Tellus Mater bidding farewell to State Street

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- The iconic Tellus Mater is the latest store on State Street that is closing it's door. It follows another historic store, Sacred Feather, closing over the summer.

Since 1959, the home goods store has provided the community with a unique place to buy kitchenware, gifts, and handcrafted art.

"It is really sad, but I think that everyone has to retire at some point," Anna Marie Lester said.

Lester is iconic herself. She has worked on State Street since the 1970's. She said she never had the desire to work in a mall.

"There is something special about opening the door on State Street and watching everyone walk-by. I have met people from all over the world who have stopped in here to buy something," Lester said.

In 2017, Madison city officials reporter that 65 percent of people were dining on State Street compared to 48 shopping. Lester says State Street has evolved leaning from a shopping district to now dining hot spot mixed with stores.

The cost of rent is expensive on State Street, and the competition of box stores and online shopping has made it a challenge for small businesses to compete. Lester isn't giving up on small businesses though, she says they will survive in Madison.

" I think there is always young people that are full of energy, so I think new businesses will come from that," Lester said.

Lester thinks they will close Tellus Mater around Easter.

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