• Hoboken Girl{s} of the Week: Lauren and Jess {of ISO Style}

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    Real talk: how great would it be if you could comment on your favorite fashion blogger’s latest Insta post, and then have that outfit you LOVE miraculously appear at your front door? If this scenario is a literal dream come true, then tune in folks, because this week’s featured Hoboken girls – Lauren and Jess of ISO Style {and fellow Hoboken residents} are making our fashion dreams a reality.

    How it all started

    Lauren and Jess are two fashion industry veterans, who actually met through their sons, and instantly hit it off. Over time {and through many play dates}, the two started to bond over their love of online shopping and fashion. This was the catalyst for ISO Style — an app that allows users to shop directly from Instagram without ever having to leave app {we are so spoiled}. These women know quite well that being a woman on the go, a busy mom, or a jet-setting entrepreneur shouldn’t stop you from starting your own company and striving for bigger and better dreams. We had the pleasure of a super-inspiring chat with Lauren and Jess to find out more about their awesome company, their goals, and of course — some of their favorite Hoboken + Jersey City spots.

    How it works

    ISO Style {@shopISOstyle} is the first flash-sale Instagram-boutique specializing in affordable women’s contemporary fashion. Simply follow @shopISOstyle on Instagram and write “want it” in the comment section to place your order. The ISO team will connect with you to secure sizing and shipping details, then customers can Venmo or PayPal the boutique for payment. New styles are posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12PM EST. Only available to purchase for 48 hours, each item is curated by professional stylists sourcing quality and style. The sales model follows a flash-sale format as items are only available for a limited time and are not off-price. ISO Style seeks to reinvent the shopping experience on Instagram and make online shopping even easier {and seriously, could this be any easier?}.

    Another boutique you’ll love: Vivi Girl Shop in Jersey City  

    What inspires and drives them

    Our children keep us up at night. No, seriously — we both have toddlers and infants, so we don’t get much sleep.

    Our families, especially our children, are our biggest inspirations. Both of us worked in corporate fashion houses, and left shortly after having children as we were unable to find adequate work-life balances. We formed ISO Style during one of our many playdates seeking to create a business that enhanced our lives with our children and not take away from it. We want to set a good example for our children and be people they can look up to.

    Our mothers are also sources of inspiration. Both were working moms and we admire them for following their passions and for both of their strong work ethic. We especially want our daughters to see that you can have it all if you work hard and put your mind to it!

    Lastly, we’re inspired by women who build their own future, women who go against the grain and are successful at creating their own path, especially those we have met in Hoboken. These women are super supportive and it’s nice to have a community of self-employed full-time moms.

    Their goals + passions

    Our biggest goal for this year is to continue to grow the business organically; specifically to increase our social media presence and overall brand awareness. We have amazing customers and just want to expand on the loyal ones we already have. We’re passionate about continuing to stay on top of all the latest fashion trends and how to translate them into styles that are right for our customers’ lifestyles.

    A “typical day” in the life

    We don’t have traditional jobs, therefore, our days are never typical. However, we often spend the mornings rushing to get our older children to school and squeezing in work between our younger children’s class and nap schedules. In the afternoons, we’re with our children at the playground or at an after-school activity. We manage to fit work in wherever we can – while our children are playing together or working at odd hours {after our children have gone to bed}.

    The highs and lows of the job

    A big high is that we get to do something we love and be part of an industry that we are passionate about while taking care of our children. We love to hear from our customers and are thrilled when we receive positive feedback about their purchases or their shopping experience. But the biggest high of the job is having a successful sale! We get so excited every time a customer “wants it”. We also love seeing our customers wearing our clothing around town. It’s very rewarding!

    It’s hard to pick a low, but trying to balance being full time moms and managing your own business is not always easy, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    Life + career highlights and rewards, so far…

    Lauren: The biggest highlight and most rewarding part of my job are the same. I love to be able to work for myself with no rules, no boss, and no schedules all while doing what I love to do most and being at home with my kids. And of course, the highlight of my life is the family that my husband and I built!

