OREM, Utah (ABC4) — After serving the local community for several decades, a repair shop in Orem now has a closing sign right outside it. The family that owns the shop has decided to shut the business down after struggling to pay off debt.

The Mending Shed, located at 1735 S. State Street, confirmed the store’s closure following 52 years of service in a Facebook post last month.

“This isn’t a decision we made suddenly, and [it’s] something we have fought for years,” the post read. “But the truth is we are at the point we need to close and sell our building to pay off the debt we have accumulated over the last few years.”

Hollie Holcomb, the current owner, said that her father had opened The Mending Shed with every dime he had in June 1971, a month after he got married.

Ever since then, the business has been in the family and became known as a beloved shop that would repair whatever people needed. They’ve worked on a variety of repairs, from Kitchen-Aid mixers to even more odd items like embalming machines. They also offer parts for those that enjoy fixing things themselves.

Holcomb said they put up the closing sign when they felt they weren’t able to keep the shop open anymore.

“We have so much debt,” she said. “We have all of this debt that we have accumulated trying to stay open… We need to close. We need to sell the building to get out from underneath our debt and walk away.”

Holcomb explained that more items are now made to be less repairable and more people are looking to buy something new rather than get repairs. Because of that, it’s been a challenge to keep the shop running.

She also said another difficulty is larger companies pulling back from offering items and supplies to smaller independent stores like The Mending Shed.

After publishing the announcement that they were closing, the community came together to help the shop by donating to a GoFundMe that so far has raised over $1000.

“Now, because of what the community has done, it does give us a lot of options,” Holcomb said. “Maybe, for now, we don’t have to sell the building. We can close the doors, operate online, do local pickup, stuff like that. If we can keep that maybe, in a year or two, because the building doesn’t have to be sold, we can reopen.”

She said the community response has been overwhelming, and she’s grateful for those that have been stepping up to help.

“Once we hung up that big sign outside that said store closing, we had no idea the response to us closing would be as huge as it has been,” Holcomb said. “It’s been very touching. We cry every day seeing our customers and the absolute support.”

Holcomb hopes her family gets to keep the business running in some capacity. She said right now, they’re planning on closing their doors around the end of May, but plan to keep their website going with a local pick-up option for customers that need parts to fix things themselves.

Furthermore, if they raise enough money to be able to keep the building, they would like to host classes in their showroom for those that want to learn how to repair items themselves.

“It really does offer us a lot of hope that this isn’t the end, that this really can continue in some other way later on,” Holcomb said. “I love that we were just willing to do it, willing to learn. We learned so much along the way. That’s why I really want to teach people because there is something so great about fixing something yourself and knowing that you did that. That you were able to diagnose it, figure it out, get the parts, put it back together and have it functioning again. There’s no feeling like it in the world.”

Holcomb took over the business around 10 years ago and has cherished the experience.

“When people would bring washers and dryers and dishwashers, I am the one that repaired them,” she said. “It was, for me, empowering as a woman being in the service industry… For us to be these girls that can do anything, and we’re not afraid to tear something apart and get our hands dirty — I love that.”

As they are deciding what’s next for The Mending Shed, Holcomb wants to share just how important it is to shop local and support local businesses.

“Our parts might be a little bit more expensive because we are a small business, but it comes with service and knowledge and it’s worth something,” she said. “Just get out in your local community because if The Mending Shed of 52 years can close, any store can. And it’s so important that we support our local communities.”

If you would like to help, you can donate to the GoFundMe to save The Mending Shed by clicking here.