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business

Poughkeepsie Store Owner Credits 40 Years In Business To 'Adaptability'

Jenny Tell with her daughters, Sierra Lily and Skylar Rose.
Jenny Tell with her daughters, Sierra Lily and Skylar Rose. Photo Credit: Submitted

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Sierra Lily in Poughkeepsie has done a lot of evolving in its 40 years of business. So says Owner Jenny Tell who owns the store along with her mom and stepdad, Janice and John Bocchino.

The store started out as Country Gallery in Fishkill in the Dutchess Mall (now a Home Depot) mainly selling figurines, collectibles and country items, and also functioned as an art gallery.

Over time, however, its name no longer fit its wares. "We were really not 'country' and we weren't about home decorating which people thought we were," said Tell.

And so, after much discussion and thought, the store was rebranded in 2012 with the name of Tell's firstborn, Sierra Lily. "Everyone who came into the shop after I gave birth asked me what my daughter's name was and when I told them, they all said how pretty it was," said Tell. "It was then, after having this same conversation about 50 times, that we realized what the new name should be."

Fast forward to now and the store, which in November will have been in its current location for 20 years, is known for offering many "Made in the U.S.A." brands along with national names like Alex & Ani, Pandora, Vera Bradley and Brighton. It's the kind of place both new and old customers enjoy. Clients will find bath and body items, handbags, jewelry and lots of one of a kind items you can't find everywhere else.

Tell is big on using social media to get the word out about new inventory and keep her customer base abreast of the store's namesake, Sierra Lily, now six, as well as daughter Skylar Rose, age four. Skylar has Downs Syndrome so Tell also uses her platform to raise awareness.

And while her mom isn't in the picture much anymore -- "She comes in to shop," said Tell, she said it's still very much a family operation with her and John running the business.

"I think the beauty of the store is that we've had clients that have been shopping with us for 10, 20 and 30 years," she said. "We also have lots of new customers. The name definitely helps."

Sierra Lily is at 1955 South Rd., (845) 297-1684, www.sierralily.com/ .

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