Marilyn Hellman, owner of Marilyn’s was nominated for Naples Illustrated’s 2015 “Leading Ladies”.
EXCERPT from the article on Naples Illustrated (online).

Briefly describe your background.

After college, I worked in my mother’s high-end used clothing business, where I learned from the best about quality, style and value.

For 27 years I worked at Xerox Corp. in sales, marketing, product to market and management. I moved 18 times, to New York, Chicago, and Connecticut to name a few places.

Then I worked with European Fashion, a store in Chicago, for 12 years, which started 12 years of buying trips to Europe. I remember my first buying trip in 1998. I felt like I had been starving to death when I saw the fashion.

Now, owning my store, Marilyn’s Distinctive European Fashion, on Fifth Avenue South is a dream come true. This is my last career move and I want to do it all my way. I travel all over Europe looking for designers and collections that are new, fresh and maybe overlooked, with the sole purpose of enriching women’s life’s with fashion.

Tell us about your community involvement.

I always have had charity as part of my life, mostly the in the arts, and organizations like the Naples Botanical Garden. I like to support charities that constantly enrich the quality of people’s lives and the community at large.

I wrote charity into my business plan for my business in Naples. It was a cornerstone of my business plan development then and for the future. Some of the charities I have supported so far include the Naples Botanical Garden, Neighborhood Health Clinic, The Immokalee Foundation, and Humane Society Naples.

Style essentials:

Attitude, color, print and accessories.

Beauty essentials:

A smile, good manners and being dressed for the occasion at all times.

Describe your perfect Naples weekend.

Watching the sunset from a boat with friends.

Biggest inspiration:

My mom. At age 99, she still gives me the best business advice. Example: When I wanted to carry hats in my shop, I told my mom my idea. I told her I did not know anything about hats. Her advice was, “You will learn.”

“Guilty” pleasures:

Pecan pie, steak tartare, and baked new potatoes topped with caviar and shredded onion.

Three things few people know about you:

  • I worked with falcons for three years. (The sport of kings)
  • I love croquet, and dress in white for the matches and garden parties.
  • My favorite color is yellow.

Your current go-to fashion items and pieces:

  • Silky print blouses
  • Black pants
  • Big earrings
  • Scarves
  • Comfortable Italian flat shoes

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