Clearly theirs

"I was from the old school," she said, "and I didn't know much about computers. I saw the new blood and thought it was time to be updated."

And that is exactly what the sisters plan to do. They are working on making the store virtual, which would let them sell some products online and showcase their in-store merchandise that can't be sold over the Internet.

"We do have some restrictions," said Stein. "We can't sell Vera Bradley online."

Emmott said Johnson had some words of advice for the sisters as well as some tips to help them succeed in furthering the business.

"Her three things of advice were get a computer system to track inventory, grow corporate gifts, which we already started to do, and bring in some new lines," she said.

Johnson also stressed the importance of being female business owners, something Stein said she and her sister learned in high school at the Academy of Girls in Albany.

"She stressed female leadership," Stein said of Johnson. "She said we're setting the tone that there can be a female business."

Even before the paperwork was signed and the Emmott and Stein were named owners, they were in the store watching how Johnson handled her transactions, worked in the backroom and viewed how she made her orders.

"She put a lot into it," said Stein.

The sisters plan to bring in gilded glasses and crane cards and said if there is product that they don't have that customers want, they have several vendors that they work with from whom they can order it.

Johnson what she wants most from the sisters is for them to keep the Mom and Pop personality of the store, which she said is what made the store successful in the first place.

"There's no reason why they shouldn't do well," she said. "I wish them all the luck in the world.""

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