RAMSEY, N.J. – Erica Mazzilli has a knack for choosing gifts.
“Some of it is just a gut feeling. If I like it, hopefully someone else is going to like it too,” said Mazzilli, the owner of the gift shop Lily & Kate, one of downtown Ramsey’s newest businesses.
For years, Mazzilli worked as a buyer and gift shop manager for the Market Basket in Franklin Lakes. Needing a change, she left last January.
“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do … I took a couple months and chilled,” the longtime Ramsey resident told Daily Voice.
But the downtime didn’t last long.
“I really missed the gift shop business … It was something I was good at and I enjoyed helping customers,” she said.
Mazzilli began scouting for business locations and brainstorming store names.
In August, she opened Lily & Kate at 66 East Main Street. Her friend calls her “Lily” as a nickname, and “Kate” is short for her daughter, Katheryn, she said
“The name stuck,” she said.
The store sells items like hostess and housewarming gifts, jewelry, home décor, and accessories like scarves, hats and gloves.
“We listen to customers and bring things in that customers may be looking for,” she said.
Some items are designed specifically for the Bergen County resident in mind – such as wooden signs and stone coasters with the names of towns like Midland Park, Woodcliff Lake, Ho Ho Kus, Glen Rock, Saddle River and Emerson.
Mazzilli also tries to support local artisans. The store features jewelry made by a Ridgewood woman, pottery made by a Mahwah woman, and hand-beaded serving wear made by a Wyckoff woman.
“I like buying local,” she said.
She is thankful that others like buying local too.
“The town of Ramsey and the surrounding community has really supported us,” she said. “The people coming here actually walk the walk and shop local.”