Liz Bruch was closing out for the day, about to turn off the lights as a car pulled up outside of The Purple Tree, a local, fair trade and sustainable retail store in Hudson. A young girl walked through the door.
Though ready to go home, Liz asked the girl if there was anything she could help her find. Estimating the girls' age to be in middle school, she told Liz no. She was just looking.
After the young girl spent a few minutes walking through the whole store, she came up empty handed and Liz asked once again if she was sure there wasn’t something she could help her find.
The young lady responded again, that no, she was not looking for anything. This time, though, the young girl recounted to Liz that she had told her mom that she had had a really bad day at school. She had asked her mom if she could please drive her to The Purple Tree so she could feel better.
When the Bruch family opened The Purple Tree as an online store in the early 2000’s, their purpose was to bring people together, providing a space for all to feel at home, welcome, loved and supported.
Dan and Liz, and three of their daughters, Angela, Sarah and Leah, have spent just short of two decades cultivating a haven of inclusivity.
This message is ingrained in the name and logo – the purple tree, which represents the combination of blue and red – two colors that often represent political divide.
“That’s where true beauty and ultimate compromise happens,” Sarah said. “The tree is a place of help and growth, with deep roots… and the leaves reaching out and giving everyone hope and opportunity in life.”
The shop features fair trade and sustainable products sold in the cozy, charming store in downtown Hudson and it has been at 516 Second St., Hudson for over 13 years.
Though the verbiage of their values has changed over the years, their message has always been the same at its core – do good for people and the planet.
This unity and sustainability the family of five strives for is present in every aspect of the business, which will now be passed on to the next generation of ownership – Erin and Mitch Nelson, another Hudson family.
“It has always been our thought that we would have this business through launching kids off to their next stage of life,” Sarah said.
The Purple Tree just had its best year ever and the Bruchs recognize that sometimes it is best to go when you’re at your best.
The Nelson family is ready to continue that.
Erin, Mitch and their two young children, Rosemary and Peter, have been long time customers and lovers of The Purple Tree.
When the Bruch family announced publicly that they would be closing, the Nelson’s couldn’t bear to see it go.
“The Purple Tree has always been our absolute favorite store downtown,” Erin Nelson said. “We are buying The Purple Tree because we love The Purple Tree.”
Erin and Mitch have ideas for the business, but are ultimately excited to keep intact what makes The Purple Tree unique.
The Bruch family is beyond pleased to leave their labor of love in the hands of the Nelson family, who have every intention of preserving the integrity, joy and peace at the business.
“[The Bruchs] have spent 18 years building up this place in the community where a lot of people shop, but also find peace and joy and love and acceptance,” Erin Nelson said.
Stop by The Purple Tree 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and 12-4 p.m. on Sunday.