From the perfect summer straw clutch cleverly designed to look like a lemon, to a true statement earring that combines the perfect amount of tassel and bling, no one appreciates the pop of fun an accessory can bring quite like our NJMOMpreneur of the week, Rachel Elvgren of Goldie Shop. With a background as a high-end buyer and great eye for colorful and creative designs, this Midland Park mama of three took a leap with her own line of accessories that combines whimsy and sparkle with a glam vintage vibe. We love the fun collection, and we really love how she uses each trunk show to give back to the community. This stylish super mama sat down with us to talk transitions (her youngest is getting ready for 1st grade!), her family’s favorite Cape May spots (her family owns Congress Hall Hotel so she is definitely in the know!) and the mantra that helps her weigh a tough decision, whether in business or life.
featured image via Emily Wilson, Emily Photography
Owner of Goldie Shop & NJMOMpreneur Rachel Elvgren
NJMOM: What do you offer to your clients and how is it different than other professionals in your field?
Rachel: Goldie Shop came about when I saw a lack of interesting and fun accessories in the Ridgewood/Northern NJ area where I live. I wanted to make exciting and special pieces available to the women around me. We offer items that you can’t find anywhere else. I design a lot of the purses myself, so they are exclusive to my website. I also work with jewelry designers to tailor pieces to fit my customer’s needs. I like to make things wearable or more appealing, which makes a lot of the items totally exclusive to Goldie Shop. This is one of my favorite aspects of my job!
Don’t start your business unless you love it enough to have it take time away from your kids. The juggle of work and managing kid-life is real, so you need to make sure you love it before you invest in it.” – NJMOMpreneur Rachel Elvgren
NJMOM: What inspired you to get into your line of work?
Rachel: Honestly, so many friends and family have been asking me and pushing me to start my own business and the timing felt right. I love having the independence to build a cohesive and creative collection.
NJMOM: What is your favorite part about your business?
Rachel: I have two! The first is seeing someone’s eyes light up when they find an item that makes them feel beautiful! The second is the charity aspect of the trunk shows I do. I have a couple of large trunk shows a year and the hostess picks the charity she wants to support. Goldie Shop donates a portion of proceeds to the charity of choice. It is so gratifying to learn about and support different causes dear to people’s hearts. It is also very overwhelming, in a good way, to see the way women come out to support each other and shop for good.
NJMOM: What is your background in your business expertise?
Rachel: My first job after college was as an Assistant Buyer at Bloomingdales in New York (queue all the Rachel from Friends jokes!). I also worked in interior design in Boston and managed a home design store there. When my husband and I moved to New Jersey, I took over the retail buying for Cape Resorts Group and transformed the shops in Congress Hall (Cape May) from one tiny store to what exists today. There is a women’s and men’s Boutique called Tommy’s Folly and the resort recently opened a kids boutique as well.
NJMOM: What are you most proud of in your career?
Rachel: I think I’m most proud of the sense of community that Goldie Shop is building in the Ridgewood area and the ability to give back.
NJMOM: What is something few people know about you?
Rachel: I have never owned a microwave.
NJMOM: What can we expect from you next year – personally and professionally?
Rachel: I’m hoping to expand the custom pieces I create for Goldie Shop and to continue to grow the business. Personally, I’m preparing for my youngest to go to 1st grade and be in school all day, every day. That is going to be a big change!
NJMOM: What charitable cause are you most passionate about?
Rachel: There are a lot, but closest to my heart is single moms. The most vulnerable I ever felt was when I was pregnant with each of my babies and overwhelmed by the weight of the responsibility of bringing a new child into the world. Not to mention the intensity of the physical toll it takes on your body. I have an incredibly supportive and hands-on husband, and I couldn’t stop thinking about women who do all of it on their own and how much harder that would be. For this reason, I support Oasis in Paterson. They have support groups for single moms every Saturday and try to stop the cycle of poverty through education.
NJMOM: Who is your role model? Why?
Rachel: My own mom and my mother-in-law. They are so different from one another personality-wise, but both have a deep faith and faithfully love their kids. I admire them both for the examples they set for me.
NJMOM: What is the best piece of advice your mom ever gave you?
Rachel: “When in doubt, leave it out.” My mom said that to me at a turning point in my life which gave me the freedom to make a tough decision. I also go back to it in my work life.
NJMOM: What are your favorite things to do in New Jersey with your family?
Rachel: We like to get outside! We walk around the Celery Farm in Allendale which is great for younger kids. In the winter we go to Campgaw and Mt. Peter to work on the kids’ skiing. I highly recommend doing it for beginner skiers before going to bigger mountains. The easy in and out and short drive to Mt. Peter is convenient.
NJMOM: What is the best part about being a mom for you?
Rachel: Woah! So many things, but seeing how different each child is and helping them navigate life and find their own special talents is pretty amazing and a total blessing. Parenting teaches you so much about yourself and your own flaws which is very humbling. Let’s keep it real people.
NJMOM: What are your favorite businesses in New Jersey?
Rachel: I love Super Juice Nation in Wyckoff for smoothies and green juice. For brunch, we love Raymond’s in Ridgewood, Ridge Thai for takeout, and Brooklyn’s in Ridgewood for their delicious pepperoni pizza. I love going to CoreFire Pilates in Ridgewood and Club One Love for a kick butt Barre class. My seven-year-old daughter loves art and her art teacher started an adorable Art School called The Art Nook NJ in Hawthorne. If you need a family photographer I love Emily Photography (Midland Park) run by Emily Wilson, who is also a mom and super easy to work with. A girlfriend just introduced me to Sofia’s Restaurant in Englewood which was delicious and I can’t wait to take my husband there for a fun date night.
NJMOM: Where do you reside and vacation in New Jersey?
Rachel: We live in Midland Park in Bergen County. I have been going to Cape May every summer since I was born. My grandfather started taking my mom there in the summer of 1962. The most special place for me is Congress Hall Hotel, its the hotel my brother, Curtis Bashaw purchased and renovated, and my sister, Colleen Bashaw does the beautiful interior design. My husband and I got married there and we love taking our kids there every year. We love The Beach Shack for a casual summer dinner. We frequent George’s for their fresh Greek food and my kids gobble up their hummus sampler which we usually order for takeout on the beach. If you want a date night in Cape May go to The Virginia for dinner and drinks and dessert on the porch. Fourth of July on the front lawn of Congress Hall is a must do with kids, there is face painting and carnival games before the fireworks and gorgeous music begin.
NJMOM: What advice might you have for a fellow NJMOMpreneur just starting out?
Rachel: Don’t start your business unless you love it enough to have it take time away from your kids. The juggle of work and managing kid-life is real, so you need to make sure you love it before you invest in it.
NJMOM: Anything else you want to tell moms in New Jersey?
Rachel: Get out and explore with your kids while they are little so they get used to travel and going on adventures as a family!