"I had fallen in the beginning of May and had a concussion," Work said. "My doctor told me I couldn't work as much. … I knew that we couldn't go through the holidays with me not working full time and my daughter doing it all. So I had to make the call. My neurologist said I had to take care of myself and the only way I knew to do that was quitting."
Kathy Barnett, left, and her mother, Erma Work, have closed Erma’s Flowers in Quarryville. Work has been creating flower arrangements since 1974.
"I didn't want to let them down," she said.
So Work called Royer's Flowers and Gifts. “I did that right away and asked if they would serve our customers and they agreed to," Work said. To make the transition as seamless as possible, she had her shop phone set to transfer calls to the Lancaster store.
Work and her daughter, Kathy Barnett, have operated the store for years.
"Kathy and I have been a team since she was 14," Work said.
Work started the business from her home, doing that for four years before moving to a rented building in 1978.
"I was there for 10 years and then the building had to be torn down to make way for the shopping center. I spent a year in a rented space again and then we put this building up in 1988," she said.
She found an unused tobacco barn in East Drumore Township, had it torn down. After the lumber was sandblasted, the barn was rebuilt on its current site with additions in the front for a display space and in the back for a work room.
Work and Barnett spent the first week of September pricing items in the store for its clearance sale. The sale started this week and will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
"We'll do this until everything's gone and then we will clean up the building and put it up for sale at the beginning of the year," Work said. "I've already had several people say they're interested in it."
The closing leaves Work without a job for the first time in decades.
"I've worked since I was little. I helped on the family farm when I was in school. Then I worked for Bledsoe's for a while and then for Cla-Mart before setting out on my own. I'm a workaholic. I don't know what I'll do now," she said.