It’s not happening quite how she’d planned it, but Emy Dyer had been planning to close A Pretty Place, her year-old Chehalis business, for a while now.
The business was a venue for photoshoots, a wedding, baby and bridal showers, birthdays, fundraisers and the filming of a music video since opening in August of 2020. But according to a recent Facebook post on the establishment’s page, owner Emy Dyer had been falling out of love with running the space as she found more success in her full-time graphic and web design work.
“I have been wanting to close for a while. It’s been a lot, just with COVID. I wanted to bring something to the community that we could all enjoy and whatnot, but it wasn’t bringing a lot of joy to my life,” Dyer said in an interview with The Chronicle. “So, I just kind of put some feelers out there.”
She was excited to share that Chante Evander, of Napavine, was able to take over her Chehalis lease and turn the space into a boutique that will launch this fall or winter, and Dyer will stay on in the meantime to work on marketing.
She profited off selling segments of her business separately. The “Pretty Little Cart,” the venue’s mobile drink cart, was sold to a woman in Gig Harbor. And Dyer currently has someone interested in purchasing the name, website, logo and concept of A Pretty Place, to implement the model in a new location.
From Aug. 23 to 29, A Pretty Place was set to host a “Selfie Museum” where a percentage of the ticket sales would go to friends of Dyer’s who recently lost their Oakville home in a devastating fire. The business collaborated with Lewis County Coffee Company, which is selling “Pretty Place Drinks” with $2 of each $6 drink going to the relief fund for the family.
Because of COVID-19, the Selfie Museum was closed, but the drinks will still be sold at the coffee stands through Sunday. So far, the fundraiser has been very successful, according to Lewis County Coffee Company owner Sam Styger. Next week, after sales of the drink are finished, they will make their donation.
Dyer had pledged to donate $5 to the Oakville family’s fund for every selfie museum ticket sold. She had to refund all the tickets purchased, but still intends to donate $5 per ticket out of pocket.
A Pretty Place is hosting a closing sale Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. where all its “aesthetic home goods” will be sold at 50 to 90% discounted prices. The Facebook page lists the sale as including boho, rattan, vintage and retro decor.
“I thrift locally or antique locally and the venue was set up with mostly thrifted furniture from around Lewis County and I don’t need it anymore, and people are going bananas for it. So I’m just selling everything in the building,” Dyer said. “We have tons of vintage couches and little ottomans and bookshelves, all that sort of stuff.”
An Onalaska High School alumni, Dyer got her graphic design degree at the Art Institute of Phoenix, and then worked in the corporate world for a few years in Seattle while freelancing on the side. She had enough business out of Lewis County and across the nation to work independently full-time, which is still her biggest passion. Her original connection to the Lewis County Coffee Company came from working on their branding.
“It was all worth it. I am super happy at the end of the day. I wrote this in a post, I think I've never made so many friends during a hard time,” Dyer said about the last year. “I’m happy I was able to give people a place away from the crazy.”