I’m originally from Saratoga and have lived here most of my life except for a few excursions that took me elsewhere for brief amounts of time such as a move out West for several years. I have four children between age 17 and 33. Horses have been a part of my life for many years and several of my children are very proficient riders. I recently sold my 72 acre horse farm in Charlton to begin a new phase of my life.
Where did you go to school and what did you do prior to opening Tree Huggers Children’s Apparel in Ballston Spa, NY?
I attended Cazenovia College majoring in Fashion Merchandising which has been my main field of work. I worked at Talbots for many years and Mabou in downtown Saratoga. In addition, I was a partner in a retail business in downtown Saratoga called Brooks on Broadway about 20 years ago.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
One thing that many people don’t know about me is that about 12 years ago I worked on a ranch in Colorado as the owner’s assistant. I worked a few brandings over the years and even owned a rodeo company out West.
What made you open Tree Huggers Children’s Apparel?
It has been a dream of mine for many years. The idea came to me when I lived out West. I recall driving in our pickup truck to get groceries an hour away in a neighboring town and it literally popped into my head! However, raising a large family and a bout of breast cancer 6 years ago kept me from making it happen.
Did you have any obstacles when opening the business?
In 2019 I finally opened Tree Huggers Children’s Apparel at 18 Front Street in Ballston Spa; however, the business was destroyed by a fire three months later. After the fire, I did pop up sales for about a year and a half. I was able to reopen Tree Huggers Children’s Apparel at 78 Front Street in Ballston Spa in November 2020 (down the street from my original location). The Ballston Spa business community has a large number of women owned businesses which has made it the perfect location for my business.
Could you tell me more about the store?
Tree Huggers is a children’s store, specializing in sustainable, organic clothing and artistic supplies for children primarily ages 12 months to 10 years though I carry a few infant items. Many of my suppliers are women owned businesses. In addition to nurturing creativity in children, it’s always been a mission of mine to do monthly community service activities. The month of April for any eco-kids activity art box purchased, one will be donated to Project Lift at the Franklin Community Center in Saratoga Springs. COVID has brought a host of challenges to small businesses but I’m optimistic for the future.