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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.

Woodbridge Author’s Book Helps Smooth Divorce Transition

Woodbridge Author’s Book Helps 
Smooth Divorce Transition:
Laura Campbell’s “The Ultimate Divorce Organizer” debuts Aug. 2011
By Mike Lauterborn
(posted to 7/20)
© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Woodbridge, CT – Divorce is a disruptive, often painful process involving huge life decisions, multiple legal transactions and emotional upheaval. While many professionals are there to speak to specific issues, there is little support offered with regard to organizing the many facets of the transition.

Helping bridge the gap between the legal aspects and the emotional journey involved in divorce is a new book titled “The Ultimate Divorce Organizer”, penned by first-time author and Woodbridge resident Laura Campbell. A divorcee herself and founder of a related website, Campbell’s aim was to provide comprehensive resources, primarily to women going through much of what she had experienced – from contemplation of divorce up through moving forwards afterwards.

Campbell, 44, whose marriage ended in 2004 after 12 years, said, “At the time I was going through my own divorce, I found that there was a lack of resources that I needed. There were therapists, lawyers, CPAs and what not but not someone to support me in moving forward – emotionally, financially, socially, professionally – all the things to help me determine next steps.”

Campbell said the experience was traumatic. “The divorce was far bigger than just the end of my marriage,” she said. “It affected every area of my life. Every aspect of my world changed. The transition was the beginning of my journey and personal development and education about me. I began to reconnect with who I was, educate myself on what it would mean to live the life I really wanted. ‘Where divorce ends, your destiny begins,’ is my motto.”

The author added, “You really redefine all of the roles you play in life – parent, daughter, partner, professional, independent person, friend.”

In particular, Campbell wanted to connect to women sharing her same experience, so, in 2005, she formed a business called D Spot. “It’s virtual and live event based and offers women private coaching around the transition of divorce, group coaching and retreats.

“I became credentialed as the type of professional that I would have sought out myself,” she said.

With regard to the book, Campbell said it happened very quickly. “It was born out of a lack of comprehensive resources in this category,” she said. “The content was compiled from my own experience. I’m blessed to be part of a community of experts. This offers a step-by-step guide to moving through the transition of divorce.”

The book has been on and pre-releasing for some time. It will fully release in August 2011.

“I wish I would have had this resource when I was going through my own divorce,” she said. “You’re making huge decisions at a point when you’re most vulnerable and not at your best.”

For more information, visit, which provides a link to purchase “The Ultimate Divorce Organizer”. Published by Peter Pauper Press, the 180-page book retails for $29.99. Lili Vasileff, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, contributed financial content to the guide.

Bellitto Gets GOP Nod for First Selectman

Bellitto Gets GOP Nod for First Selectman:
Unofficial poll results show board of finance vice chair tops
By Mike Lauterborn
(posted to 7/19)
© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Fairfield, CT – Unofficial results from today’s GOP Caucus are in, showing Robert Bellitto, Jr., Fairfield’s Board of Finance Vice Chairman, has captured the Republican nomination to run for First Selectman in the November elections.

Approximately ten percent of Fairfield’s registered Republican voters visited the polls Tuesday to choose nominees for the positions of First Selectman, Selectman, Town Clerk, Board of Finance, Board of Education, Board of Assessment Appeals and other key offices.

Overall, 937 Republicans voted. As of 10:45pm Monday evening, unofficial results for the First Selectman race, obtained from David Becker’s office, showed Bellitto with 493 votes, Becker (a Representative Town Meeting member) with 376 and 20-year veteran Fairfield firefighter Hugh Dolan with 68 votes.

Results had not yet been made available on the balance of town leadership positions in play.

Republicans Hold Caucus to Elect and Re-Elect Town Officials

Republicans Hold Caucus to Elect and Re-Elect Town Officials:
Polls open today 
from noon to 8 p.m.
By Mike Lauterborn
© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Fairfield, CT – The Republican Town Committee of Fairfield this morning encouraged voters to head to their local polling places for the purpose of cast their votes for a variety of town posts.

Positions include First Selectman, Selectman, Town Clerk, Board of Finance, Board of Education, Board of Assessment Appeals, Town Plan & Zoning Commission (2 and 4 year terms), Town Plan & Zoning Commission Alternate, Zoning Board of Appeals (2 and 4 year terms), Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate, Constables and Representative Town Meeting.

Polling places are as follows:

1:  Oldfield Senior Center, 100 Mona Terrace
2:  St. Pius X School, Brookside Drive
3:  Dwight School, Redding Road
4:  Osborn Hill School, Stillson Road
5:  McKinley School, Thompson Street
6:  Fairfield Warde High School, Melville Avenue
7:  North Stratfield School, Putting Green Road
8:  Holland Hill School, Meadowcroft Road
9:  Fairfield Ludlowe High School, Unquowa Road
10:  Sherman School, Fern Street
The polls will be opened at twelve o’clock noon (12:00 p.m.) and will remain open until eight o’clock in the evening (8:00 p.m.).

For more information, visit