• Hoboken Girl of the Week: Faye Brennan {of Cosmopolitan}

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    Broaching the subject of sex and relationships is…daunting, to say the least. Sometimes, it requires sharing all the gory details, which can be embarrassing. For Faye Brennan, however, covering + discussing those topics is just part of her daily routine. As the Sex + Relationships Director at Cosmopolitan, talking about this touchy {pun intended} subject is just another day at the office. As this week’s Hoboken Girl of the Week, Faye shares what inspires her, what a typical day looks like for her, and more. Keep reading to learn all about Hoboken Girl of the Week, Faye Brennan of Cosmopolitan.

    hoboken girl week cosmopolitan

    Tell us about yourself.

    I am the Sex + Relationships Director at Cosmopolitan, the largest young women’s media brand in the world. I oversee all the love, sex, and relationship content for both the print magazine and website. I’m also the host of Cosmo’s new podcast, Single, Swipe, Repeat.

    And, in my spare time, I’m the founder of @apres_surf_co, an Instagram-based blog celebrating female surfers, beach style, after-sun fun, and ocean conservation. It’s my passion project that I started almost a year ago, and I love how it’s introduced me to this whole new community of awesome women living in Hoboken, NYC, NJ, and all over the world.

    Who is your biggest source of inspiration?

    Women who are taking it upon themselves to accomplish badass things while lifting others up in the process. I’m grateful to have so many of them in my life {my mom, sister, friends, roommate, colleagues, etc.}, and I’ve had the pleasure to interview hundreds more throughout my career and share their stories in the various publications I’ve worked for — including Betty Confidential, YourTango, Women’s Health, Whalebone, Elite Daily, Aprés Surf, and Cosmopolitan.

    hoboken girl week faye brennan

    {Photo credit: @fayebaby4}

    What are your goals for this year?

    Travel more! I worked my butt off in my twenties to get to where I am now. I was the type who barely took a vacation or sick day, and always put my career first. Starting last year, I began to insist on more of a work/life balance so I could take a beat and see the world. This year, I’m happy to say that I’ve been all over the map {in the best way}: Montreal, Newport, Napa, Bermuda, St. Lucia, Philly, Boston, Asbury Park… the adventures just keep coming, and I’m so grateful for them all.

    Read More:  Hoboken Girl of the Week: Nicole Schram {of Royal Piranha Productions}

    What’s a typical day look like for you?

    Here’s a bulleted preview of a weekday, although every day is different:

    6:00AM: Wake up and workout.

    7:00AM: Get ready while watching the morning news, answering emails, and checking Instagram.

    9:00AM: Commute into work and post on Aprés Surf.

    hoboken girl week cosmo podcast

    {Photo credit: @fayebaby4}

    10:00AM-6:30PM/7:00PM {sometimes later}: Work hard at Cosmo. I’m editing about four to six digital posts every day, and seven to nine stories for the print issue every month. I manage a stellar team of four in-house editors, and we work with about two-dozen freelance writers. Some days, I’m interviewing experts for my Sex Q+A column; others, I’m pitching story ideas, moderating a panel, doing a TV segment, working on a special project for our sales, marketing, books, or licensing teams, meeting with a new brand, or trying to get through all of my emails! For Cosmo’s Single, Swipe, Repeat podcast, I recorded 12 episodes, each with a different celeb guest host and Tinder users from around the country who called in to tell us their dating stories.

    7:00PM: Stop by a media event for a fun new brand, product, or expert. A nice perk of being a magazine editor is that you get the best invites! Usually, they’re hosted at a chic NYC event space or bar with free booze, food, goodies, etc. If I wanted to, I could RSVP to one every single weeknight {and I used to early on in my career!}, but I try to tailor pick the ones that really pertain to my beat.

    8:00PM, onwards: I either have plans with my boyfriend, friends, a book, my ukulele, the phone {with my parents or sister on the other end}, or the gym if I missed my morning session. I am not a TV person, so yeah… I suck at small talk at parties.

    10:00PM: I’m beat and in bed… but usually, my mind is racing {I like to jot down big ideas and little to-dos in my Notes app}, so I don’t fall asleep until 11:00PM or 12:00AM

    What has been the highlight in your career so far?

    I wrote in my high school yearbook that in ten year’s time, I’d be “the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, still idolizing Gwen Stefani and laughing at everything.” I may not be the EIC of Vogue now, but the Sex + Relationships Director at Cosmo is pretty damn close. {And, yes, I still do those other two things, too.}

    Self-promotion usually makes me squirmy, but when I sit back and think about my life, I have accomplished a lot of nevers: I never thought I’d start my own magazine as a sophomore at Emerson College. I never thought I’d move to New York {and then Hoboken}, work at so many amazing publications, be on national TV, radio, and podcasts {host my own!}, and lead the conversation on sex and relationships for millions of women across the country at such a pivotal time. I’ve had so many “pinch me” moments, and there are countless people, friends, and fam who have helped me along the way. I wouldn’t have accomplished any of these things without their support, love, and encouragement.

    Tell us about other businesses in the area you admire.

