Shop Talk with the ALEMBIKA Community… Beyond ALEMBIKA.com, our fashion community spreads across the US with brick-and-mortar stores from east to west. Each offers an intimate, personal touch as well as a unique shopping experience.
06 York Rd, Jenkintown, PA 19046
Berta Sawyer, a sophisticated salon, is known for outfitting the area’s best dressed women.
Its history goes back more than fifty (50) years. One day in 1972, the original owner, Berta Sawyer herself, asked an unsuspecting customer, Lorna Cohen, if she would like to buy the business. Truthfully, this was not something Lorna was even contemplating, but the prospect of retail in high end formal wear and special occasion wear was appealing. Lorna had a special flair for fashion and Lorna accepted the offer to buy the business. The business thrived and remained in the Cohen family for more than fifty (50) years.
Lorna’s daughter Jan joined her mother in running the business in 1980. Jan, like her mom, did not contemplate working in and then owning a woman’s high end clothing salon. She intended to be and was a teacher. Mom, however, encouraged her to work in the family business. Jan spent her maternity leave from teaching working in the store. She immediately loved the work there. Eventually, Jan had a second child and she continued her extended maternity leave working at Berta Sawyer. Jan never returned to her original career as she was smitten by the clothing business.
Jan had inherited Lorna’s “flair” for fashion. She never had a ton of clothes as a teenager, but what she did have were pieces that could be intermingled. Even then, she had the ability to mix and match which gave the impression that her wardrobe was endless. That might have been the first hint of what was to come!
Jan worked in the store along with her Mother as a team for over two decades. At that point, Lorna decided to retire and Jan ran the store herself for over two decades. Her mother had faith in her to take over full ownership of the business and run every aspect of the business. That faith was warranted.
Jan decided to begin the process of looking towards eventual retirement in 2021 and let her long time staff know that things might change in the future. Her seamstress Lela privately approached her about buying the business. That caused Jan to bring Lela’s daughter Sara into the business in September of 2021 to work in sales with the hopes that a deal eventually could be struck with Lela to keep the business running for many years to come. Jan’s mission was accomplished effective July 29, 2022, when she effectuated the change in ownership, management and control of the business to Lela’s new company, L&S Boutique LLC trading as Berta Sawyer, with Lela heading up the sewing room department and her daughter Sara helping to run and manage the store with her Mom.
It was important to Jan to transfer ownership of the business to an insider and equally important for her to bring in a new mother-daughter team. It reminded her of the fifty year history of her own family’s ownership of the business.
Nothing will change with the new Berta Sawyer. All its sales staff have accepted positions with the new owner and Jan is staying on as an employee of the new owner for a period of a year. Customers will continue to experience expert fitting and specialized attention, carrying on the Berta Sawyer reputation of fifty years.
Berta Sawyer looks forward to your continued patronage for many years to come.
Please meet the new mother daughter team of Lela and Sarah. Better yet, come into the store and meet them in person if you have not had the opportunity to do so.