Serious “It” Factor: MackeyBlue, Hoboken

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I know I have said it before but one of the best things about being an Interior Designer is that I get to constantly go shopping for my clients. For me space-planning, color scheme development, furniture and fabric selections are all easy. Finding that perfect piece (the wow factor) to build a design around or accessorizing a room with vintage treasures, not so easy. I love combining my clients family heirlooms with vintage pieces that have history and character. You can’t rush this process, you can’t run out and buy history and character off the shelf, you have to search for it and recognize it. Enter in, Karen Marsh of MackeyBlue located in the heart of Hoboken, NJ. A Friday Find that is a designers dream.

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I found MackeyBlue a year ago while spending the day in Hoboken with my son Cole. I walked in with the same attitude that I usually have entering an antique shop, hoping to find one or two items of interest and not much more. That was not at all the case, I was drawn to just about every corner of this sweet little shop and didn’t want to leave. Karen Marsh, a Java Developer by day, is a vintage extraordinaire. Coming from a family of pickers and antique collectors that is not a term I throw around lightly.

Hoboken AYP interview 014 I just love Karen’s story and her business philosophy. It is almost as if she was destined for this “hobby” as she calls it, tagging along with her Mom when she was a little girl to garage sales and growing up watching her Dad work for a Stamp and Coin Auction House in Delaware, where she is originally from. Karen started out small, selling her vintage finds in a flea market held in Hoboken. She quickly learned through her success that she might be on to something. Six years ago she opened the doors to Mackey Blue at 1200 Washington Street, Hoboken. You feel welcome as soon as you enter because of Karen’s business philosophy. To run her business like a garage sale, keeping it simple and following her instincts.

PicMonkey Collage

In her own words Karen said, ” I see beauty in things that are worn, I don’t change what I find because my customers may see something in the piece that I might take away if I change it”. A quick cleaning and on to the floor it goes. So where did this hip thrift name come from? Mackey was Karen’s great grandmother’s Scottish surname. She tried pairing it with several words and “Blue” just felt like the right fit.

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PicMonkey Collage

Karen’s inner designer is evident in the renovation of her shop, exposing the brick walls and adding vintage blue wallpaper from the fifties (you can see a close up of it on her site, she uses it as the wallpaper there as well). What will you find at MackeyBlue? Well, it is constantly changing (which is the fun part) with items ranging from home decor, paper and art to vintage jewelry, fashion and cameras. Just look at the pictures from my visit this week, you get the idea. Karen also has an online shop with additional finds, see more, but if you are ever in the Hoboken area you don’t want to miss MackeyBlue!

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  • Connie

    Love all the vintage jewelry in this shop.

    • Cathy from Adore Your Place

      This shop has unexpected treasures hidden all over. Not sure if there is jewelry online but you can always contact Karen if you are looking for something specific.

  • Zoe borrowdale

    Looks very much like a British shop. interesting but not too styled. Everything left to encourage the imagination. Shame I m so far away or I would be popping in regularly!

    • Cathy from Adore Your Place

      Sounds like I will be shopping a lot when in England then, my daughter has a friend there we are hoping to visit. Thanks for stopping by Zoe.

      • Zoe Borrowdale

        If you do visit, don’t forget to visit the North of England ! Americans tend to favour London, the Cotswolds and then skip the rest and head up to Edinbrough. Try the Peak District too!

        • Cathy from Adore Your Place

          Will do Zoe, thanks for the tip. Her friend is in Swindon.

  • Sarah Jane

    Karen is as sweet as her store! The items for sale are reasonably priced and the quality is always excellent. I love this store! I only wish I had a larger apartment! :)

    • Cathy Wolfram

      Sarah Jane there are always gifts to give LOL Yes, its a great shop & Karen is so talented XO