SARATOGA SPRINGS — Tina Powell was familiar with Spoken Boutique long before buying the business last September.
It didn’t take long for the Ballston Spa native to fall in love with the shop at 27 Church St. in Saratoga Springs that first opened in 2010. The selection of unique brands that no other store in the bustling downtown area carried is what drew her in, but it was the friendly, caring environment created by former owner Pam Worth and the shop’s loyal customers that kept Powell coming back.
“I really fell in love with the customers. They’re a wonderful group,” she said. ”It’s an amazing supportive community.”
Powell, 38, spent two decades working for various retail shops throughout downtown Saratoga Springs, but took a break from the daily grind a few years ago to spend time with her family, including her two young daughters.
But when Worth informed her that she was selling the business at a chance meeting at a local coffee shop, Powell, who always dreamed of owning a business, jumped at the opportunity to not only get back into the retail game, but set an example for her children.
“I always want to teach children and young women that they really can have a dream and be a force and have a spot in society,” Powell said. “The trail has been blazed for them and for us to continue breaking that ceiling and continue shattering records and continue to be an active force in our communities.”
The number of women-owned businesses has been on the rise throughout the U.S. in recent years, but continues to lag behind the number of businesses owned by men.
A 2021 study study by the U.S. Small Business Association found that there were 1.1 million women-owned businesses throughout the county in 2019, accounting for 10.1 million total employees and more than $388 billion in payroll expenses.
But women-owned businesses only accounted for 20% of all employers, the study found.
“Despite these statistics, no one can deny the impact women-owned businesses have on our economy,” the study reads.
“That’s what makes our communities go round: women supporting women,” Powell said. “I want to continue to do that and to show my girls that women have a place and can really strive and thrive, and their dreams can come true.”
Since taking ownership, Powell has intentionally kept everything in place that made the Spoken Boutique a customer favorite for years, including the shop’s four employees, who agreed to stay on when the business changed hands.
The shop is located just a short walk from the hustle and bustle of Broadway, but gets plenty of foot traffic in a part of town that is becoming increasingly popular.
The recently-opened PDT Market on nearby Railroad Place has brought in new customers, and the adjacent AMC movie theater and the Country Corner Café, which also recently changed hands, ensure a steady stream of customers.
“It’s a great time to be on this little corner,” Powell said.
On a recent afternoon, a series of fashionable display mannequins were drenched in rich, natural light that highlighted their chic looks, which included colorful blouses, denim and light sweaters.
Joseph Ripkoff, Melissa Nepton and Dear John, a denim company out of California, are among Powell’s favorite brands sold at the store, though she’s always on the lookout for new brands and attends fashion shows and boutiques around the county.
Basics and bright colors are in right now, said Powell, who described the store as “a unique aesthetic where classic meets whimsical and functional.”
“Lots of bold colors for the spring and summer and lots of going back to the basics,” she said. “Kind of the 70s vibe. What’s old is new again.”
For more information on Spoken Boutique, visit the store’s website and Facebook page: spokensaratoga.com and facebook.com/SpokenBoutique.
Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] or by calling 518-395-3120.
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Categories: News, Saratoga County, Saratoga Springs