Wilson's of Wickford remains open after fundraising goal is reached
An iconic clothing store in Wickford will keep its doors open, after raising more than $150,000 with help from the community.
Wilson's, a landmark on Brown Street, asked for help to pay its vendors and purchase new merchandise for the store, which has been open for about 70 years.
As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, an online campaign on Crowdtilt.com showed the store had met its goal. Store owner Jim Wilson told NBC 10 he's relieved and humbled by the news.
"I thought early this afternoon we were going to go over the top," Wilson said. "But when I came in there this morning, I wasn't sure."
The store has struggled to stay alive against new competition and a weak economy. Wilson said some of the money will go toward paying vendors. The rest will be put toward merchandise and upgrades for the store.
"You have to reinvent," Wilson said. "One thing you can be sure in life is change, and you have to change. You have to evolve."
Rhode Island Representative Bob Craven said he's not surprised to see how the community stepped up to help.
"To help out a friend in need, because they've been a friend to this community for a long time," Craven said.
Larry and Betty Beaucaire came in just after the store met its goal to say congratulations.
"I'd been checking the amount online all week, so when I realized they went over, I said, 'Let's just go down and celebrate,'" Betty Beaucaire said.
Wilson said the Beaucaires weren't the only ones dropping by to say congratulations.
"A few people dropped off bottles of champagne. Another gentleman dropped off two cans of beer, which I haven't been able to enjoy yet, but looking forward to it," Wilson said.