Whately resident ‘in her element’ as new owner of The Daylily

  • The Daylily in South Deerfield, as seen Thursday. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo

  • A customer shops at The Daylily in South Deerfield on Dec. 19. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo

  • Art displayed in The Daylily in South Deerfield, as seen on Thursday. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo

  • Art displayed in The Daylily in South Deerfield, as seen on Thursday. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo

  • Art displayed in The Daylily in South Deerfield, as seen on Dec. 19. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo

  • Marilee Packard Kloc, 58, of Whately, is the new owner of The Daylily in South Deerfield.

Staff Writer
Published: 12/26/2019 5:17:49 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Marilee Packard Kloc had brought her upcycled crafts to sell at The Daylily for four seasons. As of Nov. 23, she became the establishment’s owner.

Packard Kloc, 58, of Whately, purchased the business from Bridget Heller and, with the transaction, a dream came true.

“I’m loving it,” she said this week. “It’s been an adult lifelong dream of mine to ... have my own space, my own store. My husband and daughter were over the moon happy for me because they know it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Packard Kloc, who grew up in Springfield, had spent 10 years working for Hallmark as a supervisor with a territory that spanned from Brattleboro, Vt., and Keene, N.H., down to Northampton. She left due to frustrations with the corporate world.

The Daylily, at 8 Sugarloaf St., sells local art and handmade items, mostly on consignment. Packard Kloc said she wants to continue The Daylily’s legacy as a champion of local artistry, and said she may start using the backroom to sell antiques.

“It absolutely feels like the right place to be for me now. I feel like I’m in my element,” she said. “It’s very uplifting to be in here with all this beautiful stuff.”

On Dec. 11, Heller took to Facebook to announce the sale of the business, having moved to Wilbraham to be closer to two of her grandchildren. Packard Kloc said the initial plan was for Heller to stop in regularly to mentor the new entrepreneur and teach her some of the basics.

However, 10 days earlier, Heller had fallen and suffered a traumatic brain injury, sustaining a skull fracture, a brain bleed and a Grade 3 concussion. The injury also required 14 staples. When she posted on Facebook, she said she was at Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital in Springfield and asked her artists to be patient in waiting for payment. The post received dozens of comments wishing Heller well.

Heller stopped by her former shop Wednesday to help Packard Kloc better understand the finer points, such as how artists get paid.

“Supporting local artists — that’s our mission,” Heller said.

She said she is now focused on her recovery. Packard Kloc said townspeople practically flocked to the shop after the accident to inquire about Heller’s status.

“We were all pretty scared, Bridget,” Packard Kloc told her.

Heller, who started the business about eight and a half years ago, said her military sons own the building. One lives in Florida; the other in Washington, D.C., and they purchased the building in 2010 because they wanted to own a piece of their hometown. Heller said the building was most recently an insurance agency. It has also been an ice cream parlor and, when it opened in the 1890s, a barbershop/candy store.

“Why’d they go out of business?” Heller asked sarcastically. “Candy and haircuts in the same building. Disgusting.”

The Daylily is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.

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