Local Business Owners Share What Shopping Small *Actually* Means to Them

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There’s no doubt that as a community and larger area, Hoboken + Jersey City are filled with small businesses and local products that fuel our local economy. As the local bookstore, Little City Books, tweeted — “every time you tell us you’re buying a book from Amazon instead, a drone engineered to put us out of business gets its wings,” and boy, isn’t that true. Hoboken + Jersey City have seen a big shift in brick-and-mortar retail, but there are SO many places that need your support, more than ever. From the local book store to the local clothing store to the local nail salon + dry cleaner, your dollars actually do make a difference at these places. So we thought we’d go right to the source — and ask local business owners what shopping small *actually* means to them. Here’s what they had to say:

what shopping small means hoboken jersey city

^Small biz owners Dani DeAngelo of Jane Do, Jen Tripucka of Hoboken Girl, Jen Gonzalez of Doody Free Girl, and Jacey Lambros of Jane Do

“I have seen so many changes in our small area over the last eight years — businesses opening, closing, and Shopping small for Hoboken Girl means supporting our platforms as a local lifestyle and news outlet, clicking and sharing our stories — and it helps our team fuel their passions for helping others, writing, and sharing their stories. Every little bit helps – whether it’s a like on Instagram, a share on Facebook, a retweet {or of course, a read}, it means the world. The bigger the picture and network, the more we can give back to the community and shed light on the amazing businesses that are here in Hudson County.” ~Jen Tripucka, HobokenGirl.com

“Shopping small with OurWholeHeart means fueling big dreams! As a heart surgery survivor, OurWholeHeart was created nearly four years ago during my recovery.  This jewelry business allows me to share my passion for delicate handmade jewelry, but more importantly, each sale directly supports congenital heart defect research efforts.  Together with your help, shopping small with OurWholeHeart means your holiday sales support a dream, a business, and a path towards healthier hearts!”

– Danielle Kohn, OurWholeHeart

“Being a small business owner, ‘shopping small’ at MARGO is important to me, because you are helping to spread awareness about ethical products that give back globally at a local level.”

– Maggie Emma, The Margo Market 

“Shopping locally is so important for the community. It helps us stay in business and helps my parents keep my brother in college.”

– Miki Chan, Vivi Bubble Tea Hoboken

See More: What Team Hoboken Girl is Loving This Month

shop small saturday

“It means the world to me when people shop local. As s a Health Coach, my mission is to educate women on how nutrition, mentality, and movement can improve their health. When people believe in my business, they are spreading that message and believing in themselves, but also helping me to build this practice into a fruitful business that I can eventually transition into a full-time project. It further solidifies that my passion for wellness is helping others to find that confidence to consciously choose health for themselves. Shopping local helps ME to help more of YOU feel good!”

– Jamie Forward Mazza, Jamie FWD Nutrition + Lifestyle Coaching 

“Shopping small business means I can help others feel good about themselves and gives me the flexibility to be with my 4 kids.”

– Marietta Reynolds, Downtown Med Spa

“It helps me support my family!  I have no big corporate backing, 2 little kids, trying to provide a great future for them and it’s hard work!  Nothing against the big guys but… from top-down we all hustle and grind it out, so for our entire staff, across all 4 stores, its as micro as it gets.  We all have families, aspirations to live nice lives, achieve our personal and professional goals, and supporting a small business makes those goals much more accessible as our employees can climb up the small business ladder much faster and can create opportunity wherein big business you simply cannot {One of our employees wants to sell tamales on the side via delivery and needs a place to make them and distribute them…lucky for her we have a commercial kitchen, and maybe she sells so many that she outgrows using our kitchen at night.  That’s not happening at big box}. When we do well, we all do well, and no one is cut out of the equation.”

– Mike, Tony Boloney’s

When customers choose to shop small and shop local they are putting money directing back into their community. At Kanibal + Co., we are proud to support several local charities as well as provide our staff (all local artists!) with fair wages and PTO. When customers decide to shop at our store it’s the greatest gift because they are also allowing me to continue a dream.”

– Kristen Scalia, Kanibal + Co.

