COLUMBIA, S.C. — Bruce Schultz started working at Bohemian Home when we was studying Art at the University of South Carolina. At that time, the store was just a few doors down from it's current location on Devine Street.
After those owners had to remove themselves from the business, Schultz bought and took over the store. He says that he had loved his time working at the shop.
"Obviously we've had our ups and downs with the economy and so on, but for the most part, its been a great job for 48 years. Can't complain...One of the greatest things is having a job that you love for 48 years."
He adds that it wasn't easy, but he and his wife were able to get through the 2008 recession and even found some success during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a growing list of difficulties made it hard to continue normal operations. Schultz says the property's ownership has changed a few times recently and there's been uncertainty with rent.
"When rent gets to the point where you’re basically working for the landlord it doesn’t make that much sense to carry on the business."
Bruce is now 73 years old and maintaining the shop at its current capacity hasn't been easy. Schultz also expresses concern for rising competition from big box stores.
"By the time we looked at everything, the option of continuing on didn’t seem viable."
Debbie Dusseljee has been going to Bohemian home for decades, she says the news of the store closing saddened her.
"Individuality. What I loved about the store- you didn’t have to be a cookie cutter."
Schultz says the store hopes to sell all of its inventory by the end of August. He has also pondered the idea of hosting an auction to get rid of products.