After decades of providing personal shopping experiences in downtown Burlington, “Marilyn’s” is closing its doors.
The downtown Burlington boutique first moved to College Street from Shelburne in the late 1980’s.
Before that, Marilyn Gaul owned “The Rainbow Room” in Middlebury from 1978-1982.
Gaul’s mission all these years has been to empower women to see themselves how she sees them.
“A lot of what we do is prompt woman to try something that they would not have normally tried,” said Gaul. “Push them out of their comfort zone. They walk differently now, they see themselves differently. It gives them the courage and the confidence to keep branching out little by little.”
It comes from a place, she says, you can’t find at a chain store, with hand picked products, personal styling and what Marilyn calls “therapy” in the fitting room.
“They come out of the fitting room transformed,” said the stylish business owner.
“The sales people all know you and know your taste and can recommend things. It’s unique. So you’re not going to see yourself out on the street,” said Tracy Perrapato, who has been shopping at Marilyn’s for 9 years.
Marilyn says she has dressed people for the Daytime EMMY’s, Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies and even the White House.
“One of our customers won an award and had to go to the White House. We dressed her beautifully,” she said.
Now, it’s time for a new chapter.
“33 years. And I’m ready to make a change,” she said.
By early 2017, the store will be gone and Marilyn’s online business life will begin.
She’ll start by selling jewelry online. Her website is still under construction.
For Marilyn’s loyal customers, her impact on their self-confidence surpasses the clothing and jewelry.
“You’ve changed the way I think of myself. The way I dress,” a customer said to Marilyn.
“That’s the goal. That’s my life’s work,” she replied.
Marilyn intends to sell most of her store, even the fixtures, before the end of January.