Meet Cindy Rau and Natalia Ocampo – two Jersey City women behind Allies 4 All, a pop-up shop that strives to be eco-friendly. The business has Jersey City roots through and through, as the couple met, married, and now live in Jersey City. They are in love with Hudson County and enjoy participating in local pop-ups throughout the community. The Hoboken Girl talked with Cindy to get all the details on the business. Read on to learn more about Allies 4 All.
Hoboken Girl: How long have you lived in the area?
CR: We lived in Jersey City and Hoboken for over 10 years, from the Heights, Journal Square, Bergen-Lafayette to South Hoboken.
HG: What inspired you to start your brand Allies 4 All?
CR: Allies 4 All was inspired by our community. Realizing that each person in this world is essential to create our beautiful diversity drove us to find a way to support others. What better way to start than supporting our local community? Each of us represents something greater.
HG: Tell us about Allies 4 All + its mission.
CR: Allies 4 All is a company from the people to the people. We are an apparel, accessories, and crafts online store. A percentage from every purchase made on our website will be donated to selected charities, community organizations, and non-profits in our area.
HG: What are your most popular products?
CR: Our snapbacks and candles tend to catch the eye most often.
HG: Tell us about your initiative to give back locally + the nonprofits you’re working with.
CR: We are currently working with BFL (Backpacks For Life), a nonprofit organization in Jersey City that supports the needs of veterans in our community. We have provided financial donations and are planning on donating our time to BFL’s upcoming events in the near future.
HG: Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?
CR: Inspiration is essential to create and maintain a small business. We find it in each other and in the realization that every small step towards a dream, and supporting others can be a milestone in its significance.
HG: What are your goals for this year?
CR: One of our main goals in this new year is to continue getting to know our community. Therefore, we prioritize participation in local pop-ups. We also want to continue expanding our online presence as it is so versatile.
HG: What’s a typical day look like for you?
CR: Whether we are launching a new collection or planning an upcoming pop-up, we always start our workday with the three essentials: online promotions, following up on customer service needs, and scheduling deliveries of recent orders.
Being your own boss means you need to hold yourself accountable. And so, the earlier we get up the more we accomplish. The early bird catches the worm is a true statement!
Also, as a couple, we must have boundaries to separate work from our personal lives. We always start our day with coffee, breakfast, walking our dog, and feeding our pets. Soon after our personal routines we jump on work mode and prioritize the day’s activities based on what we have coming up.
HG: What has been the highlight in your life so far?
CR: Finding each other – we support each other unconditionally and that has led us to where we are in our careers. confidence in each other which makes us grow as individuals.
HG: What advice would you give to women who want to start their own business?
CR: Stop overthinking it and just do it! You’ll be joining fellow women who think outside the box and who are full of drive, which is a huge motivation. There is nothing like working on something of your own. You give it your all. There is always a learning curve so there is no need to start with a large project. Just practice your craft and sooner or later things will fall into place. Also, enjoy the process. It’s a lot of work to carry out something from start to finish. But if you are organized and ahead of the game you can enjoy that work and focus on your passion. Believe that you deserve to enjoy the work you do.
HG: Anything else you want to share about Hoboken, your business?
CR: Stay tuned for a special announcement on our one-year anniversary coming up in September 2022!
HG: What is your favorite local restaurant?
CR: The Iron Monkey is where we met and got engaged. The rooftop is so cozy, and we know many of the staff there. They are always accommodating and sweet. The main bar also feels like a local hidden gem with great bartenders. We love seeing the random monkeys throughout the restaurant. The Iron Monkey is forever in our hearts.
HG: What is your favorite local boutique?
CR: Francesca’s on Washington Street in Hoboken is a classic at this point. Everything in that store is so pretty.
HG: What do you love most about the area?
CR: The diversity. Countless restaurants and bars are influenced by different cultures. There is always something to do and new people to meet. We have the fun of a big city and the community of a small town.
HG: What is your favorite thing to do in Hudson County?
CR: Connect with our friends, meet new people, attend events for local artists, and dinners.
HG: Tell us about another business in the area you admire.
CR: We are BIG fans of craft beer. We admire the teams at Departed Soles Brewery and 902 Brewery on how they carry out their businesses. Also, they love supporting other small local businesses.
HG: What is your favorite outdoor place to spend time in the area?
CR: Liberty State Park. The views, the trails, the nature. When you are there, it feels like you are far away in paradise.
HG: What is your favorite place to work out in Hudson County?
CR: Liberty State Park, once again. The scenery makes the bike rides and walks enjoyable.
HG: Where do you go out with friends in the area?
CR: Everywhere. Checking out the endless restaurants and bars in Hoboken, we always end up finding a new place.