Business: The Merry Goldfinch

Location: The Village of Historic Smithville, Galloway Township

Owner: Terri Sasso Taniewski, 45, of Williamstown

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Employees: Five part-time

Phone: 609-377-5139

The Merry Goldfinch's tagline is, "Delightful, distinctive and artisan finds." It's kind of a gift and speciality shop.

We've got tabletop items, pottery, hand-painted glassware, home decor and decorative accents.

Some personal accessories include artists' jewelry and handmade jewelry, fashion jewelry, handbags and fashion scarves.

We also have some novelty items, such as handmade metal animals and handmade neckties.

We try to focus on things that are unique, made in the U.S., and handmade. We have a unique line of magnetic jewelry, kind of an exclusive for the area.

We have beautiful handmade ceramic pottery from Italy, lifetime pieces you'd want for your weddings. For example, there's a beautiful large serving platter, a cream-colored Baroque style with relief on the pottery itself.

Anne Koplik's line of jewelry is made in the U.S. You've seen her earrings on "Dancing with the Stars." We've got a lovely necklace with a dragonfly pendant and matching earrings, of enamel and crystal. Everyone loves these and wants to look at them.

I also have an artist who does botanical jewelry that looks real, and we've got a necklace with a grouping of blueberries with leaves. It looks like you're wearing blueberries. Those are handmade in the U.S. too, by Michael Michaud.

We have a range of tastes and budgets, so things made by artists are a little pricier than other things in the store, but competitive with other sellers of unique pieces.

We're open every day but Christmas, year-round.

We'll try to reflect the seasons and seasonal colors with our home accents and accessories.

Entry: I spent almost 18 years in an executive capacity with a large retailer. When I exited that last year, I saw this opportunity.

Having a retail background and having done strategy, it should be easy for me to run a store, value price things, and treat people with integrity. That's how I'd like to make an impact in this area.

The future: We're working on our website and I plan to have more online presence.

Business editor Kevin Post

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