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Pam Snell: There’s always a New Vibe at Boxwood Finch

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Creativity has been a part of Pam Snell’s life for as long as she can remember. As a child she was drawn to things art-related and that curiosity followed her into adulthood. Her unique eye for design and creativeness began to blossom even more in the early 1990s when, as a new homeowner and mom, she found herself experimenting with paints and textures on her walls while other DIY decorators were oohing and ahhing over wallpaper swatches.

Over time, the mother of two received more frequent requests to use her natural talents to create her transformational wall finishes and murals for others. Word of her knack for decorating and styling homes quickly spread and soon her first business, Finishes by Pamela, was born. As an accomplished faux painter for the last 25 years, this Lodi businesswoman is quick to admit that she is happiest when she has paint on her hands and the opportunity to be creative. Finishes by Pamela has earned a respected reputation for the creation of custom hand-painted finishes on furniture and cabinets in the Central Valley area and beyond.

A New Seed of an Idea
Happy and incredibly busy with her business, a second venture was never on Pam’s radar until she was asked by some close friends to help with the interior design and decorating of their virtually unfinished home in Bend, Oregon. It was an exciting opportunity for her to use her creative flair and natural eye for interior design with a clean slate of a home.

“I jumped at the chance to help add color, style, design and ambiance to this new home,” Pam confirmed. “I spent days combing through all of the wonderful shops and even the attics of a few friends in San Joaquin County in preparation for this new project. My husband, Sean, and I loaded the car with our treasures and hopped in for the long drive to Bend. To say our car was full was an understatement.”

Once in Oregon, Pam fully immersed herself in this new home renovation and design project, but she also took the time to discover some of the local flavor. One day while on a break she ventured into the downtown Bend shopping district and was mesmerized by all the darling shops, the fun vibe and the friendly merchants. “As we headed home, my creative juices were flowing,” she recalled. “I kept thinking that it would be so wonderful to create a business that reflected this same style, vibe and ambiance in Lodi. Our car was less full on the drive home, but my brain was full of ideas and possibilities!”

Pam’s seed of an idea for this new business concept continued to grow. Soon her vision included plans to incorporate her own painted furniture creations within the retail business along with vintage, industrial and home décor pieces that weren’t currently represented in Lodi. “My daughter, Amanda Denton, is a savvy businesswoman who also has a great style. I knew she could find unique jewelry, bags and personal items that we could sell. The ideas kept coming and I felt strongly that this new business concept was something that I needed to act on, so I did,” Pam added.

Meet Boxwood Finch
In August 2016, Pam opened the doors of her new business, Boxwood Finch, on West Lockeford Street. In alignment with her vision, Boxwood Finch is a truly unique lifestyle store that features custom hand-painted furniture, art, home goods, linens, baby gifts, jewelry, purses and more. Pam’s painting studio is also squeezed in the back room of the business, and she and Amanda pride themselves on having a constantly rotating mixture of exciting and chic merchandise and gifts for any occasion.

If the offerings inside this fun boutique don’t give shoppers something to chatter about, the business name will likely be a source for questions and speculation. “Everyone wants to know how I came up with the name Boxwood Finch,” Pam shared with a chuckle. “Well, anyone who knows me knows I love many things, including boxwood shrubs. Boxwoods are dense, evergreen shrubs often planted in elegant and formal landscapes. I’ve always loved their clean lines, square shape and stately appearance. Another thing I love is birds. One of my favorite things to do is go bird watching with my husband. I racked my brain on how to come up with a business name that reflected these two loves. We finally settled on Boxwood Finch because it had such a classic and hip feel.”

Always on the lookout for vintage treasures and interesting items, Pam and Amanda work to include and represent local artisans and businesses whenever possible. From fresh flowers to jewelry, vintage items to deliciously fragranced candles, Boxwood Finch has a look and feel that is unique in a multitude of ways. The shop also actively stocks popular items such as live lemon cypress plants, galvanized metal accent items and exclusive baby gifts.

“My vision for this business has always been to have it be a warm, friendly, cozy spot that people would like to hang out in. And we’ve achieved that,” Pam shared. “I haven’t been in retail since I was 18, so everything we do is an experiment. Anyone who knows me knows that I never stop moving and coming up with new ideas. I’m planning on adding a little coffee bar that will enhance the already cozy feel as well. Amanda and I joke that someday we will have other Boxwood Finch stores in other locations including a Boxwood Baby and Boxwood Boutique. Who knows where life will take us.”

When she’s not working, Pam strives for work-life balance by spending time with her grandkids, Charlotte and Will, or enjoying biking, traveling and birding with her husband of 32 years. As the owner of two full-time businesses, Pam knows firsthand that perseverance and hard work are essential in making a business successful.

“If I were to give advice to women in business, I’d say having imagination and the courage to follow your heart are most important,” she concluded. “If things are a struggle or you hit a roadblock, shift gears and keep going. I’m working on doing just that right now, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for me in this wonderful life that I have been blessed with.” ■