Britni Morley, our NJMOMpreneur of the week, has been living a magical life ever since she met her husband, magician Scott Morley while performing with him. And though it was originally his dream to own a magic store and perform, she’s realized that it’s her dream job too. Today, she’s the other half of the duo behind Morley’s Magic Shop, one of the very last brick and mortar magic stores in the state, and practices magic with her kids and family in almost everything she does (including homeschooling them). Britni sat down with NJMOM to dish about what it’s like to own a business with your husband and kids, the magical way she’s been able to parlay her work life with home life, and those special NJ farm spots where they all go when they want a dose of reality.
Featured image via Britni Morley
Owner of Morley’s Magic Shop & NJMOMpreneur, Britni Morley
NJMOM: You and your husband own Morley’s Magic Shop together—what inspired you both to open a magic shop? What is your background?
Britni: I have a degree in theatre, and I met my husband while performing in a magic show in 2006, and we worked in shows together while we were dating. Right before we got married, we bought our first shop in Pompton Lakes, which also sold costumes. I didn’t expect to own a magic shop or costume store, but for my husband, it was a dream come true. For me, it was great as a performer and we continued to perform regularly from there. In 2014 we found a better space in Butler and that’s when we rebranded and became “Morley’s Magic Shop”, specializing only in magic. It’s a full-service place where customers can browse for products, take classes and get advice on anything magic.
NJMOM: Where do you live with your family in New Jersey?
Britni: We are proud to be residents, business owners and property owners in Butler.
You have to stick with it—we took a lot of part-time jobs to help supplement our business. But that doesn’t mean you are failing—it just means you are smartly waiting for your business to grow. “—Britni Morley, Morley’s Magic Shop
NJMOM: You’re planning on renovating Morley’s Magic Shop to also include a magic theatre. Can you tell us more about that?
Britni: We’re renovating now, and our magic theatre will allow us to offer birthday party packages that are all-inclusive, complete with food, activities and a unique magic show. Since we have worked at so many birthday parties, we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. We’ll be able to do bigger, more complicated magic shows at our magic theatre—things you can’t just pack up into a magic trunk and take on the road. And we’re excited about what else we can do there—we’ll be doing lots of community events, like magic, puppet shows, classes and workshops. We’re also very excited to start a magic/theatre homeschooling class. We homeschool our kids, so we’ve already been teaching this magic/theatre-based class that touches on math, science, energy and spelling, and plan to do it in the new space.
NJMOM: What’s it like to run a family business with your husband? How do you balance personal and business life?
Britni: Right now, it’s an exciting time because the expansion is really bringing us back to where we used to be as performers. When we both owned our own businesses (Britni previously owned a babywearing shop, Wrap Me Tender) we were still co-owners and sounding boards for one another—but there was definitely a big separation. We realized how much we missed working together when we began teaching the magic/theatre homeschooling class for our kids. It brought us back to our roots as performers and working together again has been good for us as a couple. There are challenges, of course, but we love the togetherness that it brings.
NJMOM: Do your kids enjoy magic tricks? Do they spend a lot of time in the store or help out at the magic shop?
Britni: They do! My 2-year-old is just getting used to it now. She is a total ham and not shy at all, she’s very much a goofball and loves to be in the spotlight. My 7-year-old has been taking dance classes, sings and loves to perform, for sure. She’s so helpful and often assists my husband during shows. When I bring her to the shop, she will demo our products and knows where everything is and chats with customers.
NJMOM: Name your favorite spots in New Jersey.
Britni: We love The Growing Stage in Netcong because it’s an amazing, professional theater geared specifically for children right here in Northern New Jersey. As an Equity theatre for young audiences, the talent is always stellar. The BlissFully Vegan Cafe in Ringwood is a wonderful option when we want a healthy, organic meal. They often have live music or other events to add to the fun for a family night out. My older daughter has learned so much about alpaca care and even leads the alpacas around at Humor Me Farm. We also visit Bergen County Horse Rescue, a beautiful and historic farm in Mahwah. It is so incredibly peaceful there and you can just feel the love for the horses as soon as you step foot on the property.
NJMOM: Do you have any advice for a new NJMOMpreneur who is just starting her own business?
Britni: Sure, I think the first thing is to be passionate about whatever it is you’re doing. When you start your own business, it will feel like you’re working all the time because you almost never stop thinking about it. Remember though, it’s okay to check out. Sometimes, my husband and I have a problem turning off our entrepreneur hats, but it’s important to do that. You also have to stick with it—we took a lot of part-time jobs to help supplement our business. But that doesn’t mean you are failing—it just means you are smartly waiting for your business to grow.