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Designer Gives Birth to New Store

Although she has lived around the corner for years, Naz Koctuk is the newest face on Pequot Avenue in Southport since opening her store, O Lulla, last Friday. But the role is fitting because Naz's specialty is new faces, selling baby furniture. "It's a happy concept," Naz says. "It's a fun product. Everything for [babies] is cheerful looking."

Naz started her nursery-decorating business in her hometown of Istanbul in the early 1990s at the time her own children were born. After finding no stylish furniture when planning her own nursery, Naz designed and made her own. She then decided to start a business to help her friends do the same.

She brought the idea when her family moved to the United States in 1996, starting Crib and Cradle in Westport. But Naz gave up the store eight years ago to focus on raising her daughter Renk, now 17, and her son Arda, now 15, although she continued to do interior design work from home.

"Now they're teenagers, so I can get back to the store," Naz says.

O Lulla's showroom has only a few pieces of furniture on display, but that's by design. Naz wants to plan each customer's room from scratch, starting with a questionnaire about personal style and moving on to custom-ordered pieces. She's preparing to launch a revamped website so clients can get started at home.

Naz also wants to keep O Lulla's space open. She wants her new brick-and-mortar location to be a gathering place for new and expecting mothers. Naz also plan to host classes on childproofing rooms, using feng shui in nurseries, and other topics.

"I'm very big on feng shui," Naz says. "It really can help calm babies down. So maybe I can make some more believers."

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