Last Tuesday, Nov. 21, Wilton celebrated a ribbon cutting at the opening of a new business, the office of State Farm Insurance Agent Karen C. O’Brien. A resident of Wilton since 2003, Karen and her husband, Jim O’Brien, moved here from the Silvermine area of Norwalk and have been in Fairfield County for 30 years. Their daughters, Kristine and Caroline, graduated from Wilton High School.

Insurance is somewhat of a new direction for O’Brien, who previously had a long career in the fashion industry, working in marketing, merchandising and store design for Federated Department Stores and Carolee, a Brooks Brothers company. She says the change in careers was motivated by a desire to work with and help people in some capacity.

“While exploring opportunities in the non-profit world, I was recruited by State Farm. What the recruiter did not know is we have six family members that have built successful careers with State Farm. I already knew they are the best in the industry,” she says.

We asked O’Brien what she thought would distinguishes her from other people in her new line of work. Her answer:  compassion and commitment.

“As a 40 year business professional, I’m someone customers can trust to answer their insurance questions accurately and on a timely basis. My team and I will listen, ask questions and suggest coverage based on need. We will provide remarkable service and know that on their worst day, we will be at our best for them,” O’Brien adds.

Last week’s ribbon cutting was hosted by the Wilton Chamber of Commerce, and O’Brien’s offices at 35 Danbury Rd. were filled with well wishers, including Wilton’s state legislators, Rep. Gail Lavielle and Sen. Toni Boucher. It also reflected a good deal of support from O’Brien’s fellow small business owners.

“I love the willingness to support each other and come together to drive new business through synergistic partnerships,” O’Brien says. “Everyone that attended the ribbon cutting enjoyed healthy food from The Well, owned by Kathy Helms, relaxing chair massages provided by Tulip Salon and yummy, hand-dipped chocolate covered “State Farm” Oreos from Susan Schmitt at The Painted Cookie.”

That kind of mutual small business support is something O’Brien says is important for fellow business owners and residents alike. And while she says it’s impossible to pick just one favorite Wilton business that she’d recommend, she says she does love Wilton Hardware and Local Soul. Her advice to another new business owner would be “…to join our Chamber of Commerce. Get involved, get to know the other small business owners and see where your business and theirs can come together to provide a service or solution to our wonderful Wilton community.”

O’Brien’s State Farm Insurance office is located at 35 Danbury Rd., 203.762.6660.

Pictured above (L-R):  CT State Rep. Gail Lavielle, State Farm agent Karen O’Brien, State Senator Toni Boucher,
State Farm sales leader Matt LeBreque and State Farm vice president Matthew Hodson