An open letter regarding Eustis Studios

Friday, April 6, 2012

Dear residents of Cape Girardeau,

I have been hesitant to go public with my reasons for closing Eustis Studios in Cape Girardeau. After reading the story in the Southeast Missourian, I feel a need to clear my name with the truth of why I closed Eustis Studios there.

In February my sales manager and director, John Buckner, suddenly decided to open a restaurant. The news of this caught me completely off guard. I was totally unaware of his intentions to open the restaurant. I had been told by John that opening a studio there was what he was interested in doing. He was committed to managing it and developing the framing business as well as bringing in more local artists and expanding to areas surrounding Cape Girardeau. Because of his former ties to the town and our close personal and business relationship I had decided to support him with a great deal of time and complete monetary backing. He in turn committed to me that he would devote his time to the gallery's development.

Three years was more or less what we had agreed upon. I was to be the investor for his dream to open a gallery there. So to discover after six short months that he was now going to be opening and running a restaurant was completely unacceptable to me. We had just gotten the gallery doors open and just finished our last construction project. Again, paid for by me. There had been little time devoted to getting the gallery running when he was off to his next deal ... opening Razing Cain.

I was very disappointed and hurt to say the least. I knew he had been devoting a great deal of time to outside interests, but this was completely unacceptable. I have a family in my hometown and certainly could not be expected to run a business there. I have been devastated by the haste with which this was done and the lack of regard for my investment or my moral and personal support. Now that it appears the restaurant is closing I read comments that I have left John hastily and that he is devoted to making the gallery work under its new name. It is more than I am willing to swallow without coming forth with the truth.

I sincerely wanted to support John and bring a new gallery to Cape Girardeau, and I did. I now feel it is important that I clear my name and let the wonderful people of Cape Girardeau know that I did not choose to leave them but I could no longer depend on my manager/sales director, John Buckner.

Now that the restaurant no longer seems viable, he wants to go back to the gallery. It has been extremely difficult for me to walk away and lose all the money I have invested there and end this project that I had put my heart into while John just takes it over and makes it appear that I left defeated. I left unsupported and abandoned. I did not want to cause trouble for John, but after reading the comments written in the story I could not hold my tongue.

I want the people of Cape Girardeau to know that I have never felt more welcomed. I was so honored by their visits and comments and support. It is with great sadness that I leave the area.

It is my opinion that truth, honesty and character are most important in a person's life. If I had just left town without letting you all know how much I truly enjoyed my time there it would have been a disservice to you as well as to myself. Thank you so very much, Cape Girardeau. You will be missed in my life.

Karen Cauvin Eustis is the owner of Eustis Studios.

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