Walls of windows cover nearly half the indoor space, inviting the sunlight to stream through. The rays dance over the oversized chandelier hanging from the center of the room, lovingly crafted of Cedar tree branches stripped of their bark and adorned in faux greens. The beams of light gently touch Thelma and Louise, iconic mannequins smartly dressed on this day in the softest sweaters and boldest necklaces.
Today as I sit with Pam Worth just outside the dressing rooms of Spoken Boutique at 27 Church Street in Saratoga Springs, everything about the award-winning women’s clothing store is exactly the same – yet different - as it always has been. After thirteen years as the original owner and nearly forty years in the fashion industry, Pam is announcing a “step back” and the handing over of proprietorship to fellow retail whiz, Tina Powell (whom you might recognize as a former manager of G. Willikers Toys, and a familiar face in Spoken for more than a year.)
“I feel mostly excited to step into a new chapter, still knowing that the biggest chapter of my life, which has been proudly owning Spoken, will remain… but on a lighter level. I’ll still be here but will be stepping back a little bit and comfortably passing the reigns to Tina, who I whole heartedly feel will carry that torch and legacy.”
Tina refers to the exchange as “serendipitous.” The women know each other from years of working in retail in downtown Saratoga. When they bumped into each other at a local coffee shop last year, retirement was nowhere on Pam’s radar. Tina, who had left merchandising to stay home with her young family for a few years, expressed a desire to step back into a retail career. Pam invited her to consider joining the close-knit team at Spoken, and the rest (as they say) is History… or according to these retail gurus, fate.
“I fell in love with it… the customers, the space, the clothing. It all felt so natural. I went on a buying trip, and it just fell into place so naturally,” Tina tells me. The official transfer of ownership took place the very last week of summer, quietly and without fanfare. It was important for Pam to continue through the busy summer season and make the announcement first to her customers, honoring the close relationships she has with each and every one, so evidently dear to her heart, that she fills with emotion as she speaks of them.
“I always say, these walls have stories… stories of women that sometimes just need a nudge, an ear, or guidance. The dressing rooms are where you can transform a bad mood into sheer joy and confidence. That clothing choice becomes their armor and their confidence-maker. My vision has always been to remind women that no matter, they are beautiful, valid, and important… all the things we may sometimes forget. That is the beauty of this industry. With Tina’s watchful eye and understanding, she too has that gift.”
If not for the announcement, customers may not ever realize the change of ownership. Pam plans to continue her favored Facebook feature, Pammy’s Picks, along with merchandising, buying and guiding customers. While she plans to take more time traveling and enjoying life, she promises she and Tina will continue to work side by side, striving to maintain the honor of Best Boutique Saratoga Today readers continually bestow upon Spoken, year after year.
And when the sun sinks below the horizon each night, taking its spotlight back off Thelma and Louise, Pam will whisper the same words she has since the doors first opened. “Good night beautiful store. Great job Thelma and Louise. I am so grateful for these days.”
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