Around the clock

Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Mothers got the day off Sunday at The Art Dept., where they constitute half of the payroll.

New owner Bobbi Epperly staffed the Nugget Mall art supply store by herself and did a fairly good Mother's Day in business, with some husbands coming in for last-minute purchases for their wives, she said.

Epperly, 26, and her mother, Kay, bought the business in March from longtime acquaintance Jo Ellen Traylor, who said she was going to devote more time to her own art.

Formerly employed by a title insurance company, Epperly has temporarily suspended work on her bachelor's degree in business administration at the University of Alaska Southeast to run the store.

The new owner, also an oil painter of landscapes and animals, closed down the airport mall location in late April and reopened May 6 in the Nugget Mall, in the corner space vacated by Hearthside's Toy Corner. She said space and visibility to shoppers were key concerns in the move.

For now, Kay Epperly is just an investor, her daughter said. But The Art Dept. does have a mother-daughter team, Deborah and Courtney Lewis, who assist customers.

The store will be establishing a Web site soon and already has a toll-free number to attract customers from elsewhere in the Panhandle: 1 (800) 478-2788.

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