Kaitlyn Mesler, an employee at the highly respected Bob’s Camera & Video in downtown Barre, has become its new owner.
Bob Sager, who started the camera and photo accessory business in 1986 with wife, Susan, is 68 today and “needed to retire.”
“I did not want to just close the store, but possibilities to sell were not materializing,” explained Sager. “We watched Kaitlyn’s enthusiasm and knowledge grow and would joke with her about being the new owner.”
Mesler had been hired right out of high school at Spaulding where she was a standout in the Digital Media Arts (DMA) vocational program.
“My teacher in DMA, Ric Nudell, recommended me to Bob as a great employee possibility and I feel I owe him this job,” Mesler said. “It was a perfect fit for me. I wasn’t as excited about going to college as I was about working in this business.”
Sager also points out he “will be here in the months ahead to help Mesler with the transition.” Also, his son, Bobby, the main photo-lab technician, will stay on part time and help train new staff.
Other familiar faces at Bob’s Camera & Video will still be seen. Although Mesler does not plan any major changes in what the shop offers, she will be doing “mat-cutting” on premise.
Bob’s Camera is highly acclaimed for its mix of photo equipment and accessories. Sager is proud that it will continue to be so with Mesler.
“Boston doesn’t have anything over Barre with our locally-owned camera shop,” Sager said.
It hasn’t been easy so far for Mesler though.
“It was a headache inducing experience,” said Mesler of the purchase of Bob’s Camera. “But now that I have it, I can say it was really all worth it.”
In the last six months, Kaitlyn had to come up with a business plan and then secure the financing,” explained Sager, who is also holding paper on this transition.
At times, the path did not seem clear, but ever so slowly, the pieces came together, Mesler said. Margaret Ferguson and Laura Sudhoff, from the Micro-Business Development program at Capstone/Community Action; David Rubel from Community National Bank; Sam Buckley of the VCLF; and Joel Swartz of Barre Area Development Corporation were all exceptional standouts helping move this project forward, believes Mesler.
She is also young enough to be very good with computer and new social media technology to find anything she needs.
Sager, who has been a timeless superstar in the support of the greater Barre Community, (Barre Partnership, Lions Club, merchant promotions, school support, Public Safety Committee, etc.) will now have time to travel with his wife to visit family, friends, and places of interest.
“I’ve been in this photography field since high school 50 years ago and it’s great to have someone like Kaitlyn coming from that same time frame and point of view and love of photography,” Sager said.
The store, located at 86 No. Main Street in Barre, is open Mon-Sat. Call 476-4342 or visit its website: www.bobscamerashop.com – GH