Merger of households grows into eclectic shop

John and Marilyn Pagliei own the Paisley Parasol, a gift shop in Dennis Township that sells antiques and hand-crafted items such as pillows.

DENNIS TOWNSHIP - At their new shop on Route 9, John and Marilyn Pagliei spent a recent Wednesday morning chatting with customers who walked in to the Paisley Parasol, an eclectic store carrying items from estate pieces to homemade pillows.

"They're here for the socialization of it and meeting people, and that's hard to come by," said Marianne Horan, a repeat customer from Franklin Square, N.Y.

For John Pagliei, 59, a practicing dentist in Bucks County, Pa., and Marilyn Pagliei, a retired home economics teacher, the Paisley Parasol grew out of the idea to sell items from a co-op four years ago as the newly married couple combined households.

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"We started out with all our own stuff. We had nice things - better than a yard sale - and we didn't have the skill to go on eBay or Craigslist or anything so we put the stuff in one little spot in a co-op," Marilyn Pagliei said.

"So over four years we kept expanding from one spot to seven spots. My one girlfriend moved to Florida and asked for help (selling items). Another friend was redecorating, then my daughter had things," she said.

The scope and the business evolved.

The owners opened up a small location in the Swainton section of neighboring Middle Township, then relocated to the current spot in Dennis Township.

The shop is identifiable by its brightly colored sign and the vast assortment of items that can be seen outside and through the windows.

For the couple, who live in Collingswood, the Dennis Township location was ideal - it's two doors down from their second home.

"We wanted to be a feel-good store, that's the theme," Pagliei said. "If you just felt like going out and having a feel-good moment, you would come in here, so we're extra friendly."

The business buys and sells estate-type items and still sells items for friends and family.

"We've had customers who've come in and we'll decide if it's something we can sell or not," she said. "If we like it, we buy it. We only have in here things that we love."

On a large shelf in the back of the store are rows of colorful, handmade pillows that the store sells.

With two employees and the owners, the Paisley Parasol is open seven days a week throughout the year.

"We want people to know we're not here for the summer and then bailing out. It's important to us to be open all year - we think it shows some sincerity to the business and the community," she said.

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