Small Business Saturday is a special time for Bergen County shoppers

The downtowns of Englewood and Westwood were not teeming with shoppers and window shoppers gazing in, as they usually may have been in previous years on Small Business Saturday. Instead, a few pockets of people sat outdoors dining, sporadically spaced from one another.



a person sitting in a room: Sheri Rosen places a customer's purchase in a bag at Tapestrie in Englewood on Saturday, November 28, 2020.


© Michael Karas/NorthJersey.com
Sheri Rosen places a customer’s purchase in a bag at Tapestrie in Englewood on Saturday, November 28, 2020.

The streets were quiet but inside, the businesses were filled with joy.

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Bergen County Camera shop, which has been in Westwood since 1960, buzzed with grandkids of its original customers and people looking to capture moments.

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The idea that “sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name” could not have been more true for the business owners in Bergen County, who know many of their customers by first name.  

“Greetings! How’s it going Chris?” “‘Hey Scott!’ He comes all the way from West Orange.” “Donna, she’s been a customer since the ’80s,”

Tom Gramegna, owner of Bergen County Camera on Westwood Avenue, knows them all. 

“We are doing well,” he said. “We have reinvented ourselves. We do online webinars — we have 70 different classes on our website to inspire people through this dark period, whatever level people are at.”

Leica, Nikon, and other camera brands are on hand at Gramegna’s shop.

The store is waiting on a new filtration system that will make it almost hospital clean, according to Gramegna.

“We want to inspire people through their photography, whatever their connection is to photography, we are happy to help them,” he said. “We custom fit people to the gear.”

Kelly Anderson and William Buk, mother and son, own Chill Factor NJ, a few blocks down on Westwood Avenue. They have been open since 2019. 

“This is like a healing center for people who struggle with inflammation and lower immune systems,” owner William Buk said.



a clock that is on a pole on a city street: Small business Saturday in Englewood on Saturday, November 28, 2020.


© Michael Karas/NorthJersey.com
Small business Saturday in Englewood on Saturday, November 28, 2020.

Services include cryotherapy, infrared sauna therapy, light therapy, and facials. “Since the pandemic, we have definitely had slow moments. Since we reopened after the first lockdown it has been a roller coaster, somedays we do really well and others are slow,” Buk said. 

A few customers come in wanting to boost their immune systems. Holiday sales include half-off bundle packages and discounts on gift cards.

Florentia in Englewood has been on North Dean Street for almost three years. The boutique specializes in athleisure wear for women specifically, golf and tennis apparel. They have a little bit of everything. Some things are handmade. It’s different sources of golf wear, but most are European brands, and some from Korea and the U.S.

The counter is adorned with beaded hair accessories and tennis bracelets.

The sales going on are 20{a1a1c2aadef71e97d3d8dc505175168462e21e65098a9638786aefb22bafcd71} and 30{a1a1c2aadef71e97d3d8dc505175168462e21e65098a9638786aefb22bafcd71} off.  “Since the pandemic business has been on and off,” owner Yeonah Jung said.

Jung has been opening in the early afternoon and has appointments and consultations throughout the day. A customer can call the store to book an appointment, and for returning clients, she texts them when new merchandise arrives.

“I have been opening pretty much every day,” Jung said. There are still a few people who don’t want to come out, so she also has a delivery service and her online shop.

It a similar story at Orchids By Karen Gallery Inc., also on Dean Street, a  business that has been in Englewood since 1985. They have delivery, and  grow orchids at their local greenhouse in Englewood.

The wood door reveals a showroom of colorful orchids, some purple, yellow, white, or pink. The walls are decorated with artifacts from Bali, Africa and Thailand. Everything is for sale except the front desk. To the back is select bohemian-like clothing wraps and shawls from Khatan, Myanmar (Burma) and Ecuador.

“Even the greenhouse that we have doesn’t keep up with the demand, so we do get a lot from Florida and Hawaii,” shop manager Deena Goldwaser said. “Depending on the variety, some can only come in from Thailand,” she said.

The availability changes daily but the variety of orchids is endless, the largest group of flowering plants in the world. Most of the orchids in the shop are Phalaenopsis. But there are nuances like the miltassia orchid, which looks different from the traditional orchid.

 Many of their clientele are returning customers who continue to support the business. Owner Karen Grannell has collected artifacts through travel and has built personal connections with clients.

“Lately, there has been much less foot traffic. Over the years a lot of the clients that Karen finds in New Jersey, they live in the city,” Goldwaser said.

A lot of clients want elaborate instillations for events and weddings. The flowers in the shop are grown to bloom naturally, according to Goldwaser.

“If you go to Whole Foods you can get an orchid for $15, but a lot of those big buck stores specifically breed their orchids to bloom themselves to death, they will produce flowers at the expense of their roots and leaves,” Goldwaser said. “Our plants are a bit more expensive because they are made to survive.”

Goldwaser said the key to orchids is to adjust your mindset. “They are not drinking liquid water, they are breathing humid air.”

For Florentia, the spring and the summer were more fast-paced, as golf wear is the most popular item. As the weather gets colder, with fewer people golfing outdoors, Jung has changed her merchandise with the season. Now it consists of everyday women’s apparel, and she’s been selling a lot of masks.

Before opening Florentia, Jung worked as a textile fabric designer at Jones New York in the city and had a fabric business on the side. Throughout the store are some of her hand-made pieces, made from her custom patterns including an ornate curtain that closes off the dressing room and tote bags that hang on the wall.

“I didn’t want to work a 9 to 5 anymore. The business is more flexible. Time-wise I play golf in the morning and I open in the afternoon,” she said with a laugh.

Arielle’s Gallery, a custom frame shop and art gallery in Englewood for 19 years, does not see as many people as it did before, but frame sales are highest now as opposed to sculptures or paintings.

Owner Manuel Pinzon has a specific technique for framing. “I always try to incorporate the colors in the art piece to the frame, keeping the outside mat neutral and the inside mat as a highlight to the painting,” he said. 

Tapestrie in Englewood and Westwood is a casual and sportswear line. They have three locations and openened in 2011. “We clothe women from head to toe, that’s what we do,” said Sheri Rosen, member of the sales team. “I have everything that a customer has ever bought, their sizes, colors, designers they prefer and things they like,” she said.

When the pandemic hit, Tapestrie created a website, and because they are so personalized, customers can just call Rosen up. The personalization is what owners Jayne and Mitchell Lewis believe in. 

“When you come in, customers know they can get the finest of fabrics, and fit,” Rosen said. 

And if looking for a gift, Rosen recommends cashmere or a selection from their wide array of scarves that are from 30{a1a1c2aadef71e97d3d8dc505175168462e21e65098a9638786aefb22bafcd71} to 50{a1a1c2aadef71e97d3d8dc505175168462e21e65098a9638786aefb22bafcd71} off. 

Shaylah Brown is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @shaylah_brown

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Small Business Saturday is a special time for Bergen County shoppers

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