Darien Soundings

What is a Realtor-Affiliate?

Real estate transactions require the cooperation and coordination of many professionals, including REALTORS® (who represent the buyers and sellers) and Affiliates who help facilitate the process. Affiliate members are individuals who, while not licensed to sell real estate, have an interest in acquiring information concerning real estate, provide services in the real estate industry, and support the Darien Board of REALTORS® and Darien Multiple Listing Service. The best REALTOR®-Affiliate partnerships are based on mutual respect, open communication, and an understanding of their roles.

This month, we'd like to feature two outstanding, longtime Affiliates of the Darien Board: Tim Sickinger, Citizens Bank, and Lindsay Rand McGuckin, Rand Insurance. Combined, they have decades of local experience in their respective fields of the mortgage and insurance industries. Over the past 25+ years, they have formed great relationships with our REALTOR community, both in Darien and surrounding Fairfield County towns.

Tim Sickinger:

"Having written more than one billion dollars in mortgages over the past twenty five years, Tim is known for finding the perfect match between a borrower's needs and the extensive menu of loans available. He consistently delivers the most equitable financing solutions for his clients, balancing their objectives with the bank’s requirements. Any mortgage lending situation is essentially a puzzle, requiring both analytical and creative solutions. The process always begins with a thorough understanding of what the client wants to accomplish, and it ends with the best loan solution possible. Objective advice. Exemplary service. Best loans available."

Lindsay Rand McGuckin:

A fourth generation Rand, Lindsay has been working at RAND Insurance since 2002 and is Vice President of Sales in the Personal Lines division. She has the experience and knowledge to offer creative and innovative insurance solutions that take the worry out of everyday life.

RAND Insurance is an independent insurance agency has been serving clients in southwest Connecticut for over 80 years. With offices in Darien / Rowayton, Greenwich / Riverside and New Canaan, Rand is your local advisor. Lindsay and her husband, Carter, live in Darien with their two children and enjoy spending time with family on Nantucket and cheering for her kids on the sports fields. Lindsay can be reached at (203) 637-1006 or lrand@randinsurance.com. Check out our website www.randinsurance.com.

FACES: James Layfield

Meet James Layfield of The Melting Pot restaurant — your destination for a unique Fondue experience! James has lived in Darien for the past 4 years and in Connecticut since the restaurant opened in Darien 14 years ago. Now, James is the owner of the Darien and Westwood, NJ location and loves what he does! In particular, James is proud to give back to the community by working with charities and partnering with organizations including the YMCA, the Push & Pull Parade, and various other fundraisers.

When it comes to entertainment, The Melting Pot surely does not fall short on events! Sip, dip, and unwind with weekly entertainment including a Ladies Night Out event tonight through the 29th! The cheese or chocolate fondue is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. And don't miss out on Guest Appreciation Week in December — where it's all about you!

PLACES: Office Suites of Darien

Welcome to the Office Suites of Darien, a comfortable, convenient, and productive atmosphere for the working businessperson! Owner, Llew Smith, moved to Darien in 1986 and started the Office Suites of Darien as a hobby in 2001. What started off as four rental offices has now transformed into over 100 separate offices and 127 clients! The Office Suites of Darien boasts modern furniture and decor, motorized sit/stand desks, and plenty of space for board meetings and group collaboration. Llew and his terrific staff, Arlene Dyrvik, Laura Penfield and Jennifer Squillaro, encourage clients to network with one another, form friendships, and even take it upon themselves to introduce those who may have business interests that align or similar hobbies in their personal lives. For them, it is all about forming a productive work environment and community within the organization.

Events and activities at the Office Suites include visits from the ice cream truck, areas to lounge and relax including picnic tables, and monthly lunches. Clients enjoy free coffee, snacks, and modern supplies and equipment in a quiet work-focused environment.

Office Suites of Darien is excited to announce they will soon offer part-time offices! This convenient addition will be especially beneficial to anyone commuting in and out of New York City, who wish to work remotely on occasion. Keep on the lookout by visiting www.coworkdarien.com, where suites will soon be made available by online reservation!

Whether you need a suite for a day, a month, or years to come, all are welcome at Office Suites of Darien. Swing by for a tour today or call Llew for more information at: 203-655-2603.

BITES: Bodega

Summer isn't over just yet! Stop by Bodega in Darien for inventive tacos and a variety of drinks! A modern Mexican eatery with an urban beach vibe, Bodega is the perfect place to spend the remainder of your Summer.

HIGHLIGHTS: The Handwork School

Meet Darienite, Erika Allen, owner and operator of The Handwork School— a unique destination that brands itself as a “sewing, felting and crafting” studio for “modern kids.” However, don’t let that headline fool you! You will often find adults working on a project or high school students embroidering a new garment— This charming, fairly new addition to the town is not exclusive to children.
The Handwork School officially opened in February 2019 at 22 Grove Street in Darien. The location was thoughtfully chosen within shouting distance of favorite shops like Kirby Girl or Gofer Ice Cream. While Erika is an attorney by education and still practices today, her real passion lies in creating something that teaches. “I’m really good at creating a project where my student is going to gain skills, knowledge, and create something that they feel good about.” Erika differentiates her studio from others by not only providing unique projects, but by providing the most attractive tools such as a beautiful piece of cashmere, a silk thread, and combining it with a high design concept. The result? True artwork. In fact, many of the parents proudly display their children’s crafts on the walls of their home! “It’s high reward", Erika says, "every day they go home with something amazing." The first six week Fall Session is available for sign ups now!

Elementary school parents this is for you! Twice a month on Friday nights from 7 PM to 9 PM, sign up your K-5 aged child for a night of pizza and crafting while you enjoy dinner out downtown!
This Fall, Erika has also added a fun gadget to her repertoire, The Art Kart: An Airstream trailer from 1962 has been outfitted to seat 10 kids at a time and boasts a bathroom, refrigerator, AC/heat, music, and can travel to your home or event for parties or any special group activity!

For more information, pricing and details please visit http://box5464.temp.domains/~thehanp4/ or call Erika at 203-921-9349.

BLISS: Nielsen's Florist & Garden Shop

Nielsen's has been providing the community and beyond with fresh flowers since 1944! Help them celebrate 75 years in the business with a FREE, fun-filled day of activities and hands-on workshops for kids and adults on September 14th.

11 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM- Hands on Flower Workshops/ Demonstrations and Designer Tips.

10 AM, 12 PM, 2 PM, 4 PM- Get inspiration and watch our garden designers at work. Ask questions and get involved creating designs.

12 PM - 3 PM- Kid's corner! Games and an opportunity for kids to learn about plants and get involved in gardening! Featuring pinatas, Pin the Apple on the Apple Tree and a planting bench.

1:30 PM- Children's hands-on workshop- PLEASE R.S.V.P for this.

5 PM - 6 PM - Happy hour with wine and nibbles.

There's more!

Nielsen’s will have fun photo opportunities set up with our fun flower crowns and raffle prizes throughout the day!

Contact Us

Have a question or suggestion? Please let us know!

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)


    Your Phone Number (required)

    Your Message

    Darien Board of Realtors®

    5 Brook Street, Suite 2-D

    Darien, CT 06820

    (203) 655-3700 info@darienboard.com