Wilton's "B" Chic collecting denim for women in need

Erica Malhotra, owner of B Chic, said becoming the store owner at 28 years old was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Erica Malhotra, owner of B Chic, said becoming the store owner at 28 years old was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Contributed Photo

WILTON — Erica Malhotra doesn’t live in town. She isn’t even a Connecticut resident. She commutes from just over state lines seven days a week from New York to her quaint boutique shop called “B” Chic, where she has run daily operations for 15 years.

At this point, Malhotra considers the town her second home, and her customers her neighbors.

“The people, the support, I love it here,” she said.

She has been a mainstay in town for a decade and a half, but for the first time last year, like many small businesses, the “B” Chic boss thought her store might be in jeopardy of closing.

“It's been really hard,” she said. “We have all been coming up with new ideas to keep business alive during (the pandemic). But my focus is still on being charitable, even throughout (the pandemic).”

“B” Chic has revived a charitable promotion that it was forced to skip in 2020, and that is its “Give Back to Get Back” jean drive. The promotion is simple. Malhotra offers any customer the ability to bring in a used, but clean and wearable pair of jeans to receive a discount on a new pair. One old pair of denim will earn you a 10 percent discount on another pair, while two pairs and three pairs will give you 15 percent and 20 percent, respectively. The promotion will end March 15, however she is considering a possible extension.

But the purpose of this goes beyond Malhotra gaining more customers. Each pair of jeans that is brought in by a customer will be donated to women in need across Fairfield County.

The event was started in 2018 and is typically held in the fall. Malhotra said she was forced to skip last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She didn’t want to ask customers to give during such a dire time, she said. She said she shifted to the spring because the need was apparent.

“I want to help women. Women supporting women, always being there for each other, that is important to me and I am always willing to do that,” Malhotra said. Jeans will be donated to the Salvation Army, the Wilton Turnover Shop and The Open Door Shelter in Norwalk. She said she would be open to partnering with more organizations if there is high demand and supply.

“B” Chic has participated in numerous woman-focused charitable foundations and events, such as Dress for Success Mid-Fairfield County, where Malhotra helped donate clothes to the nonprofit that aims to empower women by providing them professional attire to wear to the workplace.

Malhotra is asking the same residents that have rallied to keep her business afloat to give back what they can in the form of denim before March 15.

“It is nice to give back to someone in need. If you don't need it, then give it to someone who does,” she said.