MORRIS – The storefront on Liberty Street is a bit of a new experience for Rhonda Perotta. Although she and her husband have years of experience running retail stores in malls and downtowns from Chicago to Morris, this is the first time she said she’s been in a multi-use building.
“Here, I have to get them in,” she said, gesturing to the sidewalk passing her storefront. “This will be more challenging and a little different.”
Black Dahlia, a jewelry store, opened last weekend at 316 Liberty St. in Morris. Perotta said she felt there was a need for the type of jewelry she is selling in the downtown. While some of the clothing and dress shops will have a bit of accessories to go with their usual offerings, she said she will focus on jewelry. She began working in costume jewelry more than 20 years ago and said when you focus on one thing, it helps bring in, and keep, customers.
“If you find one thing and specialize, you get a more loyal customer,” Perotta said.
The current stock mostly is accessories and very particular ones, as well.
“We’ll mostly focus on special occasion pieces,” Perotta said. That includes jewelry for bridal parties or the upcoming prom season. “We do have some everyday pieces.”
Perotta chose the unique name because it is her favorite flower. She keeps a vase of black dahlias in the window of the shop, behind the logo. She said originally she had hoped the window logo could be black, as well, but the location under an awning made it hard to read.
As the weather warms up, she said she also expects to bring in other accessories, like sunglasses or handbags.
“We’ll expand as time goes on,” she said. “Right now, we’re trying to get it started.”
Perotta and her husband, Eric Connery, also own MC Maniacs, an antiques store on Washington Street.