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Andy Atkinson / Daily TidingsKen Silverman, owner of Nimbus in downtown Ashland.

Nimbus extends its lease

Nimbus, the oldest shop on Ashland’s Plaza, now has an extended lease on life and will be open until the end of 2019.

Owner Ken Silverman has hoped to sell the store by the impending expiration of his lease so he could retire. Silverman’s lease was due to expire in July and the terms allowed for a five-year renewal, longer than he wanted to keep working.

The store, which offers a tourist-friendly mix of clothing, art and home deco, celebrates its 48th birthday on the Fourth of July. It was started by Brooks Hodapp, now a Medford businessman, with Silverman landing a job there five years later, then working his way into management, then ownership.

“I just renegotiated the lease to the end of next year. That’s as many years as I want to put into it,” Silverman said last week. “I’m eager to step into whatever is next, with more travel and play time and, of course I will still be active in our community.”

Selling a business can be a slow process but it’s listed on — and he has an interested buyer in the works, Silverman says.

“People may look at it and think it’s too complicated. It can seem to have three parts, four if you count the internet (, but I don’t think it’s that difficult. It’s definitely manageable. The store is contemporary, not too trendy. It’s clothing that hopefully makes the owner feel cool.”

Silverman is proud that Nimbus kept evolving over the years after its birth as “a hippie store from the 70s.” It’s tagline is “for him, for her, for home” and they feature much North American contemporary art and clothing for men and women. Art includes jewelry, glass, ceramics and wall art.

“It’s a lifestyle store and we always stay fresh,” he says. “It’s a terrific way to make a living in Ashland, one of the best places in the world to live. It’s exciting and fun to work here. We just had an all-time record June week. The people we serve are fantastic, the bet clientele anyone could ask for.”

Silverman is president of the Jefferson Public Radio Foundation board and plans to continue in that role in some capacity, he notes.

John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at

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