Martha Brown, longtime Harlan merchant, has sold Martha’s Formals and is now retired after 27 years in the business. She will remain as a consultant with the new owner, Tera Day, who has moved her business, Perfect Ten, to the new location.
A Tennessee native, Brown began her career in Harlan County when she obtained a job as a clerk at Lee Drug when she was 16 years old. She met Boyd Brown and they dated throughout her high school years, while he also worked at Powers and Hortons in Harlan. They later married and he obtained a job with Manhattan Shirt Company as an executive salesman. This was the beginning of a life of living in different states across the map as her husband traveled with his job. Several years later, the Browns returned to Harlan County and became part-owners of Powers and Hortons.
“After we sold our part of Powers and Hortons, Boyd and I decided to begin our own business in 2006 and we called it Martha’s Formals, located on Main Street,” said Brown. “After my husband passed away in 2011, I kept trying to keep things going, but it became too much. I met Tera Day and decided she had the same passion I did for beautiful clothes and wonderful customers, so I sold the business to her. I feel confident she will do a wonderful job for the many customers I have had throughout the years.”
Brown said she is looking forward to being a consultant and working only part-time. She said her life in the retail business has been rewarding.
“I’ve always loved working with the public,” said Brown. “I guess I always will. It’s the relationships you make with the people you meet and come in contact with on a daily basis. I’ve got people coming in for prom dresses that I dressed their mothers in prom dresses. You really establish longtime friendships.”
Day said Brown has taught her many things about the retail business. She said Brown is still energetic and excited about still being able to be at the store only now in a new capacity.
“Martha can tell you the sizes and prices of every dress in this store,” said Day. “She has a fantastic memory for these things and everyone who comes through the door is greeted personally by Martha with a smile.”
In her spare time, Brown enjoys reading and spending time with her friends and family. She and her late husband have one son and one granddaughter.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at email@example.com