After 15 years in business, Twig & Willow on Fourth Street in Long Beach’s Belmont Heights neighborhood will close in June.

The gift and clothing boutique on the corner of Fourth Street and Grand Avenue is liquidating all its inventory. The sale will continue until June 22 or until everything sells out, owner Karen Quimby said.

Twig & Willow’s second location on Atlantic Avenue near East Carson Street in Bixby Knolls will remain open.

Quimby said financial pressures and other factors led to her decision to close the Fourth Street store, which she originally opened in November 2009.

Karen Quimby, owner, with her dog, Azi, out front of her Belmont Heights store, Twig & Willow, in Long Beach, Friday, May 24, 2024. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Quimby, who left a 23-year career as a designer and product developer to open Twig & Willow, said she wanted to keep the Bixby Knolls location open because it’s larger and allows her to keep more inventory on hand to support online sales.

The Atlantic Avenue store has also gotten more foot traffic from the First Fridays events the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association has every month.

Quimby said she hopes her loyal customers in Belmont Heights are willing to “drive that extra six miles to go see us up there for the same kind of shopping experience,”

Julie Borkin, who has lived within walking distance of the Fourth Street store for years, said she plans to make the drive so she can continue supporting the small business.

One year for Christmas, Borkin bought 10 different types of jam from Twig & Willow and distributed them to her neighbors as gifts.

“I’m so sad to see it go,” said lifelong Long Beach resident Elsa Santanillo. “It’s been my go-to place for years for presents for my kids and extended family.”

Mikaela Kela, an employee, walks into the store, to start her day. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Quimby said she hopes a boost in sales at the Bixby Knolls location can offset debt she took on while waiting to receive an employee retention credit from the IRS, a pandemic-related refundable tax credit she applied for in February 2023.

Long Beach Congressman Robert Garcia recently offered to help Quimby with the tax inquiry, but she said Garcia’s office has not heard back despite multiple attempts to contact the IRS regarding the application.

“I feel compassion for everyone else who was counting on [the employee retention credit] to save their business,” Quimby said.

Karen Quimby in the back office and storage space of the Belmont Heights location of Twig & Willow. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Marisa Sturm, a manager at the store who has worked at the Belmont Heights location for eight years, said she shopped at the store before deciding to work there.

“I always thought it would be a lovely place to come to work every day,” Sturm said. “It’s felt like more of a family than a workplace.”

Sturm will continue working at the Bixby Knolls location after the Belmont Heights store closes.

Quimby, who used to live a few blocks from the Fourth Street store before moving to Agoura Hills, said she now plans to work part-time as a product developer to help recoup some personal finances she poured into the business.

“Long Beach has such a passion for small business so I really want to raise the flag because I am the first of many [to close], I just know I am,” Quimby said. “From what I’m hearing, if things keep progressing like this, people aren’t going to be able to hold on.”

Twig & Willow’s locations are at 3740 E. Fourth St. and 4130 Atlantic Ave.