LOGAN — Sharff’s Fashion will be celebrating its 75th anniversary on Thursday, Oct. 3.
Pearl and Sam Sharff founded the business in 1944, shortly after the end of World War II. The store is a women’s specialty store or women’s boutique that offers select merchandise, clothing, cosmetics, jewelry and fragrances from cities such as Chicago, Las Vegas and New York. It has also offered Estee Lauder beauty products for nearly 40 years.
In 1961, the couple retired and appointed Shirley Fink to manage the store. Fink worked with the company for about 50 years and when it was her time to retire, Cindy Stone became manager. Currently, the position belongs to Lee Ann Meadows.
Doug Baker has been the owner of Sharff’s Fashion since 1996, but he started working for the company in 1976. Prior to becoming owner, he worked alongside Sharff’s grandsons, Mark and William Sharff.
The business’ first location was in Logan, across the street from where it currently resides. The original store was destroyed by fire in 1978, but it rose from the ashes two weeks later when they found a temporary store in time for the Christmas season.
“That was a miracle,” Baker exclaimed. “The temporary store happened just through dedication of the employees and the hard work they put in to make that happen and salvage the Christmas season.”
Sharff’s later expanded to Newark, Lancaster, Nelsonville and Athens. The Logan and Circleville locations are the only two that still remain. The most recent one to close was the Athens location in February.
For Baker, his favorite part of the job has been his working relationship with his employees, current and past. He also enjoys seeing and talking with the loyal customers he’s met throughout the years.
He describes the store today as never having the same day twice. Some days can be busy with customers constantly coming in throughout the day, while other days have little to no customers. But even if no one is in the store they are generally working on special orders.
Their products are only sold in their store and not online. Baker mentioned that they do not carry a large inventory of any item.
He has enjoyed watching his customers come in with their children and grandchildren and eventually see them grow up and become loyal customers as well.
Baker said he has been stubborn in keeping the last two locations open in the hope that places like Downtown Logan and Circleville will have a resurgence.
“Downtown Logan has struggled in the last 20 years,” Baker said. “I have maintained this location in the hopes that the area will blossom again, which I do think will happen, how soon and when is the question.”
He added that small towns around the state and country are being rediscovered because there is a beauty to them and it is only a matter of time until places like Logan and Circleville are rediscovered. In the meantime, Baker and the employees will continue their commitment to both communities by selling the products that they are known for.
On the day of the 75th anniversary, the store will be celebrating at its Logan location with feature giveaways, door prizes, food, refreshments and entertainment.
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John Stran is a reporter for The Logan Daily News