Hoboken Girl of the Week: Jenna Firshein {of Growing in Jersey City}

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When it comes to Jersey City happenings, there’s a blog that we enjoy perusing and checking out on Instagram — Growing in Jersey City —  sharing the stories of our neighbors in JC and supporting all things local. And as we very well know, running a blog can easily become a full-time job, but amazingly, this week’s Hoboken Girl of the Week, Jenna Firshein, is doing it all as part of several of her side hustles. Full time, she works a 9-5 in NYC, but by night and weekends, she is the founder and Editor-in-Chief at Growing in Jersey City and is the owner of Dream Big Media. And in getting to know her, we found out about how she does it all — and that she’s one of the most genuine, giving, and sweet gals on this side of the Hudson. Here’s a peek inside her day-to-day life — meet Jenna:

^Jenna Firshein, of Growing in Jersey City

On how she got started

Growing in Jersey City was started in Feb of 2015 — with my having been in Jersey City for almost 9 years. I moved in with 2 roommates to an amazing penthouse right on Journal Square, before it was cool to be there. I then moved to The Heights and have been there ever since. I had been very active in the community and took a break to be part of my new condo association. I knew I still wanted to be active in Jersey City, and the blog allows me to share the city through my eyes and the eyes of my writers.

Her other side hustles — and her #GOALS

I run a meet up for creatives and media types in the area through the blog. We have an active Facebook group and meet every few months in person – casual bar hangs out, big events, and workshops. I am also the owner of Dream Big Media, a creative services agency. Right now we are focusing on social media marketing and general business consulting, but I hope to be a full service agency. Along with that, I still work full time as I work on fulfilling my dreams.

On her biggest source of inspiration

Jersey City is a hub for small businesses and artists — and the people I meet everyday inspire me. Many of my friends have multiple business and projects like myself so it is nice to be able to share and relate. And my family is a huge support and inspiration; my parents come to every event. Some local businesses that I look to are 107 Bowers ArtSpace + Gallery, Happy Box Store, A Green Unicorn, and Jersey City Chiropractic + Acupuncture.

Jersey City is a hub for small businesses and artists — and the people I meet every day inspire me.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day is going to my full time job and then starting the evening like a new day. I normally have 1-3 things planned after work; for example passing through a market, seeing an event, and meeting up with someone.

On what makes her tick

The highs of GJC and are definitely meeting people, people recognizing or knowing the blog, and being able to share my city and community through my perspective. Also, I now have an editor so they edit most of the articles I write and from my contributors — which is super helpful. Uunderstanding the ebb and flows of business has been an adjustment. I work full time so I have three jobs and it is really tiring so I just have to listen to my body and cancel plans and reset when I need to.

On the highlights of her career thus far

The highlight was being on Hoboken Girl’s list of women-owned businesses… DUH! {Editor’s note: That’s sweet, but in all seriousness, give us another!}. Doing my first wellness event in January and Verizon FIOS News 1 came – that was pretty exciting and for my Pampering Day in May, Hudson County TV came for an interview — it means people are noticing, and I am making a difference.

When people thank me for writing about their Jersey City, whether it is their neighborhood, their friend, a topic that isn’t covered — that is special. And Hudson County is huge, so I am hoping that as I grow and can get writers that we can cover more stories and events and be present in our community.

On her charity focus

With almost every event GJC does, we donate a portion of the proceeds to charity. Volunteering and charity are a huge part of how I grew up, and it is important to be able to give back.

On her days off {if any!}:

I try to sleep but that seems to never happen. And I love a good meal. But, I don’t really have days off. I have hours off, but I am always doing something even if it is just on social media, I also try to get away every few weeks – even for the day to somewhere outside of Hudson County – Montclair for a day with my mom, to the spa with friends, going to a fair.

What advice would you give to someone trying to pursue your career path?

A few things:

  1. Everything takes time – cliché but Rome was not built in a day.
  2. Never stop learning – I am always reading about social media and new marketing and things that are happening. I also see them on Instagram because they change the algorithm it seems daily.
  3. Surround yourself with like business-minded people {not like-minded people} – you want people to challenge you and be a sounding board, so they will provide a new perspective.
  4. Your friends will change, and that is okay. The oldie but goodies will stay, new fun friends will come, but business/work friends will help you on your journey.

Surround yourself with business-minded people {not like-minded people}. You want people to challenge you and be a sounding board, so they will provide a new perspective.

Okay, now on to the fun stuff:

Favorite restaurant in Hoboken? JC?

Light Horse Tavern makes a killer braised short rib {Saturday night special}.
Ayame is so much fun for Hibachi with friends. House of Que because of the food but more importantly the dueling pianos and watermelon drinks.

O’Bagel – they legit give you a whole package of lox on your bagel. What else could I want? Choco-o-Pain and Dulce de Leche because I am a pastry fiend.

What is your favorite boutique in Hoboken? JC?

For brick and mortar stores I am addicted to Noellery and love Tia’s Place. I also love all the goodies and home things from Francesca’s and Anthropologie. For small local businesses, I love MD13 Jewelry, Truly Rachel, and Vera Vixen Jewelry {there is a theme here…}.

What do you love most about Hoboken + JC?

I love that it is so walkable. The pictures people take of Hoboken and Jersey City are out of this world.

Photo: @Dkotinsky

What is your favorite thing to do in Hudson County?

I love taking the ferries across the Hudson. It is so cool to see both sides — I also like spending time at Liberty State Park. There is so much culture and community here. Jersey City was the suburbs before the suburbs, and there are generations upon generations in JC and Hoboken. So I try to remind myself that while new is wonderful and I am so glad people are appreciating Hudson County, to go to the older shops, say hello to our neighbors, and be open to the community we are part of is really important.

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

The backyard at The Cliff restaurant in the heights is pretty awesome. I just went to Congress Station’s backyard and it is a little haven on the main street, and I have an appreciation for Lutze Biergarten – the staff is amazing.

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

I workout with my trainer, Jesse Barton, on Pier A because it is so beautiful and a good meeting hub. I love April’s class at Devotion Yoga and go to Sattva Yoga in the Heights. And with the blog we have workouts a few Saturdays a month on the 100 Steps and Riverview Park. Click here to see the list of events coming up!

Where do you go out with friends in the area?

Pilsener House on Tuesdays for ½ price is always a favorite. I used to live at Village Pourhouse on Wednesdays for Karaoke with Dan, South House makes killer southern inspired drinks, and Surf City is awesome for dancing — plus I love being on the water.

What is something you think needs to come to Hoboken or Jersey City? {ex. Type of restaurant, business, etc}

I would love to see easy “American” food – grilled chicken, veggies, potatoes – but it doesn’t cost $25. I would also love to see different Asian food, and I think we need more mid-level boutiques that aren’t fast fashion, but also don’t cost a fortune.

To get in touch with Jenna, follow her IG @GrowinginJerseyCity and stay tuned to Facebook so you can learn about her upcoming events.

Want to be featured as our next Hoboken Girl of the Week? Email to nominate yourself or someone else: hello@hobokengirl.com. xo


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Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Hoboken Girl. She started the site to discover and share the wealth of things happening in Hudson County. Her roots in the area extend to her maternal grandparents, who owned two textile factories in Weehawken and North Bergen. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event/volunteer project or editing her life away, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her French bulldog + rescue pup, or watching the latest murder doc on Netflix with her husband.