Stone drop earrings, Tons of Treasures, Wyckoff | Tadashi dress, Saks Fifth Avenue, The Shops at Riverside | Rodrigo Otazu jeweled bracelet, Tons of Treasures, Wyckoff | Stuart Weitzman peep-toe pumps, Bloomingdale's, The Shops at Riverside (Photo by Chris Marksbury)
First-grade teacher and jewelry store owner Michele Maietta has always adored fashion.
"During the day, I pour my heart and soul into my classroom," Maietta says. "At night, when I work at our store, Tons of Treasures in Wyckoff, I do it all again."
The common ground between both is the huge role fashion plays both professionally and personally in Maietta's life.
"After a long week, my outlet has always been shopping," she says.
Describing herself as a jewelry and handbag person, Maietta values both vintage and new pieces. She mixes fine jewelry with fashion jewelry and favors her mother's Gucci hobo from the '80s as well as her Louis Vuitton Neverfull tote. From the time she could walk, Maietta remembers layering on her mother's jewelry and oversized pocketbooks.
"It's truly amazing how a simple switch of an accessory can transform the look of any outfit," she says. "I love that you can wear silver and gold jewelry together, and bold, colorful statement pieces with dainty, feminine pieces. You don't have to be matchy matchy."
Maietta and her husband, Kenneth, opened Tons of Treasures two years ago, next to their existing store, Tons of Toys, started by Kenneth's father 25 years ago. The jewelry boutique was her opportunity to share her passion for fashion with others, and to make her dreams a reality.
"I wanted to establish a place where women and children could go to purchase unique jewelry and accessories that I hand picked," she says. "I have always loved how jewelry can provide such a beautiful element to a woman's wardrobe."
Maietta mostly opts for classic clothing and uses accessories as a way to incorporate the latest trends.
"I thrive on mixing classic labels with affordable finds," she says. "Fashion is such a fun and exciting way to express yourself."
Her comfortable yet classic style is carried over to her Midland Park home, where you can find warm hues of color and pieces of framed artwork on the walls.
"I am constantly on the lookout for new fixtures and artwork to add to our decor," she says.
A sense of community and giving back is important to Maietta, a Franklin Lakes native, and her husband, a Wyckoff native. Since marrying three years ago, they have worked together to expand Tons of Toys by adding locations in Bernardsville, Chatham and Madison. They donate toys to local schools, churches and synagogues and contribute to Oasis – A Haven for Women, Children and Eva's Kitchen in Paterson.
"We feel very strongly about giving back to the community we grew up in and live in," she says.
When Maietta isn't busy in the classroom or at one of their stores, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, cooking and trying out new restaurants with Kenneth.