Flamingo Row owner Wendy Anthony never set out to open a women's fashion boutique.The year was 1987.
At the time, Anthony was working parttime at Mirage, a women's clothing store in Richmond. A regular male customer, who used to shop for his wife, told Anthony she should open her own boutique, and he would finance it.
"I couldn't believe it but he told me that I always made his wife look great and that I should open a store in Blundell Centre," said 67-year-old Anthony. "I went home that night and told my husband and he told me I should do it."
Thus, Flamingo Row was born in November 1987. However, after 25 years it is time to say goodbye.
On Feb. 28, Anthony will close the doors for the final time. The mother of two and grandmother of five is looking forward to spending time with family and friends and traveling.
"When my husband Bill passed away 17 months ago, I started to think about how short life is and that it was probably time for me to start thinking about retiring," said Anthony, a Richmondite since 1969. "So in March, I'm heading to Cabo San Lucas with some good friends of mine and then planning a trip to Australia later this year."
Although it's bittersweet, Anthony and daughter, Jennifer Adams (who joined in 1993), are ready for the next chapter in life.
"It's always been a family-run business," Anthony said. "Many of my clients remember when my mom (Mary Brown) used to sell them clothes and customers would tell me, 'When Mary Brown sold you something, you looked good.'"
The News had to ask; where did the name Flamingo Row come from.
Both Anthony and Adams grinned.
"Bill came up with the name," said Anthony, who then got a little teary eyed. "In the '80s, flamingos were popular, and then we thought Flamingo Row had a nice ring ..."
The highlights throughout the decades have been many, said Anthony.
"From day one, we wanted to be personally involved in the community. We live, work and play here, we love it here."
Over the years, Anthony took part in many fundraisers, such as the Richmond Hospital Foundation, school fashion shows and providing gift certificates.
"I'm really going to miss my customers," said Anthony. "However, the time is right."