On Sound Beach Avenue in Old Greenwich — where the tony meets the laidback — there are any number of enticing shops, from the blue-and-white elegance of Housewarmings to the eye-catching gifts of adjacent Back 40 Mercantile, from the delightful colors and patterns of The Village Ewe needlepoint to the scrumptious cinnamon twists and other creations at Sweet Pea’s Baking Co.
But if you’re in need of footwear, then you must head to Lily, where shoes and accessories rule.
The store, celebrating its first anniversary this month, takes its name from the owner’s 12-year-old daughter.
“The first time she saw the sign, she was like, ‘Oh,’” says owner Audrey Aguilar. “But she loved it, and it’s a good learning experience for her, to see women working.”
The store takes its sensibility, however, from Lily’s mother, a friendly, down-to-earth woman who’s interested in finding the right fit for each customer at the right price.
In search of a pair of walking shoes, we seek to cram our Fred Flintstone tootsies into any number of inappropriate styles, like Cinderella’s stepsisters longing for the glass slipper to fit. Aguilar gently, patiently steers us to a pair of white and taupe espadrille sandals by Charleston Shoe Co. that offer comfort, support and a sleek look. Done. Happy.
“I felt there was a need for it in town,” Aguilar says. “There’s a lot of great shopping but a lot of what I offer was not represented. These are stylish, practical, fun shoes for women who don’t necessarily want to spend $1,000, but want something of good quality.”
That quality comes in unusual brands and styles, like Bettye Muller espadrilles, Paul Mayer quilted, spectator ballet flats, “super popular” Superga floral sneakers and, a pièce de resistance, a cross between a suede bootie and a peep-toe pump by Dee Keller in seafoam. (Booties will continue to be a hot trend this fall, Aguilar says, along with over-the-knee boots and velvet.)
Along with footwear from England, Spain and Italy, the 850-square-foot store carries reading glasses and perfume (the lightly luscious Parfums de la Bastide) from France, as well as scarves and purses.
“I like all women’s fashion, and I worked in retail in high school and college,” says Aguilar, who grew up in Rumson, N.J.
With her children growing — son Fred is in college — Aguilar “realized I always liked working.”
While she has done different things, her dream was to own a shop in a charming village.
Now that that professional dream has been accomplished, there is still the continuing one — to make sure that the shoe fits and you wear it.
“We want you to feel good about it.”
For more, visit lilyoldgreenwich.com.