The Mermaid and Moon Boutique will be closing as of Aug. 31 and transitioning to online sales only, according to a July 19 post on the arts and clothing store’s Facebook page.

It means one less location where Yellowknife artists can display their works for sale.

Owned by artist Meredith McNulty, the Yellowknife resident spent 10 years living in Inuvik before moving to the city in 2018.

Following her move to the NWT capital, the boutique would officially open in October 2019, serving as both a store and a hub for artists seeking to promote or sell their creations.

“To all of my valued customers,” McNulty’s July 19 post begins. “As of Aug. 31, 2022, Mermaid and Moon will be closing the brick and mortar location on 47 Street in Yellowknife and moving to an online shop.⁣”

“I want to thank all of you who have shown the shop support over the past three years,” it continues. “Mermaid and Moon started out as a hobby and Etsy shop in 2015 and I could have never dreamed of what it would become.⁣

“This shop has been a dream and writing this post is bittersweet. Opening a small business can be scary and I wish I could say it’s all been sunshine and rainbows. No one could have predicted the pandemic happening or the following repercussions we are experiencing.⁣”

McNulty continues by writing that the choice to close the shop was not an easy one and that she hopes everyone understands.

“I can’t express enough how much it has meant to me to be able to connect with all of you. The shop has been a part of so many birthdays, celebrations, holiday gifts and anniversaries. We’ve hosted so many incredible artists and it’s been an honour to share their work with you.⁣

“Change is scary, but change can be good.⁣ I love you all and thank you for helping make my biggest dreams come true.”

Community members provided their thoughts on what the closing means to them, including Robyn Scott, poet and president of NorthWordsNWT.

“Meredith provided a valuable retail space to many Yellowknife artists, artists who now need to find a new venue in which to display and sell their work,” she said. “We do not need yet another Creative Arts survey study to prove that the lack of physical creation, presentation, and retail space is hindering artists’ success and our contribution to local economies and culture. We need only to look at the absence this closure creates to show how the GNWT and the City of Yellowknife need to establish multi-functional, sustainable spaces for NWT artists.”

As well, photographer and artist Jamie Wetrade-Stevenson provided a personal reflection on the situation.

“With Mermaid and Moon closing, it’s definitely bringing up feelings of nostalgia because I remember when I first discovered Meredith’s shop,” she said. “I was just getting started in my own art and I recall feeling so much inspiration and gratitude for a shop that showcased a variety of pieces from other artists.

“The support Meredith has shown to the arts community has not gone unnoticed, and I know (it) will continue on in different ways. Mermaid and Moon has always been one of my favourite shops to support here in Yellowknife, so I do look forward to supporting them with the transition to moving online.”

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