Postman retires after 22 years and now owns clothing store

After more than 22 years of service with the United States Postal Service, Cynthia Swords decided it was time for a change.

While still working at the post office at the Glenburnie Road location, a client offered her the opportunity she was waiting for.

That client was Bob Sisco. Sisco is the husband of the late Kyong Cha Sisco, who passed away in October 2021. His wife owned Today’s Fashion, a 22-year-old clothing store in New Bern. He made the retiring postman an offer to buy the business with all inventory included that was too good to refuse.

Originally slated to retire at the end of the year, this exciting new venture prompted Swords to seek an earlier retirement date. His last day in the postal service was Friday, November 26.

Swords renamed the company to Boutique à la Mode and opened the doors to its first customers on Monday, November 29.

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A very spiritual woman, Swords said she has struggled to make a personal decision about her life.

“Once I made that decision, everything else seemed to fall into place,” she said.

Swords is a member of Twin Rivers Baptist Church located at 804 US 70 in James City.

She has hired a member of her church family as her first employee who will work part time.

“My church family has been very supportive of me. Everyone thought I would open a food truck when I retire,” she laughed. “But God had planned something else.”

Swords, who is Filipino, is known for her excellent cooking skills specializing in Filipino cuisine. She often cooks meals for her church family and takes care of other churches, nonprofits, and fundraisers.

Fashion today was mainly aimed at women offering elaborate dresses and costumes, casual wear and accessories including handbags, gloves and jewelry. The store also had tuxedos, formal wear and casual wear for kids and some men’s wear.

Swords said she is changing some of what the store sells. Currently, many items in the store are up to 70% off the original retail price.

“I will always offer formal wear because this type of clothing is hard to find in our area, especially the large sizes that we also offer,” she said. “I plan to bring clothing that is a little more conservative than some of the items currently in stock.”

Swords said she also plans to use her new business to raise awareness in the community in some way.

“I want to find ways to help my community and my church in any way I can,” she said.

Jokingly, Swords said that after 22 years of standing for 12 hours a day at times, one of her greatest pleasures is that she can finally sit up when she needs to.

The store is located at 1204 S. Glenburnie Road, Suite D. Hours of operation are 10 am to 6:30 pm Monday through Friday and Saturday 10 am to 5 pm. The business is closed on Sundays.

For more information, call the store at 252-514-0289.

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