By Jill Nagy
Kirsten Lambert almost skipped the “horserace stuff” when she was stocking her new Saratoga Springs shop, the Tailgate and Party Shop at 53 Caroline St.
Now, she finds, those products are “probably my best sellers.”
She said even though people cannot attend Saratoga Race Course in person, they are having “watch” parties at home with friends or may just want the souvenirs. She has also sold more outdoor games than she anticipated, including cornhole and horseshoes.
The shop, which opened at the beginning of June, offers picnic baskets, coolers and games for tailgaters, as well a complete line of party supplies; hostess gifts, including washable paper bags; “an eclectic kind of goofy gifts” and candles.
A best seller is a wine tumbler with horses going around it. Far-sighted shoppers are grabbing up Saratoga-themed Christmas tree ornaments. We sell “parts for the party and entertainment for the entertainer,” Lambert said.
For now, the items in stock come from “literally all over the country” but, Lambert said, her priority is finding more local vendors. “The hardest part of getting started was figuring out where to order from.”
“Things are going well, considering,” she said. Crowds vary. “We had an amazing Friday,” she recalled, “and Sunday, no one. It’s been very strange.” On the plus side, she noted, other local business people have been “very sweet,” helpful, and welcoming.”
This is Lambert’s first business venture. She spent 25 years as a sixth grade social studies teacher in New Jersey. She and her family came to Saratoga every summer and she fell in love with the place. They moved to Saratoga Springs a year ago when she retired.
She said that she got the idea for the store when she was preparing an 80th birthday celebration for her mother. “I wanted to go find my mother 80th birthday plates and couldn’t even find them in the grocery store or anything and I was, like, ‘You know, we kind of need this.’”
The Tailgate and Party Shop is located on the corner of Henry and Caroline streets. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The telephone number is 518 886-9015. The shop website is tailgateandparty.com.
By Jill Nagy