For the Love of All Things Local by Liza Fonti



I’m a born and bred “Bergen Girl”, and now I’m raising a family of my own in this incomparable county. I may be a little biased, but if you live here, I think you’ll agree that there’s truly no place like Bergen County; the people, the schools, the array of “things to do”, the shopping, the access to pretty much everything … the list for me goes on and on.


Growing up, I have the fondest memories of our family shopping for clothing and shoes at the Ivy Shop, Kids Stuff and Ped-Agree Shoes (where I still shop with my children) in Wyckoff. I always looked forward to navigating through the departments at Sealfons with my mom, and my prom dresses from Sweet Feet were always trendy and made me feel fabulous. It’s these shops, among many others, that left a lasting imprint on me and sparked my love and support of local businesses.


I watched all of these stores that I’ve mentioned (except for Ped-Agree) thrive and then disappear. While I enjoy shopping online here and there at “big” stores, like Bloomingdales and J. Crew, I do whatever I can, whenever I can, to support “small” shops in our area … and you should, too!


Here are just some of the reasons why you should put your cell phone down and head on over to a local boutique - these are some of my favorites in West Bergen County:


1. Shopping small means you’re not going to look like everyone else. The GAP will have tons of “that shirt” available in your size, but Kristin Dahl Fashions in Midland Park only has a few of her unique styles in each size. Your chances of showing up to an event and matching several other people there are slim to none.


2. The shop owners and employees care to know your name and what you like. Tina, owner of Femmebot in Ridgewood will take the time to excitedly show you her favorite, “life-changing” pair of Flying Monkey jeans. She picked them out especially for her clientele and even owns a pair herself.


3. They will hold things for you … and maybe even ship to you … if you just ask. DPARZ Shoes in Ridgewood, which carries beautiful, unique, comfortable shoes, will ship your shoes to your home FOR FREE.


4. You form good relationships with hard-working people. I love that when I shop small, I’m supporting members of our community. They’re in business because they are passionate about what they do and the people that shop there. I’ve also found that local businesses are almost always willing to give back and donate to fundraisers within our community.


5. They offer coupons and discount codes, too! In addition to sending out codes and offers via email and posting sales on their social media accounts, you can mention me (“Stylish Mama”) for a special discount when visiting any of these locations. Online at dparz.com, use the code STYLISHMAMA10.


I love forming relationships with local business owners and supporting them in any way that I can. Boutique shopping is a unique experience that benefits Bergen County families and supports our economy.


What’s your favorite Bergen County boutique?



Liza Fonti, Owner of the lifestyle blog, Stylish Mama, offers women's fashion and beauty finds while sprinkling in some inspirational advice. Her personal motto is: "If you’re fortunate enough to know or acquire something good, spread the love”, Liza also manages social media and content creation for blogs, articles, websites, social media accounts and more through her other venture, Highlight Content

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