Shortly after relocating with her husband, and two young children, to Naples, FL, Linda Kilo gave birth to the idea of Lu Lu Belle in July, 2006. Linda wanted to channel her creativity. She wanted to apply her talents acquired from the merchandising and management of art galleries, to bring to life a unique and fun children’s boutique. Linda wanted to create a special and memorable shopping experience for both the children and their parents. Linda’s inspiration came from boutique shopping for her own kids but never found any boutique that had a large selection. Most were limited in brands and variety of choices. The goal was for children who shopped at Lu Lu Belle to be stimulated to select clothes to express and set themselves apart from the numerous national chains of retail clothing stores found in malls and strip centers, while providing an atmosphere and environment for the parents which resulted in an enjoyable shopping experience.
Lu Lu Belle of Naples has generated a strong following of devoted customers from Southwest and Southeast Florida, tourists from the mid-west and Northeast. Local customers travel over 100 miles to seek a destination which provides a different shopping experience as well as a special and unique clothing selection. “Grandparents who live in Naples, would purchase gifts for their grandchildren”, said Kilo, “and when the grandkids come to visit, they tell their grandparents the first place they want to visit is Lu Lu Belle.” The encouragement of the customers has helped to fuel the expansion of Lu Lu Belle to other locations. Lu Lu Belle of Ladue, Missouri and Lu Lu Belle in Green Hills area of Nashville Tennesse and now and Lu Lu Belle of Closter, now located at 10 Broad Street in Norwood, NJ 07648.
The Closter connection comes from a 30 -year friendship of Nanette Plescia and Linda Kilo. Nanette is originally from the Northeast/Northern Valley area. Nanette and her sister-in-law Laura Ciccarelli Plescia are the owners for the Closter now Norwood Location. Nanette has over 40 nieces and nephews with whom she had purchased numerous outfits from Lu Lu Belle of Naples over the past 10 years. “Every time I would give an outfit to one of my nieces and nephews”, said Plescia, people would ask where do you find such special clothing?”