About a year after Craig Kasten launched his vintage clothing store Mobocracy in Port Washington, the business owner was forced to close his doors for good.
"It was kind of a combination (of reasons)," he said. "It was so seasonal out there, and that kind of hit a little bit harder than we anticipated … there was definitely a lack of foot traffic."
The , at 307 N. Franklin St., and officially closed again mid-December. Kasten said sorting through the remaining products is an ongoing task.
"We are in the process of selling out of our home, I still have the website set up (but) don't really have the full inventory right now," Kasten said, adding that they are working to settle in before the online store will be completely up and running.
Kasten said he did have some "ups" while managing the storefront in the city's downtown, though the business scene proved mostly to be a struggle in Port.
During the summer, Kasten had been hopeful festivals would drive customers — but he said most people seemed to stay in the marina area during that time, a trend not helpful to businesses in downtown. Kasten said in talking to other business owners, he's not the only one that felt this was a struggle.
And while city officials and business owners alike were hopeful that the addition of Duluth Trading would boost business — Kasten said it didn't seem to help: people seemed instead to visit Duluth Trading and then leave the city.
"I'm sure it will help the economy (in Port), but as far as small business (it didn't)," he said, adding that he'd be hopeful Duluth's presence may have a larger impact in the longterm.