Public Media for Central Pennsylvania
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Navigating Inflation: Trina Spangler considers next steps as her Tyrone clothing boutique folds

downtown Tyrone clock and fountain
Our Town
Trina Spangler had to close her Twice as Nice Boutique in downtown Tyrone due to low sales and what she calls 'selective frugality.'

Holding down the fort at Twice as Nice Boutique—a carefully curated vintage clothing shop—are Trina Spangler, the store’s owner and sole employee of three years, and Sophie, the shop’s canine mascot.

Year one of operation was successful: Trina opened the store to give back to the community, donate to charity, and promote sustainability through upcycling. Year two, a pipe burst in her building, ruining her clothing stock overnight; she was out of commission for six months. Now it’s year three, and Trina has been “struggling financially.” In February, she had plans to close Twice as Nice permanently on April 15.

“It breaks my heart that I've not been able to give to charities, like I originally planned,” she said. “If I could stay, I would.”

Trina blames the boutique’s fall in revenue on COVID-19, selective frugality, and the movement of consumer spending elsewhere—to the north in State College and the south in Altoona. When stimulus checks phased out, she said, people were less willing to pay for the niceties—but there’s a divide between the “older, wiser” crowd and “subsidized areas that can’t afford to spend anything extra.”

Hear from Trina Spangler

Her decline in profits isn’t for lack of trying. Trina operates a Facebook account for the store, and she sets up a table during the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. For this year’s Irish Heritage Festival, Trina planned to put Sophie in a green tutu in the hopes of holding onto her title of “Best in Show.”

So where will Trina go next? As an esthetician by trade—her last business shut down during the pandemic—she’s considering a return. For now, someone else will have to do the thrifting.

“I don't want to bash the town at all,” she said. “I just think that we have a lot of poverty, a lot of low income. And then we have wealth. But they don’t spend their money.”

Read the rest of the profiles of Tyrone area residents Navigating Inflation.

Lilly Riddle is a student reporter with the News Lab at Penn State.
Related Content