After 30 years of operating country gift, antique and collectible stores, floral shops and a tea room, Martha “Marty” Savanick is calling it a career.
“It’s been a great run. People are saying there is really no stores close by like ours with the extensive inventory,” said Savanick, who is in the process of closing Collections by Marty stores in Scottdale and Donegal.
Savanick has owned the building in Scottdale since 1991, and has not decided when the doors will be shut for good.
She started by selling antiques, added county gifts and country-themed home decor items, and expanded into collectibles about 10 years ago. Collections by Marty fills the space of a former hardware store with an eclectic inventory of clothes, cards, candles, jewelry, Vera Bradley purses and accessories, flags, mugs and table top linens, Savanick said.
“We’ll be here most of the year,” selling the remainder of the inventory, Savanick said.
Customers have expressed their sadness about the pending closing.
One customer who will miss the store is Charlotte Sethman.
“There are a lot of nice items. There are some things you don’t see anywhere else,” the Scottdale resident said.
Kim Fagan of Everson said she loves to shop at the store.
“I always buy my special gifts and presents for people, here … and up in the mountain (Donegal),” she said.
Employee Kathy Davis has been at the store since it opened and said she has loved working there.
“I’ll miss it. That’s an understatement,” said Davis, of Scottdale.
Savanick was a trained nurse when she entered the business world in 1989 with her late husband, Reuben H. Savanick. Being a financial manager, he had the business acumen. He managed the business end, while she purchased the inventory and oversaw operations.
The change in consumer buying patterns played a role in the decision to get out of the business, said Savanick, a native of Bucks County.
“My generation has a lot of antiques and collectibles. The younger generation does not,” said Savanick, whose home is filled with antiques.
Operating a brick-and-mortar store in an environment where more and more shoppers are turning to online purchases has been challenging, she admits.
With the pressures and challenges of operating a store, “It is hard to support a family with this business,” Savanick said, whose son, Nathan Savanick of Scottdale, is the business manager.
When she and her husband started the business, there was catalog shopping but no online component. People went to the stores to get what they wanted.
As she winds down the business, Savanick expects some inventory will not sell. She plans to donate the remaining inventory to a local nonprofit.
“I’ve been blessed and want to do this for Scottdale. I’ll be happy to donate as much as I can,” Savanick said.
Closing the collectible stores is part of the process she has undergone to slowly remove herself from owning businesses.
She also sold her floral shop, Miss Martha’s Floral in Scottdale, to Dave Mardis, who had operated the business.
“He wanted to own his own shop, and we’re happy we could keep it in town,” Savanick said.
Miss Martha’s Tea Room, a restaurant that served meals from inside the floral shop, closed about five years ago, she said.
She also has sold her Connellsville floral shop, DeMuth Florist, Savanick said.
In addition to running the business, she has been active in the community. Savanick is vice president of the Scottdale Area Chamber of Commerce, and her son, Nathan, is on the board of directors.
Freed from operating businesses, Savanick said she wants to stay busy, using her nurse training as a hospice volunteer. She wants to travel. She has been to Russia, Cuba and London. Seeing Alaska, Nova Scotia and Europe is on her bucket list.
It will give her more time to spend with family. A son, Benjamin, lives in Scottdale, and a third son, Adam, lives in Harrisonburg, Va.
“I appreciated the employees and the community for their support. I’ll really miss it,” Savanick said.