From New York Social Diary, Liz Smith: Letters from a Legend, Feb. 11, 2013
From Jersey Girls Magazine: July 12, 2011
Written by Julia Wollner. Posted in Fashion & Boutiques
Winnie & Belle”I followed my bliss and this is where I ended up.” These wise words come from Mari Schofield, the proud owner, designer, and creator or Winnie &Belle. Descending from Midland Park, New Jersey, Winnie & Belle is located on 293 Godwin Avenue. It has always been a dream of Maris to open up her own little shop, which occurred in 2010 when Mari first drove past the empty store, imagining all of the wonderful things that she could do if it was hers. Well, thank goodness for this blessing in disguise because Winnie & Belle is surely one a kind.
As you step foot into Winnie & Belle, you will notice a huge variety of vintage components all designed by Mari herself. Her specialty is jewelry. As soon as you walk into the store, a vintage realm of beautiful pieces that deal with such strong colors and wonderful taste surrounds you. Inspired from all over the world, each piece has been created with such love and care. Mari believes that each piece must be special and bond with the customer who is purchasing the item. If the customer is not 100% satisfied, Mari will not let them leave the store, literally. The customer is ALWAYS most important and always made to feel at home. For years, Mari has been giving back with an open heart. From supporting a tribe in South America to keeping up with an ongoing toiletry drive for the only shelter in Camden where woman can shower (you may contact her or stop in to donate!). Her pieces are simply just a reflection of her inspiration and kindness… plus they make one killer accessory!
Not only does Winnie &Belle also make jewelry, but creates wonderful customized orders…. from a bracelet inspired by a customer who is “Elvis crazy” to necklace’s with dozens of little charms from all over the world that deal with Las Vegas. At one point, a customer trusted Mari with a very special plate that had been kept in her family. Using this plate, Mari was able to break it into pieces and create various necklaces with birthstones to present to each of the siblings of this customer. It is truly extraordinary what can be done at Winnie & Belle and Mari herself.
As you roam around the store, you will find beautiful pieces such as funky rings made from vintage buttons, quaint hairpieces that will bring you back in time, hand painted baby clothes, and beautiful necklaces chained with charms and antiquities from Tibet. The possibilities are truly endless. Winnie & Belle provides a great number of fun and different “lines of jewelry and other objects” such as a “green line” and even a “ Victorian naughty” one. The jewelry that you will find is so timeless, effortless, and definitely trendy. There are great summer pieces that are in style and pieces that can go with almost any outfit and occasion. Not only are these pieces great with an outfit, but are full of sentimental value, something other jewelry may lack. We are positive that when you walk in, you will for sure come back out carrying something new and beautiful,whether it be for you or for another.
Three mompreneurs will help you treat your Valentine to some bling.
By Kathleen Rutler
February 12, 2011
Mari Schofeild has been collecting beads since the 1970s and has a picture of her first necklace made in high school. She began making jewelry in earnest at the request of her many friends who admired her innovative and colorful creations.
Mari, the Wyckoff mother of four, moved her blossoming cottage industry to this charming shop one year ago, when her beads threatened to overflow out of her front door. Schofeild calls jewelry-making “bead therapy”, and has a story about each piece. For example, a woman came wandering in off of the street holding an antique blue and white plate that was her recently deceased Grandmother’s.
“I want to make something with this plate to give to my sisters (10 of them from middle-aged to 80s).”
“Hmmm,” said Mari, whose creative wheels were already turning.
Within seconds the plate was broken and sketches were made for ten charms-which were hand-crafted within a week into necklaces with semi-precious birthstones. Mari added her personal touch with handwritten notes, and exquisite wrapping; the extraordinary gifts met with joyous receptions.
Creative and compassionate, philanthropic and philosophical, Schofeild inspires her customers to in some of the causes Mari’s industry supports. Schofeild has long been a generous and thoughtful donor to school fundraisers as well as two women’s shelters, (one in Camden that she is collecting toiletries for) and a Therapeutic Handicap Riders Program to name a few.
Mari Schofeild’s heart is as big as her shop is small. Her creations are vibrant and fun and remind her of hope. Ask for her beautiful emergency medical necklaces and bracelets: Diabetes, peanuts, penicillin and more. Beautiful pieces that children and teens will be happy to wear.
“These beads come from all over the world, from nations that are warring, yet they look so beautiful hanging next to each other,” says Schofeil wistfully.
To shop at winnie & belle, 293 Godwin Ave, Midland Park, is to buy something that is one of a kind, will support a cause and you probably make a new friend. All are welcome here and if you don’t see what you like, Mari will make it for you. The store is open Tuesdays to Saturdays 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursdays to 6:30 p.m. For appointments call 201-398-3898 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.