The Copper Butterfly – Where We Are Now


On December 13, 2010 our world changed. The Copper Butterfly went up in flames as we watched. No time to react or prepare…one day we were in business, the next day we were out. One day our employees had job security, the next day they had none. It changed the world as we knew it.

So everyone asks “when are we going to rebuild?” And the answer is that we don’t know “if” or “when” we will rebuild. When you lose something you love, it takes time…time to grieve, time to reflect, and time to remember. Until all of those things have taken place, you can’t move on. It is a huge task starting a business, just as it is ending one. Our friend and employee Sharon Breaux gave us inspiration when she emailed the saying, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” And yes, we made many happy memories at The Copper Butterfly.

So where do we begin? “Think before you…do anything.” What does Cloudcroft need? What is the best use of the property? What do the people of Cloudcroft think? We don’t know the answers to these questions, but we do know that we have time to do the right thing. And that starts with thinking.

Can we rebuild The Copper Butterfly? That is a tough question. The Copper Butterfly was a historic building and business that was molded by lots of people. Whatever we build, it would never be the same, it would never have the same feeling—it would never be “The Copper Butterfly. “

So think with us and give us the time to process the phrase, “everything happens for a reason.” Share your thoughts and ideas with us so that we can look forward. As a friend reminded me, “when one door closes, another one opens.” We shall see what is behind that door as it opens…

Barbara Rice

Editor’s note: You can leave comments below or you can email Barbara at Their new website, is not up yet, but I’m listing it here for your future reference.


  1. Comment by Jerry Smith:

    I know you will make the right choices for the future. I have faith in you.
    May God bless you and guide you in all your endeavors.
    Ringwood the rover.

  2. Comment by Debra Hill:

    Your store was my favorite in Cloudcroft. I would never feel like I’ve visited until I’ve been there. It was sad to hear about the fire. I know it will never be the same, but also know, it was not just the structure but the spirit and talent of the owner’s vision that made it special. I do hope you come back with a new vision, as I will miss the wonderful art and jewelry, and of course, stones 🙂 Purely selfish, I know .

  3. Comment by Bob McCullough:

    Was very sorry to hear about the fire. My wife and I have a home in Cloudcroft which we use mostly during the summer. You asked for thoughts about what might be rebuilt on your property. I think an “old fashioned drug store” with a soda fountain/lunch bar, pharmacy, gift items, news stand, etc. would fill a great need in Cloudcroft. It could include an area upstairs for other things like jewelry and clothing. We are wishing you the best of luck for the future. Bob and Peggy McCullough

  4. Comment by Debbie Spies:

    I just heard about the fire from my brother. My husband and I love Cloudcroft and feel it just won’t be the same without the Copper Butterfly. I always come there to get my “fix” of Ken Merric pottery, and loved all of your other beautiful items as well. The idea that you may not be there next time I come to Cloudcroft makes me very sad…

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