KaraLynne Dayrit Wolfe is living proof of the possibility of success after college, offered by Montclair State University. The education and values that Montclair State professors give their students help to prepare them to find a job and even create a job for themselves after college. Wolfe herself was once a Montclair State student and now she is a successful businesswoman.
On Sept. 9, 2017, Wolfe re-opened the store famously known as Chelsea Square with a launch party. The party, which allowed the Montclair community to be re-introduced to the store, had games, food, drinks and various giveaway prizes. It was a night to remember and one that Wolfe was proud to be a part of.
The store, which is considered a landmark in Montclair, has been in business for over 38 years and recently underwent a change in ownership. Wolfe, who graduated in 2007, purchased the store after moving back to Montclair with her husband and young daughter.
Wolfe, who is a native of Montclair, has a strong connection to the store.
“I have been coming into the store since I was 9 years old,” Wolfe said. “[I remember] buying gifts for my mom, or smelling their little soap pears, and always doing small things like that throughout my whole life in this store.”
It seemed like a perfect fit for her, buying the store and becoming a part of its long-living legacy. Wolfe’s first jobs were in the Montclair community from working in stores like Score!, Budget Print and Murph’s Sports Shop. It had broken her heart when Murph’s closed down, so she saw buying Chelsea Square as a sign of faith.
“In the last 5 to 10 years, Montclair has grown as a town and a community, but when you look around there are still a lot of the same stores,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe’s goal is to make sure that Chelsea Square continues to strive and grow within the Montclair community. She also hopes to serve her clients and the community with the best of the store’s abilities and functions.
“It has been fantastic to watch [Chelsea Square] strive in the community, and I just want to make sure that I do its reputation justice,” Wolfe said.
The store has even gone through new developments under her ownership that are aimed to provide special services to Montclair State.
“I loved being a part of Montclair State,” Wolfe said.
While Wolfe was a commuter during her time at the university, she hasn’t forgotten about the students that dorm.
“While there are a lot of commuters, there are also people that dorm that might need [a body cream or shampoo],” Wolfe said. “Chelsea Square also provides services from conducting events to [finding the perfect] bath and body creams and helping with gifting. We really have it all.”
While it has been over a decade since Wolfe was a student at Montclair State, she still recalls her time at the university with fond memories. She had decided to attend Montclair State because it fits perfectly with the direction of her life. During her freshman year, her mother was pregnant with her younger sister, and she wanted to be near them. Montclair State’s business school had just been chartered before her arrival, which made the school a perfect fit for her and one that she has no regrets about.
“Different classes that I took definitely set the foundation for my career, and [enhanced] my desires for it,” Wolfe said. “It assured me that this was what I actually wanted to do.”
Montclair State was just right for her and she learned to persevere even when the road seemed difficult.
“The culture of Montclair State showed me that I could become a businesswoman even while working and being a full-time student because many [professors] helped me foster that,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe has experienced her share of success and knows that’s one of the main reasons students attend college.
“If you want something, just keep going,” Wolfe said. “Plan and push for it. But first, figure out what you want.”