GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Bit by bit, Glens Falls’ former “Street of Dreams” continues to undergo change. Last month, Glens Falls Bagels opened up shop across the street from the future new home of the city farmer’s market. Up the street, downtown staple New Way Lunch is redecorating in preparation to reopen for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, nearby, another new business enters the next chapter in the street’s life.
You’ll first know it by the mannequin. She looks a bit cold out on the sidewalk, clad in a Santa hat and Christmas sweater. Inside, you can see another of her kind through the window, watching from inside an emporium of coats, sweaters, hats, dresses and more – all with their own stories to tell.
Fashion Follies opened about three weeks ago at 32 South St., next to Peter’s Diner. The owners are Lori and Lisa Arpey, two sisters who chose to open a new consignment shop as a retirement project. In its early weeks, it’s suiting them well.
“People say ‘We don’t want to leave,’ and we encourage them to stop and browse,” said Lisa on Thursday. “There’s no pressure to shop and buy. Browse, shop, enjoy the atmosphere.”
The shop already has its regulars – one of the sisters’ first customers came in during NEWS10’s interview. The two-room shop divides its wares into two general stages of ‘fancy.’ Its entry room is full of jackets, sweaters, scarves and pants. Around the corner, a second room offers wedding gowns, fancy hats, and a variety of other items perfect for a fancy gala – or perhaps a Halloween party themed around a step back in time.
Fashion Follies opened with as much inventory as the sisters could handle – and gathering it was easier than one might expect. After being previously occupied by a local florist, the business space was ready for renovation. As that work took place, the sisters put a sign in the window declaring what was coming to the storefront, and asking for consigners to come with whatever they wanted to sell. The consigners came – and every suit jacket and pair of dress shoes came with a story.
“We just got a mink stole in,” Lori recalled. “Someone brought it in, and it was his mom’s. There’s a story there, and we like to share that story when someone tries it on. Then we like to go a little bit further, because when I see something like that, I think, ‘When did that person wear this? How many Christmases did that mink stole get worn?'”
The consignment shop isn’t the first new business to come to South Street this year. Like Glens Falls Bagels, though, it has been received by a receptive community that wants to see it – and South Street – succeed. Next door, the staff at Peter’s Diner have been telling customers that before they sit down for their coffee and eggs, they need to go next door and meet the Arpey sisters.
That’s just what they do. In the shop’s first weeks, Lisa and Lori have seen plenty of customers looking for the right Christmas gift. Although their stock is plentiful for now, they’re always thinking ahead. They hope to add more vintage and “statement” pieces to the collection.
For any business on South Street, new or old, there is a certain sensation of holding one’s breath. As the street’s other new business sits across from the lot where the Glens Falls Farmer’s Market will move, Fashion Follies has a window’s-eye-view of the pavilion where it currently takes place during the warmer months. The city of Glens Falls’ plan to construct a new market center also includes an outline for a mixed-use apartment and business building, which will take up some of the current parking space used for the market, and various other parts of town.
“We’re really excited about becoming part of this part of downtown,” said Lori. “We call it ‘shop around the corner’ because that’s what we feel like – we’re just around the corner.”