Excursions owner Jaye Moseley said that after 36 Christmases, it is time to close her highly popular women’s clothing storefront located in Wesleyan Park Plaza.
Moseley, who began her career in retail at Sublett’s clothing store, opened J. Bailey’s with Julia Bailey inside the Sandpiper — another women’s retail store — in 1985 before taking over Excursions in 1990.
“I have weathered a lot of storms,” Moseley said about her decision to close her storefront, which she added had nothing to do with the pandemic. “I have weathered this just fine.”
But, she said that her friends who are also in retail told her she would know when it was time to leave — and she believes now is the time.
Part of Moseley’s success is buying products that have longevity, something she learned from Bobbie Sublett and Jayne Mansfield, the owner of the Sandpiper.
“I stand behind our merchandise,” Moseley said. “Some vendors I have been with over 30 years.”
Moseley plans to keep her newly revamped website and social media pages full of items available from Excursions, and she said that focusing on that will allow her more time to promote it and shift her full attention to her online store.
It will also help ease her customers’ anxiety that Excursions will still be available for clothing and accessories.
“I can’t believe how many people have told me how much [Excursions] has meant to everyone,” she said, also talking about the mutual tears they have shed while reminiscing.
Customer and friend Sara Hemingway said that Excursions has been an institution in the community.
“Jaye is an accomplished entrepreneur and she has always been a class act,” Hemingway said. “While I rue this news for myself and other patrons of the store, I am equally disappointed for my husband and children who could always walk in to purchase a special gift which was selected and wrapped beautifully by Jaye.”
Many men in the community have been loyal customers looking for perfect gifts and ideas for their significant others and daughters.
Moseley said that she most enjoyed the creative part — the buying aspect — of having the shop, and she really enjoys putting a collection together for the store each season.
“I am a gambler,” she said. “I think about how so-and-so will like this.”
Part of her creativity has also gone into the shop’s windows, something she began designing after her close friend and coworker Jan Mulligan died in 2013. Moseley said she has photos of all of the window displays — which often include the store’s mannequin Molly — and with each new design, she said she had to top the last one.
While Moseley told customers that she plans to keep the storefront open until the end of February, she isn’t sure she will have enough merchandise to last until then.
“It’s gone a lot faster than anticipated,” she said.
And for the “girls” who have worked with Moseley in the store, she feels so fortunate to have had good help.
“I would have pooped out if I didn’t have the freedom to leave the store in good hands,” she said.
But don’t expect Moseley to fly off into the sunset just yet.
“I will have more time to fly, spend time with family, read a book,” she said. “I’m going to make a run for it while I can still run.”
Excursions is located in Wesleyan Park Plaza and can be found online at shopexcursions.net or on their Instagram page @excursions_owensboro.