“’When people shop small, for starters- it creates a sense of community knowing we’ll be able to be a one stop shop for yoga accessories and apparel. Shopping where you play is big for busy lives.  It also allows us to keep our assortments fresh by being able to constantly replenish goods, when goods are sold. We are the only yoga studio in Hudson and Bergen county that is an approved retail partner to carry the entire Lululemon Athletica collection, so we commit to carrying as much as we can for our members, without that crazy trip to the mall!”

– Tamara Tosun + Jeff, Real Hot Yoga Hoboken

“Shopping small this holiday season proves that women can build businesses better than anyone else. 4 in 10 businesses are owned by women yet women-owned businesses only receive 7% of venture funds and on average receive $5k less in loan money. Let’s bridge the gender gap by shopping small, female owned businesses!”

– Stephanie Manganelli, Stowaway Collection Maternity

Shopping small is important because by supporting a little business like mine, it enables me to bring more of my passions and gifts to life and to continue to serve my customers and community better each year. It also enables me to donate to local causes and give back to our community!

– Andrea Maiolano, Love, Amarie

Read More: A List of Female-Owned Hoboken + Jersey City Businesses to Support

“As a small business owner, running my own private Holistic Health Coaching Business, support from local community means EVERYTHING. I do not advertise and run my operations based-on word of mouth and referrals. It’s a small intimate practice. The local support has meant everything to keep the business going, without the desire to expand and make it commercial. It was important for me to create something authentic and that truly helps to serve and inspire others to get healthy, in a real, attainable, long-term way. When customers support with likes on Instagram, sharing a post or bringing in new clients- it helps me to keep this dream alive, to be of service and help others, and not feel the pressure to run ads or promote products I do not believe in.”

– Aly Mang, The Balanced Beauty

My small business allows me to help not only my clients with their mental health, but also to support my own mental health. Owning Anchor Therapy helps provide me the luxury of flexibility in my schedule so that I can take some time off to cater to my own self-care. This in turn makes me a better therapist. The Hoboken community has been so supportive in helping us grow by making word-of-mouth and Facebook group referrals that this year we were able to expand and hire another clinician. We are now ecstatic to help even more clients in Hudson County!”

– Courtney Glashow, LCSW, Anchor Therapy LLC

“It’s definitely the push that I need to keep going on the {oft-occuring} difficult day. If I’m working at a small business, like Bwe or Choc O Pain, that carries our products and I look up and see a complete stranger purchasing our cookies and supporting our business, it’s the validation I need to keep going on the hardest of days.”

– Denise Woodard, Partake Foods

“When people shop small they are literally supporting me in being able to live a simple life and giving me the room and space I need to be of service in my community in ways that I wouldn’t be able to if it weren’t for them. Shopping small + local in my humble opinion as a business owner is truly the BEST way to create and bring small communities together.  I am so grateful to have customers and students who understand this and are constant supporters of both Squeeze’D and BayOhm Yoga.”

– Carolyn, Squeeze’D and BabyOhm Yoga

“Being a small business owner means a lot to me, in a town like Hoboken with competitive rents it’s hard to make your mark and to keep it. Also growing up here, when the town wasn’t as built up that’s all we had to shop and I love that feel and would love to continue my dream In my hometown.”

Amy Franco, 6th Borough Salon Hoboken 

“When you support a small local business like Positively Pilates LLC, you are not helping a wealthy CEO buy his or her next vacation home or private plane. You are helping 2 local moms support their families within the community. As small business owners, we strongly support other small businesses around town by frequenting their shops, activities, and restaurants! We also make sure to always donate classes to school fundraisers and other local charities. Buy small and dream big!”

– Carrie + Caitlin, Positively Pilates

“I’m so very grateful to our community for supporting our local, heart based business. A few years ago, I had this crazy notion to create a healing center that would support individuals in their mental, physical and spiritual path towards becoming the greatest version of themselves. Our Hudson County community has embraced us with a massive amount of love and has turned our business into one of the premiere destinations for all things wellness. Your support helps us provide even more value, offer additional one-of a kind wellness services, and to grow the opportunities for our incredible staff {who all live locally}. We feel very blessed thus far.”

– Anand Sukhadia, Om.Life 

“People shopping small are supporting me and my team, and our WHY that makes us so passionate about what we do.  We are made up of teachers, moms, dads, college students, retirees, all passionate about helping others get healthy and live a life they love.  By choosing us as your coaches, support system, and personalized online wellness market, you are helping us make our goals a reality.  We are based on word of mouth and referrals, so you are the lifeline of our business. THANK YOU!’

