Monica's Corner lends pizzazz to young dancers
There's a bright new shop on Railroad Street with a bit of pizzazz and a touch of chic savvy.
The shop is called Monica's Corner and its owner, Monica Harcken, provides apparel and more for dancers of all ages.
"I always wanted to open a shop downtown, I just wasn't sure what," Harcken said. "Then this spot found me, you might say."
Harcken's three daughters -- Maren, Bettina and Elena -- dance at Fine Line Theater Arts across the street. Harcken was the manager at Studio D, along Main Street.
Dance has been a part of the Harcken family's life for over a decade; opening the shop seemed a natural fit when Fine Line co-owner Elizabeth Parkinson pitched the idea.
"When Fine Line vacated this space, Elizabeth told me `I'm going to try and talk you into opening a dancewear store here,' " Harcken said.
Harken had been making costumes for dance schools for years.
"It seemed a natural progression," she said. "Then I learned in October that the dancewear shop in Brookfield was closing in January. That cinched it for me."
Dancers from Brookfield, New Fairfield, Kent and Newtown already have found Monica's Corner. New Milford customers helped make her recent opening day a success.
"I'm already seeing the benefits of having her store in the dancewear our students are wearing," Parkinson said. "When the Brookfield store closed, I knew it was the perfect time for Monica to open. Our dancers were going to Ridgefield and Waterbury for dancewear."
Brand names like Capezio, Body Wrappers and Yogasmoga can be found in the shop. Original jewelry creations by Julie Czrenda and Paul Hruschka (Harcken's father) also are available.
Whether for ballet, jazz or hip-hop, Monica's Corner has the shoes needed by dancers.
"The merchandise there is very high quality," Parkinson said. "She has something for all dancers, whether in competition school or conservatory. She carries four different brands of point shoes."
Harcken also offers custom sewing and alteration, including fashioning costumes and formal dresses.
Oldest daughter Maren, 17, works in the shop some afternoons and youngest daughter, Elena, 13, will be found there after school and before dance class at Fine Line.
"We've got sort of a family thing happening here," Harcken said. "Even my husband, Christian, played a role painting and setting things up."
Monica's Corner, at 64 Railroad Street in New Milford, is open Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information, call 860-350-2844, visit www.monicascorner.net or search for them on Facebook.
For more photos, visit www.newmilfordspectrum.com.