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Maggie's owner hanging it up

Peggy Cushwa selling or closing Hagerstown shop

Peggy Cushwa selling or closing Hagerstown shop

September 07, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN - It's a "retirement" sale, Peggy Cushwa emphasized, not a "going out of business" sale.

Cushwa is selling or closing Maggie's Hang-Ups in Hagerstown because, well, after 20 years, it's time - not because of a lack of business.

"I want a life," she said.

She's ready to trade six-day work weeks at her custom-framing shop for a more relaxed way of life.

She'll have time to quilt, see more of her grandchild and maybe help out at her husband Kurt's architecture firm.

She'll while away time in her garden, where "you have to think about what you're doing and nothing else."

Cushwa, 56, laughs about finally getting a chance to rearrange the contents of the three drawers in her kitchen. That's been a goal for years.

Maggie's Hang-Ups has been open in Hagerstown for 20 years, the last 15 of them in a former North Potomac Street fire hall.

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On Thursday, Cushwa hadn't figured out what will become of her business. She wants to find a buyer whose philosophy about the shop meshes with hers.

The other possibility is that the business folds.

Either way, she thinks she'll be done with Maggie's by the end of September. But she's not sure. Her decision to retire has attracted a surge of business from loyal customers placing one last order.

Deborah Everhart, Hagerstown's economic development director, said Cushwa's store added to downtown's diversity and was a good fit.

She said she's pleased Cushwa still will help the city's ambassador program, in which volunteers help introduce new residents to the amenities of the downtown.

Cushwa said she's been thinking for two years or so about ending her business.

One factor was losing what she considers her last "very excellent" employee, a student teacher graduating from Shepherd University.

That leaves just Cushwa to run the shop.

Cushwa is one of six downtown businesswomen who banded together for advertising and charitable causes. All are within a block of Public Square.

She has been a "strong cog," said Brenda Goodwyn, the owner of Figurehead II, a clothing shop that's also part of the women's business group.

"She always had a strong spirit of smiles and laughter," Goodwyn said.

Cushwa is looking forward to sleeping in a little later and not eyeing the clock while she has lunch.

It's tough to tell, though, how long she'll be content as a "lady of leisure," as she put it.

"I figure I'll make it till Christmas," she said.

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