Just Jersey in Morristown sees soaring sales on National New Jersey Day

Today is national New Jersey Day – and you’re forgiven if you didn’t know it. The commemoration, started by the National Day Calendar (who else), only has been around since 2009.

But it’s a Super Bowl of sorts for Just Jersey, the unique retail shop in Morristown. Co-owner Tina Bologna said they are celebrating.

“It’s the most important day of the year,” she joked.

By noon, it was obvious that plenty of others are eager to join the party. Bologna said online sales already were triple what they normally would be (she admits, free shipping is a nice boost) and in-store traffic has been stronger than usual, too.

“We’ve done a lot of promotion online and people have really responded,” she said. “It’s been great.”

And Just Jersey is making sure the party lasts for more than just a day.

Just Jersey is offering free shipping from today through the end of the weekend. (Check out their ecommerce site here). They also are giving out a $100 gift card each day.

Bologna, who owns the store along with Paul Miller, said N.J. hats and specialty coasters have been the big sellers, so far.

Of course, the coasters are one of the store’s most coveted items. And it’s not so much about their size and shape (standard and very sturdy), but the Jersey themes they have on them.

A town name with a ZIP code or geographic coordinates? Got that.

Famous Jersey stars? You can get one with more than a dozen sports heroes (Carl Lewis, Franco Harris, Carli Lloyd and Derek Jeter), actors (James Gandolfini, Jason Alexander, Ray Liotta and Meryl Streep) or inventors (Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and J. Robert Oppenheimer).

Rock stars? Bruce and Bon Jovi have their own.

There’s even a few with a little Jersey attitude — and some with a lot.

Global reach

The love of New Jersey goes well past our borders. Just Jersey has sent packages to 49 states (still waiting on Alaska) and around the globe. During the holiday season in 2022, the company sent 197 packages a total of nearly 180,000 miles.

The farthest customer in its history came from New Zealand — who, thankfully, was looking to pick up a gift for someone that lived in New Jersey.

And if you’re wondering if anyone from the Isle of Jersey has called, they have. They wanted to be a vendor. They were told, “Wrong Jersey.”

If you’ve been to the store – located just off the Green at 163 South Street in Morristown – you already know the store has plenty of Jersey attitude. More than that, Bologna and Miller make sure it only has Jersey items.

Just Jersey has more than 7,000 items available (from more than 300 vendors) at its store and online.

Jersey, not jerseys

Co-owner Paul Miller feels Just Jersey’s name helps it do well on web searches.

“When people want something from Jersey, we usually come up,” he said.

There is one slight problem with the name. Occasionally the store will get a call for someone looking for a sports jersey. “We tell them Just Jersey, no ‘S,’” he said.

Half the store, Bologna and Miller said, is products that are directly connected to the state by name or likeness. The other half — and here’s the fun business catch — are products made by Jersey-based small businesses: Think jewelry, candles and hand-crafted wood signs or bowls, among a variety of options.

It all gives the store a certain look.

“Our items are not overly packaged,” Bologna said. “We tend to have things that look handmade with natural materials — recycled materials, if possible — but without crossing over into ‘grandma crafty.’”

Bologna and Miller say the store, which opened nearly a decade ago, has made its market with New Jersey items.

Whether they are birthday, wedding or graduation gifts, the store has something for everyone, they say – from numerous food items (think pasta shaped like the state, or Jersey Girl chocolate bars) to T-shirts, jewelry, pillows, signs of all shapes and sizes (even a few made out of pieces of license plates, yellow and blue).

In recent years, Just Jersey has greatly expanded its corporate business. What better way for a corporate swag bag than items celebrating the state, they said.

“I think it had always been in our mind that we have great things for corporations that want to celebrate the communities in which they call home — and in which their employees and customers live,” Miller said. “We feel we have items that are a great way to celebrate the state and would help distinguish their corporate giving or their talent-acquisition efforts.”

Professional sports teams have purchased products that help them sell the state – major corporations have purchased swag bags for their interns and new hires.

Even Gov. Phil Murphy, Sen. Cory Booker and Congressman Mikie Sherrill (the store is in her area) have purchased an item or two.

And, why not? The benefits run deep.

Bologna and Miller say the store is about more than just promoting the state, it’s about promoting small businesses in the state. This aspect appeals to the sustainability passion that brought Bologna and Miller together years ago while working at Sustainable Morristown.

“For us, this was a logical extension of our commitment to sustainability,” Miller said. “A lot of people know the environmental piece, but the economic piece isn’t as fully embraced or understood. Being able to lower your carbon footprint by sourcing local and keeping money circulating in a local economy is an extension of that commitment.”

Bologna said the two feel the store should appeal to corporations that value supporting the local economy, too.

“It’s a fun way to do the right thing,” she said.

And on National New Jersey Day, why would you shop anywhere else, she said.

Reach Just Jersey at justjerseygoods.com or call 973-590-2820.