    Jess: I was formerly the Publicity and Events Director at Victoria’s Secret and one of my favorite elements of my previous job was helping to produce the annual Fashion Show. To work several months on a project that was broadcast around the world was incredibly rewarding {and so much fun!}. Likewise, there is something very gratifying about starting your own business and watching it grow. While Victoria’s Secret and ISO Style aren’t comparable in terms of magnitude and scale, I am unbelievably proud of myself for taking a risk and starting a business.

    How they spend their down time

    Because we are self-employed full-time moms, we never really have any “off” days. However, any time that we’re free during the week, we like to workout, go shopping {competitive research??}, and go to restaurants. On the weekends we try to do fun activities with the kids {i.e. classes, festivals, apple picking}. Staying active and making memories is very important for us!

    Their advice to anyone looking into this career path

    Jess: Do as many internships as you can. Gain experience in different fields and for different companies- there is no other time that you can bounce around and “test out” different jobs. Work hard and be thorough. There are a lot of people competing in the fashion industry and you can stand out by being diligent and thoughtful.

    Lauren: My advice is to gain experience by working for different companies both big and small on both sides {wholesale and retail} of the industry. The more experiences you have, the more knowledge you gain. Also, don’t be afraid to try something new and build your own future. But my biggest piece of advice is don’t let failures stop you, you can learn the most from your failures!

    Read more: Galatea: Hoboken’s Uptown Lingerie + Gift Shop

    What they love about that Hoboken Life

    Lauren: I lived in Hoboken after college for two years and then returned fourteen years later. We have been back here for four years now. I love how much there is to do, especially for children. We live a very active lifestyle and can always find something fun and exciting to do. I also love the convenience of being able to walk everywhere and having everything you need within a mile of your house!

    Jess: I moved from Manhattan to Hoboken about a year and a half ago. I love the people – the friends I have made are incredibly kind, caring and supportive. It’s a true community where people genuinely look after one another. I also love the walkability. It’s so nice {especially with two young children}, to be able to walk everywhere. Our city is charming and maintains a small-town feel just outside one of the largest cities in the world. It’s very special.

    Hoboken favorites

    To Eat

    Lauren: I love O’nieals, especially when the weather is nice and we can sit outside at our favorite table. It’s easy, delicious and has a family friendly atmosphere.

    Jess: My favorite restaurant in Hoboken in Grand Vin. The food is delicious and I enjoy listening to the live music on Saturday nights. In Jersey City, I love Mathews. The food is exceptional and the vibe is sophisticated and chic.

    When we go out with friends we like Grand Vin, Antique Bakery, Orale, Anthony Davids, Mathews, Onieals and La Isla.

    To Shop

    We both love Washington General for gifts and home accessories. They constantly change the merchandise so you can always find something new!

    To Work Out

    Currently Local Barre. We also love Reformer Pilates and were devotes of Jennifer Russo’s class at 4th Street Pilates before it closed.

    To Get Outside

    We spend a lot of time at the city’s various playgrounds. We’re so fortunate that we live in an area with a large assortment of outdoor recreation for our children. Our favorite is probably Newport Green in Jersey City, but we spend the most time at Columbus, Elysian and Maxwell in Hoboken.

    Thoughts on what needs to come to town

    More parking. And a good Jewish deli.

    Want to be featured or nominate someone as an upcoming Hoboken Girl of the Week?

    Email hello@hobokengirl.com about your/her story!

     


    Written by:

    Michele mostly writes about her two favorite things - people and food. Though she’s been a Jersey girl since her mother danced on a chair at a Bruce Springsteen concert while 8-months pregnant, Michele’s life is anything but basic. During the day, she's a payroll specialist for small + local businesses, but on the nights and weekends, she's trying new places to write about and stopping for snacks along the way {so it's a good thing she's a marathoner and soccer player}. Aside from adding to her already extensive collection of throw pillows, Michele enjoys a good beer, nachos, and chillin’ with her kitties, Bo and Samson.


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