“Mother of the bride” is one of the most challenging ready-to-wear categories. There are several obstacles that can keep the near-perfect in-stock dress from being the one. It can be the right bodice but the wrong neckline, the perfect silhouette but lacking a sleeve, a beautiful color but not in keeping with the bride’s theme. What’s an MOB to do?
A dapper Jack Mitchell crosses his legs and turns his bespectacled eyes towards a wall of framed family portraits and yellowed clippings in a back office at Richards on Greenwich Avenue. He and his brother, Bill – whom Jack calls “Mr. Westport” – serve as co-CEOs of the Mitchells Family of Stores, an enduring local retail business with more than $100 million in sales annually. The two men took over the family business from their parents, Ed and Norma Mitchell, who in 1958 opened Mitchells, a specialty retail shop, in a small space in Westport that was once a plumbing supply store.