Ruby Moon, who has owned and operated the Golden Crane boutique in downtown Corvallis for decades, is getting out of the business.
But the eclectic clothing, art and jewelry story on Southwest Third Street isn’t going anywhere. And it isn’t changing anytime soon. Moon is turning over the shop to her employees, Regina Walker and Julie Johnson, and financing the deal herself.
“It’s in great hands,” said Moon during an interview Monday at the store. “It’s changed and morphed over the years. This is my last week. It’s really weird.”
“It’s a clean line, classic clothes,” said Johnson, who has gone from customer to part-time employee to co-owner in about a year.
“Thoughtfully chosen,” said Walker, who was worked with Moon for 10 years.
“She has built something that we honor and respect,” said Johnson. “It’s here for a reason … Ruby’s hard work. We need to honor her vision.”
Moon came to Corvallis in the mid-1970s when her partner was looking to finish his education. They narrowed their search to Santa Cruz, California, Eugene and Corvallis.
“As soon as we got to Corvallis it was finished,” she said. “The river … downtown … the campus. Everything was so charming. He took a job in L.A., but we’re still friends.”
Moon started in natural foods — “I couldn’t get a job, so I started a store" — and added other items into what became the Golden Crane.
She liked the crane image because “cranes have longevity. That is important.”
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In addition, she likes the four "lucky" 8's in the store's phone number.
Also important to Moon has been trying to buy from women-owned companies and paying attention to sustainability issues as well as looking out for the greater good of downtown and the community.
She told a story of how she pays bills online … but still has them delivered by mail to her store. She wants the mail carrier to stay employed.
Moon said she is looking at selling clothing online, starting up an Airbnb and is considering writing a blog. This on top of her volunteer work with the Civic Beautification and Urban Forestry Departmental Advisory Committee, the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition, the Evening Garden Club, the League of Women Voters and Neighborhood Planting Kiosks.
“This lady has such a full plate,” Walker said, “and she keeps adding three or four more things.”
“We will continue to be involved in the community,” Johnson said. “It’s important to continue to develop our connection to the community.”
“It’s good,” Moon said.
“And it will continue to be good,” Johnson said.
“And it needs to be supported,” Walker said.