DELRAY BEACH, Fla., Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Known as a jewel among south Florida's quaint beach towns, downtown Delray Beach is heralded as a mecca for fine shops, restaurants, clubs, and urban condo dwelling. Stroll along the town's main street, Atlantic Avenue, and you realize it is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening, taking in the many boutiques and bistros, or even the beach. Among the Avenue's prize offerings is nina raynor, a nationally acclaimed women's boutique known for high-end designer collections.
Now celebrating its 55th season, nina raynor was founded in Delray Beach by Nina (pronounced NIE NAH as opposed to NEE NAH) Raynor in 1958. The wife of a golf professional, Mrs. Raynor came to be known as the one to come to for the country club golf set. Her little boutique expanded to North Carolina in the summer months where she continued to cater to the casual well-dressed country club woman. It was an era when women who opened clothing stores named them after themselves. Only a handful of these remain in business today.
By 1983 she was tired of the retail trade, seeing a wave of a new kind of shopping coming to the area. In September of that year, Mrs. Raynor sold the shop to Joanne Phelan Wollenberg. A Boca Raton resident, Mrs. Wollenberg was well known as a fashionista among her friends, and with no background other than "Mom" and a stint as a fashion model just out of high school, she struggled with the decision to take on a store. A friend convinced her it was a terrific opportunity. "Joanne was the one that we couldn't wait to see when we all went out because she was always the best dressed."
The small and musty store had seen better days and Joanne dug in to make her vision of a chic boutique come true. She slowly learned the ropes stomping her way through the garment district of New York, finding lines, meeting designers, and bringing in clothing that she knew customers would crave. She took the store from simple sundresses to designer powerhouses such as Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Bill Blass, Escada, Reem Acra, Mary McFadden, and more. Joanne's nina raynor was such a success she and her husband moved the store to its current 6,000 sq. ft. location across the street.
A family owned and operated business for the past 29 years, Joanne's husband and youngest son have been part of the nina raynor history from the start, and in 2011 her daughter joined the business full time, having previously spent the past 29 years in charge of advertising for the store from her Orlando office.
Joanne passed away in February after a brief illness. She leaves a legacy that is remarkable in the fashion industry. "My mother was the most fashionable woman I've ever known, but more than that, she was gracious and warm and funny, and just a happy person to be around. I am so proud of the legend will always be in the industry; respected and admired by everyone with whom she came in contact. Big shoes to fill," says daughter, Cathy Sauer.
"My brother and I are thrilled to continue the legacy our mother worked so hard to build at nina raynor."
Known for high-end women's designer collections in sportswear, daytime dressing, and evening, nina raynor has an exclusive customer base across the country. They are especially known for dressing mother's of the bride and groom, Bar/Bat Mitzvah mothers, and chairwomen of major social events with special order gowns. "Our reputation is all about personal service and quality," said son, Robert Wollenberg. "We have customers that we've dressed for every child's wedding, and now we are dressing the next generation."
nina raynor is located at 1031 East Atlantic Avenue, just across the Intracoastal bridge. Open seasonally from October - June, the store features collections such as Rena Lange, Georges Chakra, Escada, Pamela Roland, Roland Nivelais, Lela Rose, and more. Store hours are 10 am - 5 pm weekdays and 10 am - 4 pm on Saturdays. Designer trunk shows are scheduled throughout the season and can be found on the nina raynor web site at www.ninaraynor.com. Contact at 561.276.5714.
SOURCE nina raynor