Board Member Spotlight: Pam Fried – Regional Ambassador

Tell us a little about your business/organization.
“The business name was inspired by CS Lewis’ Narnia book series. My kids’ favorite books and they helped me come up with the unique name of the shop. The Lion is a one-of-a-kind consignment shop limited to quality formal wear for women. It was born to give women an alternative to expensive high end bridal shops for their special events. In the first few years, we were 100 percent consignment, but that has since changed to 30 percent consignment as I now buy for the shop to keep up with current styles. I now offer brand new dresses, shoes, jewelry, purses, coverups, furs, hats and gloves. When you drive onto our property you will observe five buildings separate from each other. Each building is marked with its own specialty: Prom/Pageant, Homecoming, Mother of the Bride, Bridal Gowns, Bridesmaid.”

How long have you had your business/organization?
“The shop opened on May 7, 2013, so this May will be our 11th year of business.”

What made you start your business?
“I lost my beloved job and became depressed, and, in that desperation, I called out to God to allow me to start my own business. I told Him that it had to be on Elida Road. (Never before had I told God what to do!!) I was literally crying when I drove by 4270 Elida Road and saw a huge FOR SALE sign on the house. The model home was for sale, but not the surrounding buildings. I immediately pulled in, called the number on the sign and connected with the actual owner instead of the management company. Despite his attempts to talk me out of it, I convinced the owner to rent the property to me even though there were no water, plumbing or bathroom facilities hooked up. I believe God softened the owner’s heart to allow me the opportunity to open my business. Over time we shared with each other that we were Christians which gave me more courage to take this leap of faith.

It has been my desire to have a consignment shop that gives back to the community. Clients bring in their used or new formalwear and when their items sell, they receive monies (and recycle their closet items). I was raised to patronize consignment shops to save money. In my business, I have chosen to go against the normal rules of consignment by waiving fees. This has been so well received that we now have over 4,000 clients from the surrounding counties and even some from Florida, Indiana, and Michigan.”

 Why have you joined the WOCC board?
“A nudge from God, the Holy Spirit says MOVE! Time to step up, so I did. I love talking to people, so the ambassador role really seemed to be my niche. I am just so excited to be a part of this board. Being an ambassador is such a vital role. I get to meet new Christian business owners that are looking for support in their communities and tell them all about the WOCC and invite them to our meetings. I understand the difficulty of being alone when you’re first starting your business. The WOCC is so vital for Christian businesses to grown and learn to be BETTER. We are providing amazing tools to help local Christian business owners and it is my hope that all who join, feel that we are providing an invaluable service to their business in more ways than they could imagine. This first year has been so insightful and I have learned so much more than I even thought possible as a member of this chamber.”

What are your thoughts/feelings on how the WOCC impacts kingdom commerce and our communities?
“I am beyond thrilled, ecstatic that we as business believers have a VOICE, A MASSIVE GOD-BREATHED VOICE!! That with this organization supported by dedicated believers, we can be unhindered to be HIS HANDS AND FEET IN OUR COMMUNITY!! I also appreciate the ACCOUNTABILITY of belonging to the WOCC. As we connect monthly, we see that we are not alone, we are connecting with the people that share our integrity for God and with that we can trust our decisions to go forward.”

Give us a testimony either about yourself or your business/organization.
“The Lion has been prayer anointed and continues to be prayed over for protection and for all who enter. On any given day at the shop, I with my coworkers have been completely touched by the lives that come in – and do they have needs! We pray over whomever the spirit leads us to. The beauty of being a Christian business is there are no restrictions in having “the moment” when so led.

As I celebrated my 10th year last January, my landlord decided to text me that he was selling the property, he was done with owning property. My world was upended. I thought I was done. Another location fell through. I did not see any hope. Then, Roz started the WOCC meetings. I showed up worried that I could no longer be a member if I lost my business. I was prayed over and cared for continually by a room full of fellow Christian business owners who loved God. It was the balm I needed, but more than that, it gave me the courage to move forward and take a financial risk. I became bold with my landlord and asked the unthinkable. He agreed. I have been blown away by how I am now the owner of 4270 Elida Road with 5 buildings, my initial asking of God.”