expect her to wave and gyrate like the Lady Liberty who stands outside Liberty Tax Service.
"I'm going to hold my sign
The Smiths have been selling a wide variety of flags--from the made-in-America United States flags that fly over government buildings to the decorative flags and windsocks that decorate lawns--for 32 years.
The couple opened in a 1,300-square-foot space in the Nere Building in southern Stafford 17 years ago. Patriotic customers rushed there after such events as the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011.
The Smiths decided to move earlier this year due to concerns that their new landlord, Trinity Fellowship International, might eventually turn the building into a church. They held a sale, shut their doors on March 31 and focused on their online business, baldeagleindus
"We were in shock," Penny Smith said. "We'd been there so long that it took a while for it to sink in that we were no longer there."
The couple's expenses plummeted because they were no longer paying rent, but they also lost about 75 percent of their business, she said. Many customers who'd shopped at the store didn't make the shift to shopping on their website.