RICHMOND, Va. -- W. Hirsch Oriental Rugs, in the 3100 block of West Cary Street, will serve its last customer April 30.
This comes six years after Bill Hirsch, who started the company, became suddenly ill with cancer.
“It was a difficult decision because I’m wrapping up my late husband’s lifetime of work and effort,” said W. Hirsch Oriental Rug’s president, Sally Hirsch. “I came to Richmond to join my husband in business so we worked side by side for 16 years and I carried it on.”
“Very disappointed, but I understand it’s for a worthy cause,” said customer Linda Rendalen, when she heard the news.
Hirsch said she made the difficult decision to close after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico on Sept. 20.
“I am wrapping it up so I can free myself from retail and go back and forth to Puerto Rico to be more hands on with my parents and their situation there,” said Hirsch.
“Fifty-percent don’t have power yet, so we have commercial property there that has been seriously affected.”
“My father’s daily struggle is his health getting around, doctors have left Puerto Rico,” she added.
Hirsch said she has no plans of moving but needs the freedom to travel for her family.
“It kind of all fell in my lap all at once under different circumstances because I didn’t know that my husband would be deceased or that a hurricane would come and devastate the island,” said Hirsch “Years ago I was waiting for this happy period in my life to go back and forth and be on the beach in pretty Puerto Rico, but it’s a different circumstance and people are in need.”
Now that Hirsch’s kids are grown she says it was the right time, but she will miss her loyal customers.
“It’s bitter-sweet because all that positive response people are coming here and spilling makes me want to stay, but I am making the right decision and it’s come at the right time where my side of the family needs my help,” said Hirsch.
Everything must go, so all rugs in the two story store are 50% off.
Hirsch owns the building and has no plans on selling. She says she will either lease or develop it.
She hopes to eventually focus on her home decor line inspired by the Caribbean.
“I might continue developing a line of rugs, and pillows and ottomans and home goods called Caribana World,” Hirsch said.