People to know: Sharleen Ramirez

MILFORD — Twice is Nice, LLC, recently opened as one of Milford’s newest stores downtown. Owner Sharleen Ramirez says she’s been thinking about opening a kids’ clothing resale shop for quite a while and decided the time was finally right.

Read more to learn about this week’s person to know: Sharleen Ramirez.

Age: 26

Hometown: Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico

Educational background: LPN and Professional Medical Assistant

Current occupation: Owner of Twice is Nice LLC and a front desk receptionist at the Music School of Delaware’s Milford Branch.

How did you find yourself in Milford?

“My family and I moved to Milford in December 2005. My dad lost his job in Puerto Rico and one of my brothers, Ivan, who was already here, invited him to come for vacation. While on vacation, my dad got offered a job at Midway Services. He then started working full-time and he liked it so much that he decided to stay. My mom, my other brother, Luis, and I stayed back in Puerto Rico. After a year, we came to Milford.

“It was really hard for me; it was definitely a big change. And it was a new school, new language, new friends, new church and a new community. I couldn’t get over Puerto Rico. I was 14 years old and it was hard for me to get used to Milford. I was so depressed I would stay sleeping all day, not wanting to go out or school.

“When I graduated from Milford Senior High School in 2009, the first thing I told my mom was, ‘I’m leaving to Puerto Rico.’ She was so sad and disappointed because she saw a future in me here, but I still wanted to go back to Puerto Rico and I did. I went back and I went to school for nursing. A year later, I came back to Milford for Christmas time and my mom got very sick. She got diagnosed with meningitis and I had to stay. It made me realize a lot. I didn’t want to be away from my parents, brothers and sister.

“I started loving Milford more and more. I went to school here to become a medical assistant. I graduated and found a really good job. I started my freelance photography and doing other stuff in the community. I’ve volunteered in so many organizations. Milford has given me the opportunity to grow up in so many ways. I fell in love with Milford and their people.”

Tell us about your new business?

“I always wanted to open a business, but I just didn’t know what kind.

“Twice is Nice LLC was in my heart since my son, who is 15 months now, was born. I love to shop and my husband Abel and I spent so much money on clothes that didn’t fit him in no time. I remember one night I was cleaning out his closet and I just didn’t know what to do with all those clothes that looked brand new. I said I was going to keep saving them until I had a decision. One day, I was talking to my mom and I told her that I wanted to open a kid’s resale shop in Milford since we don’t have anything like this close to us.

“I used to work in a nonprofit organization that helps a lot of victims and immigrants. Working there every day, I saw so many women desperate for help. I remember one day, one lady came by and dropped a bag of clothes for babies and they were literally fighting for that bag. It broke my heart to see them like that. I remember asking them about their necessities and one of the things that they said was that they didn’t have much money to buy full price clothes for their children or the resale shops that we had were far for them. That’s when everything really started.”

Why open it in Milford?

“We choose Milford because we love Milford and we don’t have these kinds of stores in here. I’m just so happy that we don’t have to go farther to find pre-loved and beautiful pieces.”

Will you continue working at the music school?

“Yes, those are my plans. The Music School has been a great blessing in my life and in my family. It doesn’t feel like work; it’s like my third home. I love my coworkers and our students. Right now, I’m a part-time front desk receptionist and an interpreter for Spanish speaking families.”

What is opening a business like?

“It’s really exciting, I never had this kind of experience myself and I’ve learned so much from everyone. I have seen so much support from my family, friends and neighbors. I can’t wait to see what else Milford has to offer me.”

What has been tough? What has been easy?

“Getting all this clothing together. It was so much clothing to hang and getting them priced tagged. The day before we opened we stayed until 2 a.m. When I said a lot, it was over 2,000 clothes. What was easy? Getting support from my family. All of them helped me in so many different ways. I’m really grateful for them.”

What are your goals and hopes for the business?

“My hope is that Twice is Nice LLC can grow up in many ways. I plan to have some workshops to help our moms in how to save money with couponing, making tutus, headbands and bows and having a doula friend to come and give some tips for giving birth, and be a really great blessing to Milford.”

What are your hours? Do you consign items?

“Our hours are Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday. Right now, we will be buying clothes from our clients and it will be by appointment.”

You opened up on Small Business Saturday. How was your first day?

“It was really good and I can say that a lot of people came by, some of them just to look at our stuff and some of them bought a few or a lot of items.”

What are your hobbies?

“Singing, photography and reading.”

What are your hopes for Milford as a community?

“My hopes for Milford is for Milford to keep growing and continue to be a blessing to the community. I love how it’s bringing more family activities every year.”

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

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