Retired New Bern postal worker gets opportunity to own, operate own shop

North Carolina news

NEW BERN, NC (WNCT) – From working at the post office to working in clothes.

Cynthia Swords worked for the U.S. Postal Service for more than 22 years. She was about to retire at the end of the year, but then her life changed unexpectedly when she got offered a boutique – and the inventory in it.

“This is not expected. Everybody expected me to open a food truck,” Swords said, the new owner of Boutique a la Mode. “Because I love to cook, I did a lot of fundraising for schools, so everyone was waiting for me to open a food truck. But then this opportunity was offered to me unexpectedly.”

Bob Sisco, who was one of Cynthia’s customers at the post office, was the husband to the owner of what was known as Today’s Fashion in New Bern for 22 years. When his wife passed away in October, Sisco asked Swords to buy the boutique to keep it around.

While still working at the post office, she re-opened the boutique within two weeks with a lot of help and named it Boutique a la Mode – just in time for the holidays.

“It’s not just the money, you know. I’m not here to be rich,” Swords said. “It’s just something to do and something to earn a little bit. I want to give them a good price and good quality because it’s hard sometimes. I just want to be a blessing to everyone.”

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