    I’m a big fan of Bum Pilates because the owner, Cait, started it by herself from the ground up. She just went for it, and built a really beautiful and welcoming studio {which is so boho and totally my style!}. I see her hustling on Instagram with new promotions and collabs with other local businesses, and it makes me proud to be a Bum. J

    I also love Anve Swim, which is a beautiful and sustainable swimwear brand founded by my friend and fellow Hoboken resident, Heather Schantz. We actually met last summer at the Women’s Surf Film Festival in Rockaway Beach, and have been close ever since. We’ve been brainstorming ways in which Aprés Surf and Anve Swim can host various events in Hoboken for the female surf community — stay tuned to both of our Insta accounts for more info!

    See More: Hoboken Girl of the Week: Cassie Fiorenza {of Collective 131}

    hoboken girl week cosmo

    Hoboken + Jersey City Favorites

    What is your favorite restaurant in Hoboken?

    I love Onieal’s for a chill, alfresco dinner on a nice night. I always get their buffalo chicken salad — which somehow tastes even yummier on Wednesday nights when it’s paired with wine and live music for Wine Down Wednesdays!

    What is your favorite boutique in Hoboken?

    It makes me sad that so many great ones have closed over the past few years! But, I always find cute stuff for my apartment — or gifts for others — at Washington General Store. I once bought this soft, cushy picnic blanket there as a gift for a couple, and they still talk about how much they love it!

    There’s also a special place in my surf- and java-loving heart for The Roost Outpost. It’s the best coffee shop in Hoboken, and every time I stop in there, it feels like a treat. I want to keep it my well-kept secret, though, so… don’t start crowding the place. 😉

    What do you love most about Hoboken?

    I love how it feels like “Ah, I’m home” when I get off the PATH from a really long day at work. I absolutely love Manhattan, but there’s something to be said about the slower pace of Hoboken — I’m not smacked with an onslaught of noise, garbage, people, etc. as soon as I walk out my front door. Plus, I have amazing friends who live here, and we’re lucky to see each other all the time at a moment’s notice.

    faye brennan

    {Photo credit: @fayebaby4}

    What is your favorite thing to do in Hudson County?

    Running along the waterfront — with that spectacular city skyline view — is my absolute favorite thing to do in both Hoboken and Jersey City. The newer path from Hoboken all the way to Jersey City is such a fun route. I mean, that red and white lighthouse? Those views of the Freedom Tower? And that peak at the Statue of Liberty at the end? There’s no other run in the world quite like it.

    How long have you lived and/or worked in Hoboken?

    I’ve lived in Hoboken for over five years now. Before that, I used to live on the UES.

    What is your favorite outdoor place to spend time in Hoboken?

    Um, can I say my own patio? Ha! My roommate and I have gone to great lengths to make it a super cozy and chill spot. We have a picnic table, two Adirondack chairs, a thick layering of pretty string lights, plants, candles, and —my favorite — a cloth hammock that my boyfriend bought for us. Whenever I’m hosting anyone, I make it all nice out there, and we just sit {or swing} outside, drink, eat, talk, and listen to good music.

    What is your favorite place to work out in Hudson County?

    Crunch Hoboken! I’ve been going there for a few years now. I love how big, clean, bright, and airy the gym is, and the staff is great. They know I’m not there to socialize {sorry!}, but everyone gives a friendly nod when I’m running in and out to do my workouts.

    Where do you go out with friends in the area?

    OMG, where don’t we go?! Back in the day, when we were all still in our twenties and somewhat single {ha!}, it was everywhere from Texas Arizona to Willie McBride’s, McSwiggan’s, and The Madison. These days, we’re mostly meeting for drinks at Grand Vin, City Bistro, Union Hall, and Antique Bar + Bakery, or planning dinners/brunches at Anthony David’s, Otto Strada, Bin 14, and The Brass Rail. But, don’t get me wrong: Every now and then, there’s a blurry bull-riding night at Stewed Cow.  

    What is something you think needs to come to Hoboken?

    With such a young, affluent, and eco-minded population, Hoboken and Jersey City should have more businesses that can help us reduce, reuse, and recycle. I’m already so proud of the green initiatives Hoboken has taken — like our Plastic Bag Ban and the current fight to protect the waterfront from becoming a diesel depot. But, I think having more small businesses and initiatives where we can buy, sell, donate, and trade our clothes, furniture, etc. would be an awesome and necessary addition.

    Keep up with Faye on Instagram at @fayebaby4, @cosmopolitan, and @apres_surf_co, and Twitter @fayebrennannyc. Be sure to check out her websites at Faybrennanwrites.com, Cosmopolitan.com, Apressurf.co. She’ll also be taking over our Instagram @HobokenGirlBlog.

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    Written by:

    Arielle is a born-and-bred Jersey girl and like a true NJ native, half her diet consists of bagels and the other half pizza. As a graduate of both American University and City, University of London, she’s been a passionate writer ever since she wrote her first “book” in the first grade. When she’s not furiously typing away at her keyboard, she spends her time ticking places off of her “to travel to” list, trying any and all new foods, and trying to stop herself from spending too much money at Zara.


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