SOLON– Mary Jane Meyers chose the name of her new shop on Main Street purposefully.
mj’s bo chic– a carefully blended moniker reflecting the mix of casual and tailored, classic and trendy, Park Avenue-couture-meets-Soho spirit within. Even the shop’s ambiance– a fresh, newly-remodeled space in a turn-of-the-century building with tin ceilings and vintage accents– is a tribute to the timelessness of good taste.
Even though mj’s bo chic could be in the heart of Santee Alley, the heart of its owner lies in the Midwest. Originally from Kansas, Mary Jane moved to Iowa so her son could be near his grandparents. She stayed because she loved it.
With a background in horticulture, she worked as a florist, and with experience at the popular Pier One home décor store, Mary Jane learned she had a knack for creatively combining details in unconventional ways to make a single, spectacular piece.
“I always liked the shabby chic look, but I have a very eclectic style. I like bringing whimsy into my designs,” said Mary Jane.
And when she went to the local bridal shows, she saw wedding dresses that were fashioned upon the classic designs of years ago.
“They were beautiful…but they needed updating,” she said.
With that, she began to re-fashion traditional styles with her own personal make-over flair.
“I wanted brides to get something truly unique,” she said.
Mary Jane’s designs emulate fine British designer Ian Stuart, she said. “I like more organic, floral embellishment used as a modern touch.”
She also hand paints accompaniments for brides, like ring bearer pillows, monogrammed shoe clips, toasting glasses or jewel clips. Any type of piece can be commissioned for a personalized, distinctive look or gift.
“It is not a bridal shop, but we will certainly treat you as if it is your day,” she said.
The pretty dresses at mj’s aren’t just for brides. There is a selection of new and pre-owned dresses, for ladies from junior miss to misses, in sizes 0 to 24, including prom and homecoming dresses. Mary Jane promises they are high-quality goods sporting reasonable price tags. But don’t expect to find a lot of sportswear here. Some of her selections have a Bohemian verve, more for everyday wear; however, she noted, “I have many dressy dresses. It’s an homage to my mother. She is the original MJ, and she could really dress.”
More often than in the past, people are choosing dresses as everyday wear, she said, for their ease, comfort and fashionable good looks.
And people want to dress up their homes as well, which is why Mary Jane is pleased to offer home décor items, including painted furniture in styles from French provençal to art nouveau.
Mary Jane plans an Open House in October to invite the community in to touch, try on and fall in love with her collections of clothing, jewelry, gifts and home furnishings.
“I think you can take any design element and apply it to any area,” she said, whether in the garden, art studio, one’s home interior or in the mirror. “I have pretty things to put in your home, to wear, or to give as gifts. But you will find more unusual, unique things here. Everything is one of a kind.”