Business & Finance

Focus on Millburn Business: Dressed by Lori

Lori Csik, Owner of Dressed by Lori Credits: Cathy Schleicher Harvey

MILLBURN, NJ - Dressed By Lori, the fashion boutique located at 304 Millburn Avenue, will be celebrating its third anniversary on Thursday, Sept. 17.

Shop owner Lori Csik will throw an anniversary party featuring a handbag raffle by Dressed By Lori, a book signing by style guru George Brescia, wine tasting by Melovino, food by Slenderella, event management and florals by Matthew David Celebrations, introduction of couture designer Guillermo, and presentation of “The Other Black Dress." In honor of the anniversary, shop neighbors Cash in Your Closet, Gambert Custom Shirts, Oksenhorn Jewelers, and Plume Studio will remain open for the evening event.

Ms. Csik realized when she was in high school that she would one day own a fashion store. She went on to study marketing and merchandizing and, at 55-years-old, she opened Dressed By Lori, her long-dreamed of shop. Fortuitously the prior owner of the space on Millburn Avenue, Jia Boutique, was preparing to relocate when Ms. Csik was searching for a location.

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Ms. Csik describes her clothing as being “all about the ‘day-to-play.’” Her working girl dresses start at $128 and event/cocktail dresses are priced at about $600. Her customers are “ageless,” from about 13 to their 70s. She carries sizes 0 to 12, but in recognition that the average size of the American woman is size 12, she will begin carrying size 14s.

The shop is open Monday through Saturday. She employs two interns, a home-schooled high school student and a college student at Seton Hall, both of whom are interested in fashion and merchandizing. She also employs store manager, Jen Zullo. Ms. Csik hires by personality, rather than experience, because she learned through her work in human relations, that “personality can’t be taught.” She loves running the business and every year makes it better by introducing new designers. She focuses on American designers and those who manufacture in the United States. The designers carried by Dressed By Lori included Amy Matto, Shoshanna, Nanette Lepore, Yoana Baraschi, Mara Hoffman, Karina, and Byron Lars.

During the year, Dressed By Lori participates in several events, both commercial and philanthropic. It hosts “Style and Focus,” an event, which for $299, a woman is provided with professional photography and hair, make-up, and clothes styling and design. In November, the shop participates in Dress for Success with a cocktail party.

In September, Dressed By Lori will introduce couture designer Guillermo who will bring couture to the shop with one-of-a-kind dresses that are “drop dead.” Mr. Guillermo has a presence in his showroom in Manhattan and Dressed By Lori will be his New Jersey presence. Guillermo will meet clients by appointment at the shop.

At the anniversary party on September 17, Dressed by Lori will unveil “The Other Black Dress,” a simple but both elegant and casual dress that can be worn during the day instead of the usual yoga uniform seen on women around town.

Every season, Ms. Csik researches new designers and attends trade shows to find emerging designers. Her cliental is mostly local, and is built by referral and by satisfied, repeat customers. Dressed By Lori carries artisanal jewelry, many made by manager Zullo. These are unique items not carried in department stores.

Ms. Csik loves the emotional side of dressing - the connection between self esteem and style. She appreciates the transition she sees in a woman who comes in saying “I can’t wear that” to seeing herself transformed by the dress. A good seamstress is a woman’s best friend; little alterations are needed by everyone. Dressed By Lori sends her shoppers across the street to long time seamstress Zenona’s and Son’s Altering and Tailor Shop.

Dressed by Lori Three-Year Anniversary, September 17, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at 304 Millburn Avenue

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