RAMSEY, N.J. -- You can thank the two daughters of Pam Greenberg and Ivy Becker for the beloved gift store, Olive 54 on W. Main Street in Ramsey.
The two Franklin Lake moms met through their daughters' kindergarten class — the girls are now 14 and 15.
At the time Becker, who previously worked as a fashion editor at a host of Condé Nast publications, had a store called Pip ... "Pop In Please," near her home in Franklin Lakes.
Greenberg said she always admired it and all that Becker did to make it unique.
She, on the other hand, was itching to do something a bit more "home goods" related.
Long story short: the two bought an old nail salon on a well-trafficked corner in Ramsey, renovated it along with a side garden and opened for business.
The now four-year-old store, named for the olive terracotta roof (in addition to the store's address), has become a go-to for the kinds of items you can't find anywhere else.
There's lot of local stuff -- think Jersey Girl pillows and Jersey beach dishtowels -- along with jewelry, candles Lewis Sherry candy, Buddha inspired items, and more.
Becker, a frequent traveler, said many products and ideas also come from what she finds on her many trips.
She said she's drawn to things that are witty, graphic and often, impulse buys. "You don't have to have it but you really want it," she said of the objects that attract her.
She attributes the success of Olive 54 partly to location, but mainly to knowing - and catering -- to the needs of the community.
That includes utilizing the store's garden, an extension of the selling space, which is also used on occasion for events.
"We figured out the formula," said Greenberg. "You can mix beautiful antique pieces with something current, modern and whimsical and make it work."
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