I am mad for hydrangeas. Any kind. Obsessed. When I was in New Zealand a few years ago I saw varieties that blew my mind.
When the girls were young we stayed opposite a house in Bay Head, NJ that was being torn down. I spoke to the construction crew, gave them a bottle of wine and they let me dig up a huge hydrangea bush that was about 25 years old. I drove my baby back to Hoboken early the next morning and could be seen at 7 am digging a hole for my new “child”. It’s ok- neighbors think I’m a little nuts anyway.
Depending on the variety of hydrangea there are different times of year that they need to be trimmed. I just never got mine right. Last year I left mine alone and as a result of the neglect this summer it has bloomed outrageously. I cannot count how many bloom heads have appeared.
The heartbreaking part? I moved from our home just as they began to bloom this summer. As a final act I dug up half the plant and took it with me!
I love to dry the bloom heads- those big fluffy snowball blossoms unique to hydrangeas. They preserve with little to no effort and keep their color, fading gracefully, giving me flowers around the house in the winter months. Whether you snip a few from friends or purchase them at a local farmer’s market, they will provide months of beauty.
Shopping local has never been more important if we are to maintain our beautiful, diverse, downtowns. Walking down Washington Street in Hoboken there are many wonderful stores to find almost anything your heart could desire. The shop stocked with the MOST items I desire is The Margo Market at 11th and Washington. I spent some time speaking with the owner Maggie Emma about the alchemy used to create her magical collection of classic, fresh and ethical products.
Maggie thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me! I have to admit that given the chance I would turn your shop into my personal closet. Can you tell me a bit about the decision to open The Margo Market?
Thank you Jennifer for the feature and kind words!
Having grown up around and working in family businesses, between my parents and grandparents, the idea of owning my own business has been so deeply rooted in my dreams and goals for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, I would spend hours cutting, glueing + decorating every greeting card I would give. I dreamed of having a paper store stocked full of beautiful papers and fabrics.
Clearly, that concept has evolved over time, but the enthusiasm behind it has always fueled my passion to open a store. Like many people my path leading to this point has many twists + turns, but my background is Graphic Design + Studio Art by trade and Retail Management through experience. Working in fashion opened my eyes to the positive impact it can have, in regards to, confidence and self-expression. However, the exposure to big box fashion also brought an enormous amount of awareness to the destruction it can cause, in regards to overproduction, excess waste, unfair and honestly inhumane working conditions. This awareness really began to weigh on me, so I began researching and learning.
Our mission at MARGO is to promote socially conscious consumerism through providing ethically made goods.
Your shop focuses on ethically sourced products- what criteria do you use to make your choices?
That is a great question! Our sourcing and vetting process is pretty extensive. Even once we have found a specific artisan or designer, we are incredibly thoughtful as to which pieces we would like to add to our collection. Every item in the shop has a story, has a meaning or connection that we love to share with our community. We pride ourselves our carrying a curated collection of exceptional design.
In regards to our ethical standards, we look for fair trade products that provide a voice for the artisan, high quality standards of labor conditions and 100% transparency in all aspects of production. Another area of the industry we are focused on is fabrication quality + sustainable fabrics. That is why you will only find natural fibers in our shop! Many of our designers only use the highest grade of organic fabrics and sustainable fabrics such as hemp + linen.
How did you choose Hoboken for your venture (and thank you for that!)
That is easy, we love Hoboken! We have been Hoboken residents for 6 years and absolutely love this community. We wanted to root ourselves in a town we believe in and equally wanted to provide an offering where we felt a need in this specific industry.
One of my favorite visions in dreaming up the store was picturing the store open on a busy Saturday and being a little community hub in uptown Hoboken. Some of my favorite memories in the shop thus far have been centered around specific days like that. We have never felt more a part of this community and being able to service and give back to our town.
You’re a new mum- how do you strike a balance between the demands of owning your own retail store and spending time with family?
I haven’t quite mastered this one and I think that is ok! I grew up in a family business, so I think my son will have a similar childhood. He is a part of us and a part of our day to day, making him a part of the shop. Many days you will find our whole family in the shop tinkering away Ha! I realized all too quickly that children grow up way too fast, so for now at least, we are enjoying our time popping in and out of the shop!
Thanks so much for talking to me! Is there anything coming in or up at the store that we should be looking for?
Yes! We are eagerly awaiting the first drop of our Fall Collection. You can expect the softest, coziest knits, with several fun layering jackets. This is my favorite season out of the year to style, so I am very excited to share with the MARGO community the new pieces.
While the shopping experience is slightly different these days, we are excited to be able to offer in-store shopping at a limited capacity. The collection can also be shopped online with curbside pickup, local delivery or free shipping options available. We are striving to stay as accessible as possible!
Joan Enger owner of J Patryce Design and I have been neighbors forever and I am so excited to share her top 5 tips for assembling your own signature home style.
1. Don’t be afraid to collect. I am constantly on the hunt, whether at tag sales, antique shops, group shows or traveling – for wonderful, interesting objects. We typically source all of the objects for our clients but welcome their additions! Etsy, eBay and Instagram are great resources as well. It is critical to mix materials and form for balance and visual interest (trays, books, sculpture; metal, wood, glass, ceramics, etc.).
2. Go dark with the trim. We have been really into painting the moldings, doors, and windows several shades darker than the walls. It makes such a difference in the overall look and feel and is much less expected than white.
3. Go big with the Rug! The number one ‘design blooper’ we find with DIY enthusiasts relates to the size of the rug. The rug should fill the space and the furniture should sit entirely on the rug (vs. partially on). There is nothing more beautiful than a room size rug and it will make the room feel larger.
4. Artwork is key! There are so many great affordable art and framing resources these days. Our favorites are: Uprise Art, Tappan, ArtStar and Framebridge. Art or sculpture on the walls changes everything! We recommend using a mix of media – works on paper, wall sculpture, paintings, drawings, etc. And you don’t have to fill every wall – but stacking or grouping is definitely the way to go! You can also look for emerging artists on Etsy, Instagram and lastly – vintage art is sometimes a steal and is typically already framed. Might just need a fresh matte.
5. We adore wallpaper at JPD. We would probably cover every surface if given the choice. Wallcoverings can add texture, pattern, color and they completely enhance and warm up a space. And don’t forget about the ‘fifth wall’ (the ceiling) which is a super fun place to add some fun (works especially well in nurseries/kids’ rooms).