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JoEllen Jewelers Inc.

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JoEllen Jewelers Inc., Mendham, NJ

OWNER: JoEllen Jewelers Inc.; ADDRESS: 2 Hilltop Road, Mendham NJ 07945; PHONE: 973-543-9989


WHEN JOELLEN MENDHAM first saw what was to become her third jewelry outlet, it looked more like a building that should be condemned than one worthy of preserving. But she took on the historical property nevertheless, and now it’s become her pride and joy – and it even got a write-up in the local paper!

What’s the history of the building? How did you find out about it?

The store is over 133 years old, and was once the local post office, as well as having been a clock shop, a dressmakers, an ice-cream parlor, a furnishings store, a hairdressers and the Hedgehog Gift Shoppe. “I passed by every day, and one day saw an ad in the window to lease,” says JoEllen. “It had been empty for many years.”

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How was the building adapted?

“As it was a historical building,” expalins JoEllen, “the changes that could be made were very limited.” The renovation was undertaken by a local builder, Grant Homes, who tried to retain as much of the building’s character as possible. But it was in dire need of restoration, as JoEllen observed when she first saw the site two years ago: “It looked more like a haunted house with dirt everywhere along with cobwebs and fallen beams. The whole back part of the building had been condemned.”

What’s the most unique feature of the store?

“The fireplace in the main room,” says JoEllen, “and the furniture, that makes it feel warm and comfortable.”

Please describe the interior of the store.

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“The front room has a view of the street and has two glass towers with shelves to display jewelry, and 3 wooden pieces of furniture to display giftware. Plus a chair for my clients to relax in.

“In the main room, in front of the original fireplace, there are more display cases and two more chairs. There’s also an antique desk for sales staff.”

How doe people react to the store?

“They’re usually very surprised,” says JoEllen, “and they love the comfortable and homey feeling.” She no doubt adds to that warm welcome herself, adding, “I love the feeling that I am home and have friends stopping by – both old and new ones!”

PHOTO GALLERY (3 Images)

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