Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the area?
I grew up in Mendham and then after college I moved to Montclair, back to Mendham, then to Morris Township, and then back to Mendham, and then moved to Morristown for 6 months and then back to Mendham and we are never leaving again! Fun fact: my parents Bob and Helen Cleary were the first couple Co-Grand Marshals for the Labor Day Parade in 2017. They moved here in 1975.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
I have one daughter Emma who is 13 and 2 sons James 10 and Jesse 7.
Are you involved in a business venture or corporate world? Please Share!
Many moons ago I was part of the corporate world and worked myself up and through different departments such as Communications, Accounting/Finance and then Marketing. I was also a Product Manager for a gift wrapping company working on Christmas Cards, Fabric bows and ribbons, and many other Seasonal Holiday items that you would see in Target, Walmart, TJ Maxx Store, etc. With the knowledge I gained from each position, I have been able to use it in creating and establishing my consignment business, Hilltop Consignments, online and now in a physical location in Mendham.
When did you decide you wanted to open a consignment shop?
After my son James was born 10 years ago, I decided that I didn’t need all the business clothes I had since I was going to be a SAHM. I started listing on eBay and haven’t looked back. By word of mouth, I had people interested in consigning their clothing and other items with me to sell on eBay and that is how I got started. I have also participated in the Ralston Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary town wide garage sale for almost 10 years and have sold thousands of items online and through these garage
sales for multiple consignors.
Has owning your own store always been a dream?
Yes! And it’s been a long journey, but I’m so happy that I was finally able to find the perfect spot for my first physical store front that my kids are able to walk to and help out.
If you could give one tip to fellow Mom Entrepreneurs what would it be?
Just keep going! Small steps will make bigger steps and get you to your goal faster than you think. Don’t overthink it!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I love old things and try to repurpose as much as possible. That’s why I think I like consignment, you can switch out your clothing by consigning and buy new pieces of clothing all in one place. I also can dance the mashed potato on demand.
Ok 10 Fun LOCAL favorites – ready, go!
1 – Favorite thing to do with your kids? Take them to the Cross Gates Garden in the Spring/Summer or hike on the trails in town.
2 – Favorite coffee spot? I’m boring and I brew my own coffee and drink it black with ice : )
3 – Favorite lunch place? Colonial Pantry, ½ a #4, no tomatoes or oregano.
4 – Favorite farm to go fruit picking? Riamede Farms
5 – Favorite date night restaurant? We’ve had so many over the years! From the Tavern in town, to the Bernards Inn where we had our wedding reception. We also like the Old Mill Tavern in Chester. We are all over the place!
6 – Favorite boutique? Simply Country!
7 – Favorite spot to grab a drink? Either The Station in Bernardsville or the Gladstone Tavern.
8 – Who has the best bagels in town? This is a hard one! I really can’t decide.
9 – Best slice of pizza in town? Dantes – every Friday night!
10 – Favorite spot for ice cream? The Mendham Creamery, of course! We are lucky enough to be neighbors x2.
This interview was done in partnership with Hilltop Consignments. Be sure to visit Justine in her new shop behind the Grand Bazaar at 6 Hilltop Road in Mendham and follow her on social media below: