by Jim Nintzel
The Haggerty family, which has been peddling jewelry, beads and such at Piney Hollow for more than three decades, are closing their doors next month. The Fourth Avenue shop's closing sale starts April 1.
Piney Hollow was established as a jewelry craft workshop in August of 1972. First located on 6th Street in the University area, the store was moved to Fourth Avenue as a retail store, maintaining jewelry while adding gifts and crafts by Tucson artists.
During this period, an adjoining bead shop inventory was purchased beginning a relationship with Tucson beaders that has continued to this day.
In 1986 the store moved from the corner of 5th Street and Fourth Avenue to 427 N. Fourth. Within a few short years, Mike and Mimi Haggerty and Shannon Harrison, their daughter, purchased the building and have been serving Tucson and regional customers as well as maintaining relationships with repeating visitors since that time.
In December of 1986 Mike became director of the Fourth Avenue Street Fair and Shannon became the store manager. Mimi continued crafting jewelry and serving as bookkeeper for the business. When city council member George Miller ran for Mayor, Mike was appointed by the council to replace him and served the remainder of the Ward 3 term.
Shannon has worked behind the counter since age twelve and in the ensuing years has become a beading teacher for the local school districts and retirement communities. Her daughter McKenzie died in an auto accident three years ago. Her two boys, Trevor and Gentry, have completed their education and moved on, Trevor to the coast of Oregon and Gentry currently working on a film production in New York. With reduced parental duties she is exploring options as a bead buyer, traveling teacher and considering offers from contacts she has made over the years.
Mimi has developed a following of customers for her crafted jewelry and her design skills with beading. Having kept their financial affairs for years she is looking forward to spending that time at her studio workbench.
Well beyond retirement age with children and grandchildren scattered from Alaska to Florida with stops on the Oregon Coast, Mike and Mimi plan to take more time rambling between optional family encampments while maintaining their home of 35 years in Tucson.
They have enjoyed their contact with customers over the years, many of them having become friends in the process. The many talented young women who have done duty over the counter and as repair experts remain close to one another and their apprenticeship. Known as the 'Piney Hollowettes' many have gone on to become artists and craftspeople on their own. It is these contacts and friendships that will be missed.
The Piney Hollow closing sale will begin on April 1.