Millie & Joy Boutique
1361 Franklin St
The Chinese philosopher Confusius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. One local resident has the good fortune to be doing just that.
Laura Lopez, owner of Millie and Joy Boutique, has loved fashion for as long as she can remember. Right out of high school she enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology, graduating with a degree in Fashion Merchandising Management. She soon began to build a promising career in NYC, but as anyone with a little life experience knows, circumstances can alter even the best laid plans.
Two major events changed Laura’s trajectory. She met a man from Rahway and after a whirlwind romance, she joined him here to start a family. Then a personal loss, as a result of the collapse of the World Trade Center, made her rethink her career path in the city. She retrained as a teacher so she could work closer to home. During one class she and the kids shared their stories and they learned of her dream to own a fashion boutique. As children will, they reflected back her lesson and started asking why she didn’t follow her own passion? After eleven years of teaching, she finally took the leap to open her own shop.
Opening a store is challenging even in the best of times. She deliberately chose to create a small intimate boutique concentrating on a brick and mortar presence. Keeping a small inventory allows her to choose unique items, continually refresh her inventory, and personally put together her collections. She happily uses her down time in the shop researching current trends and finding the best deals for her customers. Her goal is to provide shoppers an experience akin to what they might find in a neighborhood boutique in the city, without the high price tag.
Locating her shop in Rahway was an easy choice. She liked the small town atmosphere and knew the city to be supportive of the small business community. This decision soon proved critical, because three short months after opening Covid 19 hit and everything shut down. She found herself with a store full of brand new inventory, plus the expenses incurred from creating the boutique space with no incoming income. The grants available thru the City, Union County and the State proved vital to help keep her new business solvent.
Today, Laura and Millie & Joy remain active in the local economy, volunteering at community events, participating in fashion shows and pop up events. Spring collections arrive weekly, so stop in and see what’s new and happening in Rahway.