By: Megan Roche
Write On Gifts, located at 27 Broadway in Denville is the perfect place to find a special gift for that little girl or boy in your life who deserves something just as unique as they are. The store has called Denville home since 1997, but current owner Michele Machere took over the business in January of 2011.
Machere and her crew, consisting of her husband and three daughters, work at the storefront location, although she also has an online store and sells some products on Etsy. When her girls were little, all their friends couldn’t believe that their mom actually owned a toy store. Machere’s products make perfect birthday, holiday, or just because gifts. Each item can be uniquely personalized to reflect the recipient’s favorite things.
““Having finished my degree at 30, I realized while I was in school, that my resume did not reflect my real-life work experience. The more I thought about it, I realized, the only thing that could show my experience was to start my own business.” Machere said.
Machere has a degree in Fine Art from William Paterson University. After earning her degree, she was a stay at home mom for many years, but found the opportunity to work part time at Write On Gifts as a painter. She loved working in the store and when the opportunity came up to purchase the business, she did.
“I was extremely nervous when I took over the business. I didn’t know if I could actually do this. I had a whole bunch of retail experience and I had a whole lot of art experience and customer service background but you know when you take over a business, you really don’t know what to expect and you learn so many things about yourself, you really learn that you are capable of way more than you think you are.” Machere shared.
During Machere’s first year as a small business owner, tragedy struck Denville. In August of 2011, Hurricane Irene rocked Denville when the banks of the Rockaway River flooded, causing devastation to the small town. When she arrived at the store during the aftermath of the storm, her inventory was a complete loss. However, the greater community of Denville came together to help everyone affected by the catastrophic storm.
“I always wanted to keep the business in Denville, it’s just where I wanted to be. I had just put up my new sign like two months before Irene came and I still had my big banned that said ‘Under New Ownership’ hung up, I walked through that day after the storm and it didn’t seem that bad up near my house (Jefferson Twp.) and I couldn’t park next to the store the next day, and I had to wade through feet of water and I looked at the store and everything was just gone and it was all a total loss. I had a moment and then you just start springing into action. You cry for a minute and then you just say, ‘Okay what can we do?’” Machere recalled.
Gifts and trinkets are available throughout the store, with a wide array for both girls and boys. Her popular gifts include big belly piggy banks, wooden train letters, and more. Her turnaround time is roughly a week, depending on how small or large the artwork is.
“I love what I do, so every day I am excited and happy to come to work every day. When people complain about their job, I don’t get it. I have such a passion for what I do. I love my customers; I have an awesome customer base. I love where I am, my store just makes me happy every day.” Machere said.
Write On Gifts is located at 27 Broadway and is open six days a week. Hours are Monday through Wednesday and Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Write On Gifts is closed on Sundays. To learn more about the products or to place an order, visit www.writeongifts.com or follow their Instagram @writeongifts.