Frock & Frill might have opened their doors for business three weeks ago, but they didn’t really have an “official opening” with a bang—until now. Owners Lauren Robak and Melissa Thompson are officially commemorating their new fashion-forward clothing store for women and kids by being generous to Wilton, right from the start.
“We want to make sure we’re giving back to the community as much as we can. It makes sense. We’re a part of Wilton so we want to help the town as much as we can,” Robak said.
For their first benefit effort, they’re hosting a shopping event, both to mark their official opening and to support Wilton Youth Football and Cheerleading. For two days, Thursday, Oct. 10 and Friday, Oct. 11, all items in the store will be 10 percent off, and 10 percent will be donated toward the fall sports program. Shoppers will also get custom Frock & Frill cookies from the Painted Cookie with every purchase.
For Robak, who previously owned Une Minette, and Thompson, who was one of the owners of krik-it, their new store is a happy combination that they feel is different from their last ventures as well as from other options in town.
“It’s a totally different vibe,” Robak said, starting with how they picked the store’s name. “We wanted a fresh start and to be something new. I went to school for fashion design so we were running through names of clothing, and one of us said ‘frock’ and it just came from there.”
With a bit of a contemporary, youthful edge, the name helps set them apart as the alternative to preppy dressing, as well as captures the nature of the friendship between the store’s own partner owners.
“We’re ‘Frick & Frack,” Robak laughed. “I met Melissa when I moved home from the city years ago. I’ve been working in Fairfield County retail since I was 15 years old, I worked at the original Totally Kool in Westport—I have customers now with girls in high school, and I used to sell them clothes when they were in high school! Melissa used to work at Lollipop Guild and Winged Monkey. She was my bridesmaid.” Between the two, they bring 30 years of fashion experience to the store.
“We’re really trying to focus on clothing that is wearable, fashion forward. It’s wearable, it’s not ridiculously expensive. It’s age-appropriate, I want you in a great pair of jeans without looking too old or too young. I want you to find a good balance in your wardrobe, and look in your closet to find that great shirt that you know every time you wear it you get compliments,” Robak said, explaining her philosophy.
They’re also finding success with home gifts and accessories, including candles and soaps. “We’ll have great hostess gifts too,” Robak said.
Owning a business in Wilton can be difficult—in general rents are high, zoning restrictions on signage and lighting can sometimes make it hard for stores to brand themselves, and there’s no main ‘downtown’ area to attract people from outside of Wilton—and Robak acknowledged that moving to a storefront directly on Rt. 7 is a benefit she and Thompson are happy about.
“There is definitely something to be said about that. We have more visibility. We’re getting people who drive by and notice the sign, and the next time they drive by, they pull in. It’s definitely a difference. We’re seeing people from other towns. And the spa next door, A Nu You, has been sending people over, it’s so sweet. And workers from the office complexes around, they come to Naked Greens for lunch and say, ‘Oh, what’s this?’ when they see us.”
The women admit the relationships between local Wilton businesses are vital to success, citing the Painted Cookie treats for their shopping event and the recommendations from their new neighbor next door. They’re also excited about their other neighboring businesses, with Naked Greens, Reiki Sushi, and Rose Nails on one side, and A Nu You on the other. “You can really come in here and have a ladies’ day or lunch, and just walk from one spot to another.”
In addition to clothes for women, the store carries cute, fun clothing for tweens (size 7-16) and will soon expand into juniors, a market that targets ages 10-18 with fashionable, lower-priced clothing. “I want those girls to find things that they want to buy and that their parents want them to buy too. A lot of the other stuff out there for them is trashy, with the hemlines up to here and the cut-outs. It’s a tough market, and a lot of parents come to us saying, ‘I don’t know what to dress my children in and I don’t want to spend a lot of money.’ I want to find fun things for that age group to wear.”
In fact, Robak hopes the store will become a destination for moms and daughters to shop at the same time, just in different rooms of the store. “It’s a bonding experience, with something that’s appropriate for each one.”
Frock & Frill is located at 237 Danbury Rd., in Wilton, next to Naked Greens.