Elaine and Mark Blumenfeld and Ariana Carps
Elaine and Mark Blumenfeld and Ariana Carps. (Facebook/Rear Ends)

The closing date for the West Bloomfield store is Dec. 12.

After nearly 43 years of owning and running Rear Ends, a women’s casual apparel boutique specializing in premium denims, Mark and Elaine Blumenfeld will be taking a step back and handing over the reins to their daughter, Ariana Carps.

In a mixture of financial reasons due to the pandemic and personal reasons due to Carps being a mother of two, a decision was also made to consolidate Rear Ends into the one Bloomfield Hills store and to shutter the West Bloomfield store.

The closing date for the West Bloomfield store is Dec. 12. Merchandise is on sale with most things well under $100, with the goal of clearing out the inventory.

“It’s the times we live in; you have to be smart about it,” said Elaine Blumenfeld. “It’s a very positive move.”

According to her, about 50% of their orders had been canceled by vendors because of the pandemic, and they didn’t feel they could effectively merchandise two stores.

At the same time, the consolidation is a positive move for Carps.

“I’ll be able to leave a little early to pick my kids up from school,” Carps tells the JN. “When my older one is in kindergarten, I’ll be able to be a room mom. I think it’ll give me a work-life balance. COVID has shown me how important that is.

“It allows me to be the businesswoman I’d love to be, and it allows me to be the mom I want to be who’s present when I’m with my kids.”

Carps has worked in the store since she was just a kid. In 2005, Ariana became a full-time manager and buyer, and by 2012, she was given a stake in the business.

“This is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do, and the only job I’ve ever had,” Carps says. “I just feel so complete in this job. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

The plan was always for the Blumenfeld’s to hand the business off to their daughter, but the pandemic accelerated that decision.

“My daughter is unbelievable,” Blumenfeld said. “She grew up here, she was doing stock when she was 10 years old.”

It won’t be a full retirement for the Blumenfeld’s, though. When it’s in-season, they’ll be at the store more often. They’ll step away a bit more when it’s not as busy.

“It’s very comforting to say we’re going to step back, and we’ll come in when she needs us, and we might come in a little bit when she doesn’t need us,” she added.

“It’s been a good run,” Mark Blumenfeld said. “I’m leaving this location with my head held high, and everything’s good in life. How much more can I ask than that?”