Owner says operating business for over 2 decades had many silver linings
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A lot has happened since The Silver Lining jewelry store opened its doors in the Torian Plum Plaza in 1999, but through it all, owner Larry Stroman has provided customers with jewelry, charms and beads.
“We’ve gone through a lot — base area construction, Torian construction and Ski Time Square destruction,” said Stroman, who has sold the business and plans on retiring at the end of the 2020-21 ski season. “We’ve been through recessions, through no snow years and, now, even pandemics.
“You name it, we have made it through it,” Stroman added. “A lot of that has to do with our loyal customer base.”
Stroman said when the time comes to hand the keys of the store over to a new owner this spring, it will be his customers, both locals and second-home owners, he will miss the most. On Monday, more than a few of them stopped by his store to take advantage of the retirement sale and to say goodbye.
“I think one of the main things I’m really going to miss is just the interaction with people,” Stroman said.
Longtime employee Nancy Hummel said Stroman has a following not only in Steamboat Springs but around the world.
“He has a ton of repeat customers from all over the world,” Hummel said. “They (the Stromans) have a lot of connections in the community. It’s been fun working for him over the years, … and it’s been fun to watch him work and just see how creative he can be.”
Stroman and his wife, Tara, opened their first store, Amallama, in the Old Town Square in the heart of downtown Steamboat Springs in 1990 with then-partner Lucinda Patten. Business was good at that location, and in 1999, the Stromans expanded by purchasing another retail space at Torian Plum. There, they opened The Silver Lining, a satellite store that also became very popular.
Amallama offered a selection of jewelry and leather items and was well-known for its collection of exotic beads that were used to make homemade jewelry items.
“For years, we had our bead counter downtown, and we had one up here, and people could come in and make their own jewelry on vacation,” Stroman said.
In 2001, the Stromans decided to close the downtown store, which they were leasing, and move all of their inventory to the space at Torian that they owned. They simplified their business plan and focused on making the boutique jewelry store on the mountain the best it could be.
The Silver Lining did not carry the leather goods that were a staple of Amallama, but the Stromans continued to offer the exotic beads and other items. The store also offered jewelry repair and featured Stroman’s handcrafted jewelry along with many other vendors.
“We just wanted to provide an experience,” Stroman said. “We have always wanted this to be a place where anybody can walk in and have a little fun and create a memorable experience on their vacation. … That’s kind of what our philosophy has been all along.”
Stroman said the people who purchased the property also purchased his fixtures, and while he doesn’t know the details, he thinks they plan on continuing to run a jewelry boutique under a different name. He plans to keep creating jewelry wholesale, and his wife plans to stay at Casey’s Pond, where she has worked since that facility opened. The two have a 17-year-daughter, Zofia, who is still in school.
“I sold the property, and the new owner is just going to kind of continue on with the jewelry aspect and probably put their own energy into it, their own ideas and maybe even bring in new things,” Stroman said. “I haven’t had a summer off in 31 years, so I’m going to take a few months off this summer, and then I’ll get my studio at home rolling and just kind of go from there.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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