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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

O Lulla Helps New Parents Feather Their Baby’s Nest

O Lulla Helps New Parents Feather Their Baby’s Nest:
Southport baby store offers nursery design, furniture, gifts and accessories
By Mike Lauterborn
(Posted to 7/20)
© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Southport, CT – Tucked into an unlikely old industrial factory space at the outskirts of Southport Village is a delightful little shop where quirky birds, cottony sheep and puffy clouds all call home.

O Lulla, at 354 Pequot Avenue, is a purveyor of furniture, gifts and accessories for babies and toddlers, and also offers nursery and toddler bedroom design guidance and implementation.

The happy little spot, with its soft pastels and fluffy blankets contrasting, yet somehow complementing, original plank floors, brick and exposed ductwork, is the offspring of Naz Kocturk, the petite, raven-haired, Turkish-born owner.

Launched in Sept. 2010, the store has enjoyed a following of soon-to-be moms, gift givers to new parents and baby shower shoppers. It has also been a godsend for parents expecting their first child, who are overwhelmed by impending responsibilities and require the help of a professional to design an ideal nursery space for their new arrivals.

The store was not a first venture in this area for Kocturk. Nearly two decades ago, in Istanbul, she operated a similar store she dubbed Renkarda, which combined the names of her two children, Renk and Arda, now 18 and 16 respectively.

In 1996, because of her then-husband’s work in foreign trade, Kocturk moved to the U.S., to Wilton. Wishing to stick with her area of business interest, she opened another baby store called Crib & Cradle, in Westport. That closed in 2001 and she busied herself with caring for her children. Unfortunately, her marriage also came to an end and soon she was a single parent seeking another foray into the baby business sector.

In the summer of 2010, she heard about her current space, which had been the shipping department of the Jelliff Corporation, a wire and mesh manufacturer. She signed a rental agreement with Jelliff and, after renovations to soften the retail environment, soon opened up. The shop incorporates a working Fairbanks scale, a holdover from the factory, around which baby blankets, quilts and a figurine called Lulla are arranged.

The shop name was actually derived from a lullaby and “really felt like a baby friendly brand name,” said Kocturk.

While the store is well-trafficked, an important offshoot is the nursery interior design consulting. “We’ll help with the floor plan, furniture choices and arrangement, decorative accents and lighting,” said Kocturk. “We begin by going to the expectant parents’ home, seeing their style and measuring. Then I give them homework – to look through magazines and pull out room accents that they like. Taking that as a starting point, we provide all the things they need.”

O Lulla also offers baby registry and can reserve for a shower occasion products at O Lulla as well as from associated suppliers.

Kocturk believes she’s a good resource for new parents. “I save them a lot of time, money and effort through my experience and connections,” she said.

O Lulla is at 354 Pequot Avenue, Southport. For further information, email or call 203-292-8880.

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