What’s going on at the mall


 Wilton Mall is a busy place these days. New stores are coming in, other businesses are expanding, the theater is popular and the lunch crowd is significant, thanks to Healthy Living Market and Café.

“We’re excited about the back-to-school season, with our new stores,” said Mike Shaffer, Wilton Mall property manager for the company Macerich.

Here’s a look at the new stores that have arrived:

Francesca’s, which features women’s apparel and accessories, opened in April.

Charlotte Russe opened in the mall’s Bon-Ton wing in July. This store offers trendy fashion in clothes, dresses, jeans, accessories, shoes and jewelry at affordable prices. Shop for the most popular summer trends.

Coming soon: 

Brooklyn Slice Italian Eatery will come to the food court in September.

Ulta Beauty will come in late November. This store offers accessories, beauty products, cosmetics and fragrances. The Wilton Mall locale will be the company’s first in the Capital Region.

  Moved to a new space in the mall:

Lily David Fine Jewelry moved to a larger space and did refurbishment.

Improved their stores:
Yankee Candle Co. has expanded and renovated its space.

Dick’s Sporting Goods underwent renovations.

All the businesses mentioned below, which are now moving to other space in the mall, will keep their current locations available until the new storefronts open.

Movers and shakers:

Valentino’s Salon is moving to the Sears wing, to open in early August.

Maurices is moving to the Bon Ton wing and plans to open August 1.

The Department of Motor Vehicles will also relocate to the Bon Ton wing, opening the week of August 11.

Victoria’s Secret is moving to the main wing of the mall and renovating its layout to the company’s latest store concept. The projected opening will be in late October.

“This store’s new space will be well-positioned with fresh concepts,” Shaffer said.

Things to see and do:

A healthier lifestyle may be prompting people to spend more time working out at Planet Fitness, and shopping and eating at Healthy Living. More shoppers spend lunchtime in the mall, and this crowd may spend money more freely.

“The mall is changing focus a bit,” said Alyssa Nappa, Macerich marketing manager. “Before, many stores were focused on young children, but now there are more shops for teen and adults.”

The mall’s Shopping and Dining Visitor Rewards program lets customers save money at participating retailers. See the Wilton Mall Guest Services between the food court and the center court fountain during mall hours.

Healthy Living offers demonstration and cooking classes, field trips and birthday parties. See www.healthylivingmarket.com/saratoga/learning-center.

Although Super Bounce and Glowgolf have left the mall, kids still have plenty to do. Bow Tie Cinemas’ eight-screen Wilton Mall theater is a state-of-the-art facility featuring one large-format screen. Movies for every age are shown.

Bow Tie Cinemas also offers its free summer series of Great Family Films. Movies such as “Rio 2” and “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” are shown on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. through the end of August.

In the food court, the Wilton Mall Kids’ Club meets the third Saturday of every month. Activities, crafts and games are arranged around a theme such as Insects, and are planned to be both educational and fun. See www.wiltonmall.com/events for each month’s information.



Sissi Boutique opens on Phila

   A new woman’s clothing boutique, run by a young Saratoga Springs businesswoman, has opened its doors at 10 Phila Street downtown.

Alex Potter, 23, co-owns the store with her mother, Kitty, a Saratoga County native. Kitty Potter now lives near Springfield, Massachusetts, while Alex lives right over the store.

The boutique features trendy, modern garments by brands comprising Ark and Company, Entro, Gracia and Wow Couture, in such colors as vivid green and tangerine. Shoppers can find dressy and casual clothes ranging from eveningwear to artsy long-sleeved T-shirts. There are also dresses, skirts, tops and palazzo pants, as well as a couple of sweaters just in case a breath of winter air lingers. Sissi offers accessories as well: jewelry and purses. The co-owners have stocked something for every woman.

Alex said, “I’ve been a clotheshorse all my life, and so has my mom. We talked about opening a boutique for a while, and now the time, the place and the funding all came together.”

She added, “I feel I have a broad sense of style personally, and when I buy, I try to keep in mind women of different ages and style preferences.”

