MILLBURN, NJ - At a young age Lori Csik fell in love with fashion and envisioned owning a store one day. In September, her dream came to fruition when she opened Dressed by Lori on Millburn Avenue in Millburn.
As a child, she used to pick out her clothes each day and she said people always complimented her on what she was wearing. She went to school for marketing and merchandising and then ran the cosmetics department at Macys in Menlo Park Mall, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
She also worked for a French cosmetic company where she traveled a lot. That stopped when she started a family. After having three children, she worked in human resources for 11 years, which allowed her to see her kids often. But, she still had the desire to open her own store, she said.
“It was always a dream,” she said.
Csik was also employed by several retailers including Ann Taylor and Anthropology which helped give her confidence to run a business. As her kids moved out of the house, she realized it was now or never.
She began purchasing dresses at buying shows, but she wanted to differentiate herself from other clothing stores for women, she said.
“My goal was always to have American made goods,” Csik said.
After speaking to former colleagues and friends for advice, she said she was ready to begin this new venture in life. However, things didn’t get started in the right direction, because finding a location took much longer than expected, Csik said.
One day she had the urge to drive into downtown Millburn, and she parked, walked down a block and all of a sudden she saw a sign for lease.
“It was just everything fell into place,” she said. “I fell in love with the design of the store when I first walked in.”
It was a little dark, so she did some remodeling and now it is warm and inviting. Prior to opening, Csik said she was overwhelmed with excitement and anxiety, but now she is glad she started her own business.
Dressed by Lori carries four brands; Shoshanna, Amy Matto, Francis, Karina and they are getting a fifth one Leonia in the spring. None of these products can be found in a mall in New Jersey.
“They appealed to me and they really fit a different body type,” she said.
So far, business has been good, but crunching the numbers and doing the books is a challenge, Csik said. She said it has lived up to her expectations and she really enjoys assisting customers with finding the right dress.
“It’s a place where I just want women to feel good when they come in,” Csik said.