November 17, 2011 at 7:03 AM
MILLBURN, NJ – Gina Colabelli, and her sister Roxanne, are familiar faces around Downtown Millburn.
The sister team owns and operates the Red Carpet Boutique, a fashion forward, all occasion dress, accessories, and jewelry store, located in the center of Millburn’s downtown.
Gina Colabelli will be stepping up her involvement in the development of the area’s commercial core even further, as 2012 President of Downtown Millburn.
Downtown Millburn is the non-profit arm of the township, formed in 1992 as a Special Improvement District by Millburn’s Township Committee, with a goal to enhance the township’s active downtown.
The Colabelli sisters have already been ardently involved in helping to boost the downtown since their store opened almost six years ago at 359 Millburn Avenue.
In the late spring of 2012, the store will relocate to 344 Millburn Avenue (the former site of Pierre Deux), an anchor spot at the corner of Millburn Avenue and Main Street.
“I am very excited about the move, and can’t wait to get into our new space,” Colabelli said. “We are increasing our lines, including more sizes, and bridal, mother-of-the bride, and bridesmaid dresses to showcase. We are looking to expand much more in the way of what we have to offer. We really need the space for our large clientele to showcase all of our styles, and, to make it a one-stop-shop.”
Colabelli has served as Downtown Millburn’s Secretary on their Board of Directors for the past year, and pitches in to help wherever she can.
“I roll up my sleeves, and go, I’m very hands-on,” she said.
The sisters grew up in West Orange, yet spent a lot of time in Downtown Millburn.
“It [Millburn] has a very nice downtown,” Colabelli said. “We’re very happy to have a store here.”
Colabelli studied International Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and has worked in advertising, and at Chase in the banking and mortgage industry.
Until last year, she juggled her job at Chase while running the Red Carpet Boutique (sister Roxanne is a fashion designer, and can create custom made dresses and gowns for clients).
With her multi-faceted business background, Colabelli said she understands the importance of merchants networking and helping one another.
“I am a team player, I can share my experiences with other businesses, and we can grow together,” she said.
Colabelli said in her term she hopes to develop more unity, camaraderie, and, networking among the merchants.
“It’s really about networking ourselves, through social networking, and word of mouth,” Colabelli added.
Colabelli feels comfortable providing clients with referrals to other stores within Downtown Millburn, such as if they are seeking a men’s clothing store, or photographer, and, in turn, encourages other merchants to do the same.
Also joining Downtown Millburn is new Executive Director, Lisa Hackett. Hackett, who started with the group on October 3, has worked previously as a Media and Entertainment Executive for NBC and MTV.
“I am thrilled to be the new Executive Director for Downtown Millburn,” she said.
Hackett and her family have lived in Millburn-Short Hills since 1998.
“I’ve patronized the restaurants, shops, and salons in Millburn-Short Hills for over a decade, so, to be now in a role where I can truly aid our downtown excites me,” Hackett remarked.
“I am confident that Gina will bring positive creative energy to Downtown Millburn. She excels at rallying people around ideas,” Hackett said of Colabelli. “Gina has a dynamic personality, she’s smart, she’s engaging, she’s very thoughtful, and she’s next to impossible to say no to.”
Hackett also spoke highly of outgoing President John Buchholz, a founding member of Downtown Millburn.
“John Buchholz has been an incredibly committed president. He has been very ‘hands on’ in resolving issues for all of our businesses. He is extremely knowledgeable and a natural problem solver.”
Two highlights within Buchholz’s presidency included the rebuilding of the bridge on Millburn Avenue, and the launch of the “Riverwalk” project.
Buchholz plans to remain as a member of the Board of Directors.
“We can move forward into a new year with Lisa and Gina, and their wonderful marketing backgrounds, and with Helen Kyle, Assistant Director of Downtown Millburn,” Buchholz said. “They are a tremendous trio.”
The group has plans for new upcoming events, and Downtown Millburn hosted the township’s first Girls Night Out on October 13.
The next event on Downtown Millburn’s calendar is the Snowflake Parade on Dec. 4.
“We would like Downtown Millburn to become a destination, where people can shop, dine, and enjoy themselves,” Colabelli said.
To keep up with all the happenings in Downtown Millburn, click here for the “Events in Downtown Millburn” Facebook page.
Click here to access Red Carpet Boutique’s Facebook page.