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“Only the Strong Shop” at Bloomfield's Stronghold Shop

“Only the Strong Shop” at the Stronghold Shop.

Located in Bloomfield, NJ, the Stronghold Shop is a stylish and humble streetwear boutique, run by Clarence James, better known as Notez. Opening its doors in 2009, the Stronghold Shop continues to be a staple in the community for what Notez hopes until “2090 and beyond.” 

The Stronghold Shop specializes in exclusive and small brands, giving designers an outlet to make their clothing accessible. “We support a lot of local brands.” Notez said, “There’s a lot of guys who start brands who are now more established and we are proud to say that we were one of the first stores to ever carry them or even give them a shot. We support the streets, the streets support us. We go hand in hand.”

Growing up in the Essex county area, Notez actually started out as an employee at the boutique for years before taking it over when previous owner Mikey Strong had retired. “Who else better to take it over but me?” Notez said. 

Notez described the transition from employee to owner and their differences. “With working here for as long as I did, I was fortunate enough to be privy to some of the ownership side as an employee.” Notez said, “The only real difference is now, I got to make my own check. I got to be the one to maintain order.” 

For Notez, the most rewarding part about taking over the business is continuing the legacy of the brand and putting smiles on people’s faces when they come in to shop. “For me to be that next generation to keep the name alive really makes me proud.” Notez stated. 

When asked for a closing statement, Notez had this to say: “Listen, I’m a cool guy. I show love. You show love, you get love. Talk to me nice, I may drop the price. You feel me?” 

The Stronghold Shop is located on 174 Broad St. in Bloomfield, NJ. Be sure to follow the shop on Instagram @strongholdshop and check out their website  


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