This New Jersey Shop’s Pink Onyx Isle Was Worth the Space 2023


In our Ask a Shopkeeper series, we invite the trendiest store owners we know for a tour of their space and ask them what products are popular today and in the future. Marichelle Hills, owner and creative director of the recently opened Meus in Maplewood, New Jersey, takes us inside her gift shop, which she describes as “an old school department store that art students took over at night” for this chapter.
Marichelle Hills: In 2008, after opting to relocate from New York’s West Village to New Jersey’s suburbs, I suddenly felt disoriented. I was a new mother, knew few people, and had no relatives nearby. I truly missed the convenience of living in the city, having easy access to my favorite businesses, and the general energy of New York City. I was a stay-at-home parent for numerous years while raising my two elder girls. By the time I became pregnant with my youngest child, I was ready to rediscover myself. I lacked the inclination to return to the business realm of digital creation; I yearned for something more artistic.

With Meus, I unwittingly formed the community I lacked. The shop is more than a location to purchase your favorite items; it is also a place to build new relationships. I compare being a storeowner to being a therapist, and the store itself is a service. Visitors enter here since it is a secure location. Everyone is welcomed. They can discuss anything. I’ve been married twice to guys, and now that I’m a lesbian, nothing will rock our boat.