Lily, the bustling shoe and accessory boutique located on Sound Beach Avenue is one of those places that has a special feel from the moment you walk through the door.
This showroom-like shop, located in the picturesque hamlet of Old Greenwich, a place that the New York Times described in its Sunday Real Estate section as a ‘front porch kind of place,’ is welcoming, intriguing and chock full of character as it features a fantastic selection of cool merchandise showcased in a warm and inviting living room-like space.
According to Audrey Aguilar, the proprietor and owner of Lily, it’s all about building good, solid relationships with those individuals who come in and visit her shop and while at the same time, providing them with an exceptional selection of fashion merchandise in a comfortable setting.
“The best part of our business is the people we have met. We are blessed with the nicest customers,” said Aguilar, who named the store after her daughter, Lily. “It’s fun to help them find shoes and boots that will suit their needs and complete their outfits. But usually, the shoes are only part of the interaction. Sometimes, a day at the store can feel like a really fun party. We laugh a lot!”
On any given day, a steady stream of customers can be seen frequenting Aguilar’s store, chatting, checking out and purchasing a host of neat items from the gorgeous selection of different shoes and boots, including designs by such iconic designers as Sam Edelman and others, as well as accessories.
“We will often wind up having conversations about our children, travel, politics, you name it,” said Aguilar. “The women in the area are all really intelligent and accomplished. We are always amazed by what they are up to.”
Aguilar is quite amazing herself.
Aguilar, who has been an Old Greenwich resident for more than 16 years, had worked in finance and consulting and lived in London for many years before settling with her family here in town.
In hopes of becoming more integrated with the community, Aguilar decided to open up Lily several years ago, a unique boutique of interesting and terrific shoes and accessories that are fashionable, practical and reasonably priced.
“When I opened the store, I was at an inflection point in my life. One child had gone to college and the other was very independent. I knew I wanted to run my own business and based on my (extensive) shopping experience, the area lacked a store selling high-quality, reasonably priced stylish shoes and accessories,” said Aguilar. “So, with the support of my family, I decided to go for it.”
Aguilar certainly seems to have hit a bulls eye with her venture, as Lily has come to be known as one of the most popular go-to retail hotspots for many Greenwich residents as well as for scores of individuals from all around the Fairfield and Westchester County areas since it first opened a few years ago.
With its diverse and ever-growing clientele of customers who range in all different ages and backgrounds, Aguilar said the one thing they all have in common is an interest in fashion, which is “current but not too trendy.”
No doubt, this is has been much of the reason for Lily’s resounding success.
“We are always focused on refining our selection to meet the needs and tastes of our customers,” said Aguilar, who is known for her eye. “Nobody wants to look like they are wearing a costume, but everyone wants to look stylish. And everyone loves comfortable shoes.”
Meanwhile, as Aguilar has been experiencing some serious momentum on the business front here in the area, she has also been building strong bonds with many of her retail colleagues in and around Old Greenwich.
“The retailers in Old Greenwich are the best. The shops are almost all sole proprietorships and the owners [are] all live locally. They are all so friendly and we all support each other,” said Auguilar. “It’s been so wonderful joining this group. I love coming to work and seeing everyone. It’s really like a family.”
Without a doubt, Old Greenwich has played a paramount role in both inspiring and providing a strong foundation for Aguilar in her journey toward becoming a successful retail business owner.
At the same time, she has also emerged as an integral force in its own very structure.
“Old Greenwich has always been ‘our [family’s] village.’ We patronize the local businesses, almost daily, whether it’s the Upper Crust Bagel Shop, Fred, the dry cleaner or the grocery store,” said Aguilar. “Over the years, we have watched the village change and grow into a lovely shopping and dining destination. I knew I wanted to be part of that community.”
One could most certainly agree that Aguilar has indeed accomplished her mission.
So, in regard to the future, what does Aguilar have in mind?
“For the future, I sometimes think about opening up other locations, but for now, I hope we can continue to offer our clients individualized attention and excellent client service in a fun, comfortable environment,” said Aguilar. “We all know the internet is out there, waiting to make shopping easier. But nothing beats a shopping experience that leaves you feeling like you’ve bought the perfect thing and had a great time doing it.”
Well said, indeed.
LILY OF OLD GREENWICH
250 Sound Beach Avenue
Old Greenwich, CT 06870