07 Jun 2021

It’s time to shed the title:

Confused? Me too!! What does this mean, you ask?! Well, It’s not a quick answer to a fly-by question. In the early fall of 2019 my husband, Jason’s job had him traveling to upstate NY. He quickly spent more of his time there than in NC! The COVID pandemic halted much travel and for only 4 to 5 weeks our kitchen table became his desk. Considered essential personnel, approval letter for travel from the governor, 30+ COVID test later, he continues to travel weekly. With not a shadow of a doubt we know that he loves his job, his job supports our family and he takes pride in knowing that his company is changing our future in many different ways. Where does that put us? Who in the HELL knows! The see-saw of uncertainty has been a part of our lives now for almost 2 years…y’all, it. has. sucked! All of it! The weeble wobble, the endless nights of an empty seat at the dinner table, the zoom calls because I can’t figure out 4th-grade common core math! It’s easy to complain, right. We’re blessed beyond measure! Jason has held down a job when many jobs were lost during this time. Well, the fork in the road has stopped us in our tracks. Jason is now full-time in NY again, (still not sure my southern bones can handle the cold), the kids are out of school in June, and we are starting over. (Pun intended per Chris Stapleton) 

June 9, 2011, the doors to my first brick and mortar opened. Jason said, let’s hope it makes it 6 months! 5 years amazing years later in downtown Cary, business began to decline from the revitalization of what some saw as a sleepy town. The store rebranded as Monroe 26 and moved to Raleigh, our beautiful home for just shy of 3 years. We don’t need to dig up bad memories of why that location closed…We do need to shine a light on the Ashworth’s! The heart of Cary, the open arms we needed. We had a chance to come home!!!! Third time’s a charm, we were home in Cary…happy, excited, refueled and business was great! Then BAM!! Let’s throw in a world pandemic! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, being a small business owner is not for the faint of heart. Time to pivot AGAIN! We’re getting used to the pivoting thing. We made it!! The air is getting warmer, days are longer and we see the light at the end of the tunnel. We survived a pandemic!! Unfortunately, this lady is wearing too many hats. With the realization that I have dug my heels in the sand long enough, it’s time to take one for the team. Our family needs to be together, in the same state at the same time. 

It’s time to shed the title of “store owner”, or as my Dad would say, “turn the page”…it’s time to embrace being a Mom and a Wife. It’s time for us to move. This has by far been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. My heart is broken. I feel like my identity has been stolen and until I lock that door I will continue to second guess this decision, but being a family that is together is more important. I wouldn’t exactly call Jason my biggest business cheerleader! However, He has always supported my crazy ideas and let me chase my dreams! It’s time for us to support him. 

Being born and raised within 45 minutes of where we live now, I’m excited about our little journey. I know it won’t be for long and knowing NC will be home again in a few shorts years, I’m willing to trade in the flops for snow boots. (Something I NEVER thought I would do). So, where does that put M26…I have no idea. All I can say is, you are more than welcome to follow my journey. 

No good-byes, lots of unknown answers, and one nervous girl!! I’m jumping and my wings will take us and M26 to where we all belong. I can finally say, the past 10 (TEN!!!!!) years have been an amazing roller coaster and I would not change one second of it. This little business adventure has soared, fallen, pivoted, and has been turned upside down and I am proud of it! I have had hands down the absolute best employees a girl could have in the past ten years. They are a part of my family and mean the world to me!! Many of our customers have become some of our best of friends. I have an amazing support group of business owners that I know are only a phone call away. Employees, Customers, Family, and Friends, All I can say is, THANK YOU I am forever grateful for each one of you and your support. I may “own” M26 but each of you made a dream a reality! 

With the power of social media, You will be able to follow every step my family takes, and what M26 will potentially morph into. I’m not done, yet. Our physical storefront might be closing, but “WE” are just getting started.

 LOVE y’all big! 



MUST READ: Store Closing notes!!

-ALL sales are FINAL

-ALL Gift Certificates and Store Credits must be used by 6/30/21. Gift Certificates and Store Credits may not be redeemed for cash.

-ALL display/large items must be picked up by 6/30/21


  1. Jennifer Boyd wrote:

    This is amazing, K!! I’d expect nothing less from my most creative friend! My crew loves the G Crew BIG and what an awesome extra way for us to follow along, although I’m still not sure any of your friends are actually going to let you leave! xo

    Posted on 6.9.21 · Reply to comment
  2. Sam Stepahin wrote:

    I love you!!!!!! Proud of you for following your dreams 💗💗💗 the game truly did change. Xo

    Posted on 6.9.21 · Reply to comment
    • Rachel Hall wrote:

      We’re coming to visit!!! Let’s start planning 🥳

      Posted on 6.18.21 · Reply to comment
  3. Kim wrote:

    I’m so incredibly proud of you!! You are a hero!!! The trials and tribulations you have faced in your private life would destroy most people. But you have overcome! You are an overcomer in every sense of the word!You are raising amazing children! In the midst of all the craziness life has thrown at you!! You have continued to stand strong, make those sweet babies the best they can be, run a successful business and be a wife that honors her husband! We all strive to be what you are!! Don’t you ever, for one minute, think you are not the very BEST for your family! They are blessed to have you! I know this decision was one of the hardest you’ve ever made! But I will tell you, you still have a tribe of friends and family praying for you each and every day! I will be one of them! Change is hard sometimes. But as I said before, I am SO PROUD of you for the decision you made! I will be praying for you and your precious family each and every day! Things will be different and hard at times. But don’t you forget you have a huge circle of love surrounding you both day & night!!! You did good girl!!! You are a successful wife, mother, daughter, friend and business owner!!! The world is you r oyster! You are just getting started!! I love you and again, I’m so proud of you!! Keep doing you!!!!❤️

    Posted on 6.9.21 · Reply to comment
  4. What a great story! You are a beautiful lady with a beautiful story and heading into a beautiful next chapter! Stay Strong, Focused & Together ❤
    Gay Sparano owner of AAA Organizing and Estate Sales LLC.

    Posted on 6.9.21 · Reply to comment
  5. Debbie clifp wrote:

    Go for it. I will continue to follow you because I have way too much history and love for you. Be happy. Smile

    Posted on 6.11.21 · Reply to comment
  6. Rachel Hall wrote:

    You got me tearing up reading this – I’m so proud of you Kristin!! I can’t wait to see where this journey takes you and I truly am so happy I was able to be a part of it!❤️❤️❤️
    Love you more than you know!!!!!

    Posted on 6.18.21 · Reply to comment
  7. Hannah McMahon wrote:

    I’m following along! Whatever you decide to do, you’ll rock it! “Change is the only constant in life”
    I can’t wait to see what you do with your new house in NY!

    Posted on 7.16.21 · Reply to comment
  8. Pam Thibault wrote:

    So excited for you and your family and your next chapter! I remember when you were one of our local artists in my first storefront. We were both figuring it out..and I’m proud to call you a friend. Good luck! Can’t wait to hear what happens next😘😘

    Posted on 7.16.21 · Reply to comment

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