ROAD TRIP: SeaMoon
Retailer has been providing customers a unique selection for more than 45 years
SeaMoon is a gift shop located on Long Beach Island, New Jersey in a town called Surf City, a popular destination for summer vacationers. This delightful shop offers a shopping experience that is enjoyed by both locals and visitors.
Mary Ann and Larry Zazzera, owners, opened SeaMoon in 1976. The store offers merchandise across many categories. Additionally, customer service with a focus on making every “shopping experience productive and enjoyable,” is a feature all customers enjoy.
“My wife is the face of the store. She’s why people come here,” Larry Zazzera disclosed. And that isn’t surprising, as my visit with Mary Ann Zazzera was charming, insightful and such a pleasurable experience!
SeaMoon offers candles, bath and body products, apparel, books, home decor, wall art, souvenir items such as keychains, art glass, windchimes and jewelry. Additionally, quilled and pop-up cards, from recognizable brands such as Quilling Card and Up With Paper, and a wide selection of custom/namedrop products such as wall art, home décor and even cutting boards are available in the shop. Artisan crafted wall art and other home decor items such as pottery — all with a coastal vibe — are also popular items in the store.
“I’ve been in business for 46 years,” Mary Ann Zazzera shared. Customers have been loyal and support her retail establishment, even during the pandemic. Fall of 2020 was very successful for her as well as the holidays, due to her clients. She tries not to carry items that retailers in the same shopping center also offer, that way they can all sell unique merchandise. Foot traffic is strong in neighboring storefronts in the block-long retail location.
Zazzera shared that SeaMoon’s best-sellers are Windchimes from Woodstock Chimes, Art Glass from Kitras Art Glass, pottery pieces from Down to Earth Pottery and bath and body products from Inis in The Energy of the Sea. Typically, Zazzera will source from local vendors as well as makers at NY NOW, Surf Expo and Minneapolis Gift Show.
She also shared some of the wisdom she has gained during her years in retail. “My number one tip is to treat your customers how you would want to be treated! It seems so elementary, but it’s the little things that have allowed us the good fortune to stay in business 40+ years,” she said.
Notably, there are only a couple of times that SeaMoon was forced to close due to unforeseen circumstances — hurricanes Bell (1976) and Irene (2011) and the pandemic in 2020.
SeaMoon is a retail setting people come back to time and again. Local residents and visitors alike enjoy not only the ambience of the store, but also the knowledge and friendliness of Zazzera. As in the case of my own family, three generations have been perusing and buying merchandise from this store during my life-time.
“I enjoy engaging with people and getting to know our customers. We are fortunate to have incredible customers who value the time and effort we put into the business, which is energizing. I also enjoy doing displays, it is a creative outlet for me and a true passion, so it doesn’t seem like work,” she elaborated.
SeaMoon, is located at 1503 Long Beach Blvd, Surf City, New Jersey, and its phone number is 609-361-6624. For more information, visit www.theseamoon.com.