Locals in search of the latest designer fashions have a new option that's only minutes away, as Juliana’s Joy, a women’s boutique located at 1900 Route 37 West in Manchester, held its grand opening on Wednesday.
Mayor Michael Fressola joined the owners and their family to help celebrate during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Juliana’s Joy carries many specialty women’s items like handbags, jewelry and accessories from designer brands Vera Bradley, Chamilia, Spartina449, John Medeiros and Zinzi.
"Growing up in Toms River, I was not really familiar with these types of brands. After going to some boutiques in Allentown, I fell in love and knew we had to open this type of shop," said Juliana Harrison, who opened the business with her husband, Justin Harrison.
The couple said that they wanted to open their own business because of the freedom that comes with independent ownership. Juliana got the idea to open a boutique after a visit to stores that carried designer brands in Cream Ridge.
"My wife came up with this idea because these boutiques are pretty big out in Cream Ridge," said Justin Harrison. "And there were a few that were successful, so she thought, 'why not give this a shot?'"
Justin Harrison said that he hopes his boutique will find a niche in Manchester that has yet to be filled.
"There is nothing like this in the area," he said. "This is a good time and great location.”
Fressola said that he was happy to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony and called the store "beautiful and one of the nicest stores in Manchester."
He said that he is glad a new shop opened in the community.
"Anytime we can add a business to Manchester is a big plus," Fressola said. "I am delighted to welcome them to Manchester, and I hope that they succeed."
To open the boutique, the Harrisons first had to determine if this type of shop would be received well by the community and if the population would sustain it, they said. The couple found that the answer to these questions were "yes,"so they attended seminars and trade shows, and began their business plan in August.
“We knew what brands we wanted, especially ones that would draw people in initially, like Vera Bradley and Chamilia. We contacted the brands individually and went through an application process," Juliana Harrison said. "We will probably expand into other brands, later."
Her husband said that the couple hopes to add one of those brands, Brighton, "eventually."
Fressola asked Juliana Harrison if she was concerned about business because 80 percent of Manchester’s population is seniors. She said she does not think this will affect business.
"It is women’s accessories," she said. "It does not matter what age you are. Women love their jewelry and their handbags, and buy for themselves, daughters and granddaughters."
Juliana’s mother and sister were also present to help hold the ribbon for the ceremony and to celebrate the grand opening.
The store is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
More information is available on the store's website.