FAYETTEVILLE – The pandemic has given a number of people the opportunity to reevaluate what they want to do with their lives.
That can certainly be said of Alison Ryan of Manlius, who launched a new career last week when she and her husband, Tommy, re-opened Apricot Lane Boutique in Fayetteville, which had closed last November after a 10-year run under previous ownership. For Ryan, it presented an opportunity both to give new life to a store she loved and to change her career path.
“I’ve always had a passion and a desire for clothes,” she said, “and my husband would be the first to say I’ve spent a lot of money here over the years.”
Ryan grew up in Manlius, and before going into retailing, she had been in media sales, both in New York City and locally. She and Tommy recently purchased a home in Manlius.
When Apricot Lane closed last November, the couple talked it over, decided it was a dream worth pursuing, and reached out to the corporate headquarters.
“I couldn’t let it close,” she said last Friday. “And I also wanted to pursue a dream. You know, COVID kind of changes everyone’s perspective.
Ryan said her interactions with the company, including the retail training they provide and support they’ve provided in buying merchandise and alerting her to new trends and styles, have been nothing but positive.
“They really set me up over the last few months to feel strong and confident in opening up,” she said. “They keep me on track, and that’s a really important piece.”
Opening the store is not the only life-changing event for Alison and Tommy. Alison was eight months pregnant when Apricot Lane offered her the franchise. That call was over Zoom, and after they offered the franchise, she stood up to show her new corporate partners her baby bump.
“They were great. They were very supportive,” she said.
McKenna Ryan is now four months old, with bright blue eyes and her father’s dimples.
“She’s the star of the show,” Tommy Ryan said.
So far, Alison Ryan said, the response from the community has been excellent. More than 200 people came through the store during the soft opening, which took place during the last week in April. Many of the customers became devoted to Apricot Lane under the previous ownership and were thrilled to have it reopen under new management.
“The response is the same: We really needed something like this on this side of town,” she said. “It’s really exciting.”
Apricot Lane employs six people, including Alison and Tommy. Despite a challenging environment for finding employees, Alison said she was lucky to find four people who perfectly fit what she was looking for in a retail employee.
Apricot Lane Boutique is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Wegmans DeWitt Plaza, 6811 E. Genesee St.