SPLURGE to Mark 15 Years in Greenwich with Event on Dec 1

Sonia Malloy dreamed of opening a retail store since she was a child, spending afternoons shopping in the local stores on Greenwich Avenue and longing to have her own.

After a successful 15-year corporate career she decided to pursue her dream. In December of 2007, she opened SPLURGE in a small space on the Post Road in Greenwich. Many locals remember her tiny first location.

It was lovingly but lightly stocked with beautiful handmade treasures. Malloy quickly learned that the community needed more offerings from SPLURGE for it to be successful. She expanded her product assortment and range of price points to offer something for everyone.

Business was growing until late 2008, when the world changed due to the Great Recession. Despite the economic hardships SPLURGE was able to hold on while other stores were shutting their doors.

“When the economy fell apart in 2008, we were just starting to find our footing, so this was a huge challenge for us,” Malloy said. “Daily, I assessed whether I would be able to keep the business alive, but thanks to incredibly supportive customers and a landlord who wanted me to succeed, we were able to weather the storm and emerge stronger.”

In the two years that followed, Malloy quickly discovered she needed more space to expand her inventory and meet the needs of her growing customer base.

In year three, SPLURGE moved to 39 Lewis Street and more than doubled its selling space.

“This was a very significant but calculated risk, super exciting and super scary,” Malloy said. “The move proved to be more successful than I expected and in the first few months we struggled to keep the store stocked and staffed. It was a great learning experience and we quickly got things on track by the spring of 2011.”

In the new, larger space, SPLURGE was able to better fulfill their mission to “Do Good While Doing

“In the Lewis Street space we were able to host events and parties and started our SPLURGE for a Cause program, where we open the store to groups of 10 or more and donate 10% of sales during a designated time to their charity of choice,” Malloy said. “We also partnered with Kids in Crisis to sell their signature candles and donate 100% of the proceeds to the organization.”

Malloy said the efforts have generated over $40,000 in donations.

Also, over the past 15 years they donated almost 2,000 Easter Baskets to Kids in Crisis and The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, over 1,600 pashminas to local cancer patients, and countless toys to Toys for Tots.

In 2017, Malloy took over the space next door to SPLURGE and added an assortment for tween girls ages 6 to 12.

SPLURGE’s biggest challenge to date arrived during the pandemic of 2020. For Malloy it was by far the most frightening moment in her life.

“We were humming along, making plans for a great spring season, and the pandemic struck quickly. Suddenly people were isolated, and families were struggling with losses of loved ones. It was heartbreaking,” Malloy said.

“From a business standpoint, the town became deserted overnight. Stores were shuttering and I realized I needed to act quickly to avoid becoming one of them,” she recalled.

Quickly, Malloy developed a plan to help the Easter Bunny visit all families locally and out of town. When others couldn’t deliver, SPLURGE built assembly lines consisting of a small group of family and employees who fulfilled every order that came through.

SPLURGE was one the first businesses in town to have face masks and hand sanitizer when demand was high and supply was low.

Next, they added quarantine care packages and shifted gift offerings to things that were relevant in that moment: jigsaw puzzles, games, cookbooks and kitchen gadgets, candles, and cozy blankets to name a few.

Malloy said SPLURGE was able to emerge from the two-month closure stronger than ever. SPLURGE had record breaking sales in 2020 and 2021 thanks to loyal customers.

“Our customers’ commitment to shopping small in Greenwich, and their desire to help us stay in business was what kept us alive in a time where others were forced to close,” Malloy said. “For that I will be forever thankful and remain devoted to serving this community that I love.”

To celebrate, on Monday, November 28, First Selectman Fred Camillo will visit SPLURGE to celebrate this milestone anniversary and to declare December SPLURGE Local Month in Greenwich.

On December 1 the community is invited to SPLURGE from 6:00 – 8:00pm to celebrate with sips and sweets provided by several local businesses including Val’s Putnam Wines & Liquors, Something Natural, Black Forest Pastry Shop, DiMare Pastry Shop and Duck Donuts. Shoppers will enjoy raffles, 15% off storewide, and a complimentary personalized cutting board (a $40 value) with a purchase of $150 or more.

SPLURGE is located at 39 Lewis Street in Greenwich. Tel. (203) 869-7600