My does time fly! This month we are celebrating our 40th year in business! We are gearing up for an Anniversary Bash to celebrate years of success, our dedicated and hard working staff, and faithful customers, many of whom have become good friends! Our Owner, Erica Jensen, along with some of her staff have put together what is to be, a very, very special evening. Of course, each of us will be wearing one of our favorite dresses/outfits from the store that evening! It took a bit of time for all of us to decide on what to wear, but after trying on lots of beautiful evening wear , we finally made our choices!
From Left on ERICA: Tiffany off Shoulder Burnout Poncho Top $175 (BUY HERE), paired with a Joseph Ribkoff Straight Black Skirt $110 (BUY HERE). SUZANNE: Laundry Ruffle Open Shoulder Dress $255 (BUY HERE), CORRIE: Jasmine Cold Shoulder Top $130 (BUY HERE), paired with Jersey Palazzo Pant $98 (BUY HERE), THERESA: Joseph Ribkoff High Jeweled Neck Black Cocktail Dress $ 305 (BUY HERE). REMEMBER: ALWAYS FREE SHIPPING!
THE HELEN AINSON STORY
Helen Ainson was actually started by Erica’s mother in 1948 with a store in New York City, so Erica grew up surrounded by the world of fashion. She watched her mother dress everyone from New York socialites, excited Mother of the Brides and Grooms, to everyone in between. Seeing the gorgeous evening gowns, cocktail dresses, evening separates, and sparkly accessories arrive at the store and then be styled out on the sales floor, solidified what Erica would choose as a career.
After college Erica knew she wanted to open a store in Darien, so in October of 1977, Erica opened her doors! She dresses women for all kinds of formal events, such as the Oscars, Foreign Affair Dinners, and even for events at the White House! She and her staff work daily with Mother of the Brides, Mother of the Grooms, and women who were looking to look fabulous for other events. Gradually, Erica added sportswear to the store, with fabulous names like Joseph Ribkoff, Alberto Makali, Elliot Lauren, and more! Erica and her staff realized over time that they really needed to become a one stop shopping destination, especially for customers coming in for evening gowns and cocktail dresses, so in 2007, they added lingerie, body shapers, and dress shoes. She also added handmade jewelry by local designers and handmade, one-of-a-kind, Lauren Hampton Belts that are exclusive to her store.
Erica has not only run a successful business for 40 years, but has also taken time to always give back to the community. She was a volunteer for the Darien Chamber of Commerce for many years, and has raised money to benefit organizations in town, such as The Darien Arts Center, The Community Fund, and Person-to-Person. Outside of giving back to the community, she has organized fundraisers for The Smilow Breast Care Center at Norwalk Hospital, Smile Train (a wonderful organization that gives children with Cleft Palate a new smile), Erica finds giving back a joy, especially to children. Her Annual Toys For Tots Fashion Show is now in it’s 3rd year! Every December she hosts a catered Fashion Show which brings in a huge amount of new, unwrapped toys to benefit underprivileged children at Christmas time.
Erica and her staff love what they do and it shows in how they care for, and treat each and every customer that walks through the door each day. Whether they are simply helping find the perfect date night outfit, the best fitting bra or undergarments, or the gown of a lifetime, each customer is made to feel special and important. The compliment she and her Fashion Consultants love most is that customer’s feel shopping at Helen Ainson is a very unique experience. Customer’s love the low pressure environment and the knowledgeable, and professional staff who are always happy to help! What Erica and her “girls” love is when their customer’s leave with a smile, and then return again, greeting them with a warm smile like an old friend!
A PERSONAL NOTE FROM ERICA:
“Thank you to all my customers, whom over the years have not only helped make my store a success, but whom have also become dear friends. There is nothing that makes me happier in my business than finding “the” dress or gown and seeing a customer’s face light up with joy!” Cheers! xoxo Erica