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Angela Veeck

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Angela Veeck, center, said she and her employees such as Linda Arias, left, and Debbie Deeds, right, pivoted and adapted to continue serving Pieceful Quilting customers during the pandemic. Photo from Angela Veeck

The owner of Pieceful Quilting on Jericho Turnpike is ready to retire. The milestone comes after two years of learning the importance of pivoting when times are rough and discovering how adaptable she and her staff can be.

Pieceful Quilting storefront. Photo from Angela Veeck

After 13 years in business in East Northport, Angela Veeck has decided to retire and close the doors of Pieceful Quilting for good. The business owner said a date hasn’t been chosen yet, but she will close the doors for the last time once everything in the store is sold.

Veeck, who in the past has owned quilting shops in Riverhead and Calverton, said running a small business has changed over the years, especially during the pandemic. She said she was fortunate to be able to apply for an exemption when New York State mandates were first issued during the earlier months and stay open due to the store making and selling masks, even though she was only able to have one employee in the store with her at a time. Customers would order the masks online and then pick them up outside the store.

Another way they have adapted is by offering the quilting workshops that were once in person by posting livestream classes on the store’s Facebook page.

“Now we are essentially running two businesses, one brick-and-mortar and one internet based,” she said.

Veeck added that as stores began to open again after mandates were relaxed, many customers became accustomed to shopping online. She said competing with other online businesses can be overwhelming at times, especially when one is involved in a niche market like hers. Veeck likened the online niche business to the entertainment industry where “you always have to keep up and do something new and exciting.”

Her website is one that she felt fortunate to have once the pandemic kept many at home. In addition to local customers, the site attracts those that don’t have a quilting store near them. Veeck said to her knowledge there are only a few such stores in Suffolk County and none in Nassau County. Once the doors of Pieceful Quilting are closed, Veeck said she will also cease the online business that she began in 2003.

Veeck, who has an extensive background in marketing, said the main reason she opened Pieceful Quilting in East Northport was that, with her business sense, she knew the area would be ideal for a store such as hers where people could come and pick out their own materials to quilt.

She said she’s noticed a lot of businesses in the area closing even though she feels the area is a good one to open up a place if one can find a reasonable rent.

“Small businesses are what keeps this country going,” she said.

While it was a difficult decision to retire, the business owner, who splits her time between East Northport and her home in Riverhead, said she’s looking forward to more time with her husband, Ken. She added she will finally be able to work on some of her own sewing and quilting projects.

“Unbelievably, the quilt shop owner has little time to quilt and sew.”

The last two years have left her with advice to business owners going through rough times.

“You got to pivot and you got to pivot fast,” she said.