Two Moms Met While Volunteering. A Year Later, They Opened a Boutique Together

Dreamt up by fast friends who bonded over designer clothing, Calia in Bernardsville offers classic women's apparel with a twist.

Calia owners Margery St. John and Angela Casiero hold their dogs, who sometimes visit their Bernardsville shop.
Calia owners Margery St. John (left) and Angela Casiero, along with their furry friends, who sometimes visit the shop. Photo by Andy Foster

When Angela Casiero and Margery St. John met doing volunteer work at their sons’ school, Delbarton, they quickly discovered a shared passion for well-made designer clothing. A year later, in November 2021, they opened their own business in Bernardsville.

Calia (Italian for “beautiful person”) is a hybrid women’s clothing store, with classic designer looks as well as contemporary fashion. “Stylish moms and daughters shop together at the store and even swap their clothing,” says St. John. “We especially like classic styles with a twist.”

“We choose each piece hoping it sparks happiness in our shoppers. When people wear our merchandise, they are often asked, ‘Where did you find that?’” Casiero says. “We hope people enjoy Calia, whether they buy or browse.”

Among the boutique’s high-end labels is Prabal Gurung, and contemporary designers include Cleobella and Jonathan Simkhai. The store is loaded with sporty as well as dressy looks. Also available are PJs, Italian handbags, slippers, jewelry and accessories. “Shoppers like to run in to find something special for a night out. It’s a local option without going to a mall,” says St. John, a Mendham resident.

A Bernardsville native, St. John was a high school track star and four-time state champion in hurdles. (In fact, the Bernards High track field is located directly behind Calia.) Her taste in clothing was influenced by years spent attending Hollywood events like the Emmys and the Golden Globes with her hubby, who is an Emmy-winning executive producer.

Casiero, a resident of Cedar Knolls, has worked in the high-end designer fashion industry for 30 years. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), she’s worked for designers Emanuel Ungaro, Alberta Ferretti and Giambattista Valli. “Every day is another day to look fabulous, so we curate our inventory to take busy women from daytime looks to cocktails,” she says. “I encourage shoppers to feel empowered by stepping out of their comfort zone. To me, great style is understated, with a special detail that personalizes your look.”

St. John adds, “The best way to sell clothing is to recommend what we personally love—and we love everything in the store, because we choose it ourselves.”

Calia (80 Morristown Road, Bernardsville Shopping Centre; 201-874-3444) is open Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5 pm, or by appointment.

Follow our style editor on Instagram (@susanbrierlybush).

 

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