RIDGEFIELD — When Brenda Bennett was 4 decades previous, she uncovered how to sew on her grandfather’s stitching machine. 

“My grandfather (Sol Metres) experienced a manufacturing unit in Brooklyn, N.Y., termed Winner, and we would go down to his basement, wherever he experienced this massive, aged industrial machine.

“He taught me how to sew, and I cherished it,” claimed Bennett, who grew up in New Jersey, now life in Westport and remains  passionate about stitching and clothing.

With her company lover and spouse, Mike Bennett, she has just opened a next site of Chou Chou — a women’s clothing boutique  — at 16 Bailey Ave. in Ridgefield. 

The new retailer is in the site previously occupied by The Ridgefield Push. 

Pronounced “shoe shoe,” which is French for “my very little cabbage,” Chou Chou is a phrase of endearment, Bennett explained.

They have been hunting for a retailer locale in Ridgefield for over a calendar year, she mentioned. 

“We felt that the kind of goods that we get the job done with, our manufacturers, were not represented in the town of Ridgefield,” Bennett claimed. “And we saw that there was a huge possibility.”

The other location of Chou Chou, on Royawton Avenue in Norwalk, will stay open. That retail store was at first positioned in Westport. The Bennetts purchased Chou Chou from its prior house owners in 2021.

Outfits models both of those stores offer incorporate Bell by Alicia Bell, Cinq à Sept, Brochu Walker, Bella Dahl and Cara Cara. In addition to apparel, they have extras, scarves, jewellery, handbags, moisturizing lotions and fragrances.

‘Passionate about selling’

Both of those Bennetts have experienced extensive professions in massive shop retail. 

“I was normally passionate about promoting,” she stated.

Bennett attended the business program at  State College of New York at Oneonta and attained a bachelor’s in style getting and merchandising. In her senior yr as a viewing student, she attended the Fashion Institute of Know-how in Manhattan, exactly where she afterwards taught. 

Brenda Bennett worked at Lord & Taylor as a menswear consumer and shoe buyer, whilst Mike Bennett worked at Macy’s and then at Brooks Brothers, beginning as a consumer and doing work up to be a general merchandise supervisor.  

Chou Chou sells attire for all occasions — “everything from heading to the supermarket… to attire for work — whether or not you work in suburban Fairfield County or New York Metropolis, and we also have a few bash attire,” Brenda Bennett reported. 

Her most loved portion of the career is performing with every shopper to come across the right outfit, Bennett reported. 

When consumers occur into the keep, as an alternative of inquiring if they want help, Bennett asks certain issues to assist them uncover the specific variety of item they are hunting for.

“If they say a marriage ceremony, I inquire, ‘where is the wedding?’ And, ‘is it inside of or is it outdoors?’ If it’s a graduation, I question wherever it is,” she explained.

“I consider to come across out some fundamental specifics so that I can really make meaningful suggestions that make it an easy pleased purchasing practical experience,” Bennett explained.

When staffing Chou Chou, she mentioned she helps make it a practice to seek the services of substantial college pupils.

“I actually try to require these young girls in the small business,” Bennett claimed. “They increase so a lot to the keep, and they can seriously promote and they can hear and they give me terrific responses,” Bennett mentioned. 

“They insert a youthful viewpoint. They know what they like and commonly these youthful women are fashionistas. They appreciate style,” she reported.