Longtime Portland-based clothing retailer will soon have a new owner

Nomads, a Portland draper co-founded 18 years ago by owner Kelly Fernald, is changing hands.

The store, which sells sportswear and travel gear at 100 Commercial Street, will be owned and operated by Hannah Wolken from January 1, according to a press release on Thursday. Details of the handover were not disclosed.

No immediate changes are expected at the store. Fernald, who opened it in 2003 with business partner Todd Forsyth, said she plans to spend more time with her family, but will retain an advisory role at the company.

“It is no small feat to leave a company that I have devoted so much to for the past 18 years, but I cannot think of a better person to fill this role,” she said in the press release.

“Hannah and I have known each other for years, share a passion for the types of businesses our customers love, and know well the vital role that independent Portland businesses play in maintaining the character of our community. “

Wolken’s previous experience has been in business development and planning work for companies in Maine including WEX Inc., Unum Group, and IDEXX Laboratories. But she said her passion is entrepreneurship and supporting the local business community. She is passionate about biking, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and traveler who has lived in Portland for 14 years.

“It’s a longtime dream for me to own my own business, and one that allows me to share my love of the outdoors and travel with clients every day seems like the perfect fit,” Wolken said. “Kelly has done a fantastic job building not only a business but also a community, and it’s an honor to be able to continue that way. “


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Anne G. Cash