Kiss Miko goodbye


One wonders how the fiscal crisis will hurt small businesses in Rhode Island. The cause seems unrelated in this instance, though, and the BDH has the story of how the venerable sex shop is history.

A locked door, a dark, almost bare interior and a large sign reading "Space for Lease" in red letters. Today, that's all that greets visitors and customers to what was once Wickenden Street's popular sex store, Miko Exoticwear.

The shop closed this July after a "mismanagement" of funds by the store's manager - who had quit shortly before then - made it impossible for the business to remain open, owner Jeff Gellman told The Herald.

Gellman said that some bills that he thought had been paid had, in fact, not been paid - what he called a "side-effect" of mishandling and not a cause.

"You delegate someone to run the company and they're not paying the bills," he said. "It was mismanaged."

Gellman first started Miko in 1993 on North Main Street, selling lingerie, sex toys, gifts, books, videos and accessories. Last year he decided to move the store to 268 Wickenden St. - a location with a better layout and greater proximity to Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design. College Hill students made up almost 30 percent of the store's customers, The Herald reported in March 2007.

Apart from being a store, Miko also included a resource center where classes and workshops were held to promote healthy sexuality.

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