“Our slogan is: ‘Life’s too short to wear boring clothes,’” said Kitty Potter. “We want to stock nice, fashionable clothes. And no matter your income, you should be able to find original, fun, comfortable clothing.”

The mother and the daughter said they have a lot of options, but want to avoid vendors who are either overly expensive or who produce cheap clothing.

“I’ve seen $100 sweatpants for sale on Broadway,” Alex said. “What are they, magic sweatpants?”

The wares at Sissi all cost less than $100, with most items priced at $30 to $50.

She and Kitty have solid backgrounds for managing a boutique. Alex majored in business and accounting at Wooster College, and Kitty most recently worked as a project manager for nonprofits.

Alex has also spent much time working on and around Phila Street as a bar manager, bartender and cocktail waitress at Sperry’s Restaurant, and at Peabody’s Sports Bar and Grill. She seems to have been bartending since age 16, she said, laughing. She also did all Sissi’s interior design, which currently includes a window mannequin dressed in a gown of yellow paper butterflies, to call in springtime, Alex said.

Down the road, the co-owners would like to enlarge the store, and carry foundation garments, hats and cosmetics.

“Right now, we want to get the word out about our new boutique and build a loyal customer base,” Alex said. 



Hat sational partners with Gideon Putnam


Hat sational by DEI announces a partnership with the Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa at 24 Gideon Putnam Road. Hat sational will have a permanent display in the lobby, showcasing and selling merchandise at the resort year ’round.

Periodic trunk shows will be featured during the course of the year, with show dates announced on the company website, www.Hatsational.com.

In addition to these venues, during the Saratoga Racing season, Hat sational will have a 500-square-foot store set up in the Gideon Putnam Resort Estate Room, directly off the lobby to the left.

Hat sational by DEI is very excited to be partnered with the Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa. The milliner considers this a complement to its two other locations, 510 Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs and Artist Row inside the Saratoga Race Course. 


Illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi shows her cute children’s book “Naked!” May 2


May 2 at 10:30 a.m., Northshire Bookstore Saratoga will host a reading and an interactive drawing demonstration for children with Debbie Ridpath Ohi, illustrator of “Naked!”

“Naked!” is a hilarious new book about the antics of an adorable little boy who just doesn’t want to get dressed, from comedian Michael Ian Black and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi, the team that brought you “I’m Bored,” a New York Times Notable Children’s Book. The New York Times Book Review wrote that Ohi’s “smart cartoony artwork matches Black’s perfect comic timing.”

Ohi writes and illustrates books for young people. Her illustrations appear in the latest editions of Judy Blume’s novels. She is the author and illustrator of the forthcoming picture book “Where are My Books?” and the founder of Inkspot, one of the first online writing communities.

For more information on this or other events, call 682-4200 or 1-855-339-5990, or visit the Northshire Bookstore website at www.northshire.com


Author Maggie Shipstead in conversation: “Astonish Me” May 3


May 3 at 7 p.m., Northshire Bookstore Saratoga will host a live interview and book signing with award-winning author Maggie Shipstead. Shipstead will be interviewed by Darlene Myers, the artistic director and choreographer of Northeast Ballet and Myers Dance Center.

Shipstead is the author of the widely acclaimed debut novel “Seating Arrangements,” winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Shipstead's new novel is a gorgeously written, compelling glimpse into the demanding world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations.

“Astonish Me” is the irresistible story of Joan, a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star, the great Arslan Rusakov, defect in 1975. A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow, but Joan knows that onstage and off, she is destined to remain in the background. She will never possess Arslan, and she will never be a prima ballerina. She will rise no higher than the corps, one dancer among many.

Combining a sweeping, operatic plot with subtly observed characters, Shipstead gives a novel of intensity and deft psychological nuance. Gripping, dramatic and brilliantly conjured, “Astonish Me” confirms Shipstead’s range and ability, and raises provocative questions about the nature of talent, the choices we must make in search of fulfillment and how we square the yearning for comfort with the demands of art. 

For more information on this or other events, call 682-4200 or 1-855-339-5990, or visit the Northshire Bookstore website at www.northshire.com.