– Vanessa Tregenza, Health + Lifestyle Coach 

“When someone shops small it helps me to be able to continue running my business which in turn allows me to help more business owners to become successful! That’s the beauty of my business, I’m truly community-based! Shopping small in Hudson County helps to grow a strong community of business owners and allows more businesses to flourish. This helps to bring more exciting things to our area.”

– Sabrina Sarabella, Business Coach, Clinical Nutritionist, NASM Certified Personal Trainer

“Shopping small means that I’m able to turn my passion into a career. They say it takes a village to raise a child—it’s the same for a small business! With each purchase, I’m able to build my business, spread my name, and share my creativity with Hoboken. $20 might not mean much to a big business, but to a small business? It means everything. It’s money for supplies. A fee for a workshop. It’s a payment for a holiday fair. It’s a cup of coffee that keeps creativity fueled. It’s the reason I keep doing what I’m doing!”

– Elyse Kluber, Saltwater Scripts 

“When people shop small in Hudson County it provides the community growth. Most Local business owners are indeed residents of the area. We care about the future of our city. A lot of us are invested for the long term. We also care about what is happening around us. Shopping small is one of the best things you can do for your community. How does supporting local businesses affect us? It affects us significantly. We are artists and want to perfect our craft. We are constantly getting educated whether it’s an academy or a workshop. At the end of the day the we want to provide value to our city. Local shops gives our city character. Small business is what makes Hoboken unique.”

– The Team at Spesh

“As a small business owner, every time we get a sale it’s validation that our idea, our brand, our product…our “baby” is accepted. It means our small contribution to the world is forming a community and building personal relationships with strangers–people we’ve never met but took a chance on our business. It’s humbling and heartwarming. There’s nothing better than that! ”

– Dani, Vira Sun

“Shopping small means helping local communities and culture thrive. Local businesses are a huge part of what makes every community unique and connected.”

– Katie Perez, Katie Peas Studio

“With so many options out there, people can go anywhere, so whenever I get an appointment or sale from someone in Hudson County, it not only is of monetary support, it’s also a spiritual one. it’s an affirmation that my services and products are of great value—feels like a wonderful hug! “Hoboken Girl published 10 things to do this weekend and Jacquie’s meditation was listed as an event.  I attended with a friend who also meditates daily. Guided meditations are always enjoyable but hers was unique. She offers much more than just a meditation; you should check it out.”
–  Jacquie Bird, Jacquie Bird Spiritual Wellness 
“One of our favorite things about having a small local business is building relationships with your neighbors. You watch their kids grow up, you remember what their favorite gifts are, and they become a part of your family. We have clients who make stopping at our gift shop a part of their daily routine, gifts for their best people, gifts for themselves, and that’s something to appreciate. It’s one thing to wave “Hello!” to your neighbor as you leave the house in the morning, it’s another thing to invite them into your life and running a small business helps us do that.”
– Zaida + Daniel, Taproot Organics
“This is easy to answer.  Luna Rosa Home would not exist without our local customers.
Essentially all of our customers are local.  Our community is the best…and connecting with our
community is what we love and how we live.”
– Diane Stiglich, Luna Rosa Home
“People shipping small helps me provide meaningful careers to the staff who can then provide an amazing service to our clients. It is so exciting to see the staff grow, develop, and give them an opportunity to be a part of making Hoboken a healthier community.”

“Supporting Sorellina by “shopping small” allows me to pay it forward by purchasing quality, locally-sourced ingredients from other small businesses, such as the many local farmers & boutique, family run wineries that we partner with. It also helps me to reinvest in our local Hoboken community and to realize my dream of expanding into a small restaurant group.”

Gabi Lombardi, Sorellina

“People who strive to take care of themself with natural products inspire me to honor and love myself in a true sense. Helping me to keep going on my journey of awakening self-love.

so much appreciation.”
– Chisa, Seazen
“When people shop in our store we view it as proof that Hoboken wants a bookstore. We love running the shop, and we’re thankful to our town for being the kind of town that will support an independent bookstore.”
– Kate Jacobs, Little City Books
“Shopping small helps create local jobs, and also brings local funding into the community it operates in. Supporting a small business is supporting someone’s dream to do something greater than he or she ever thought possible.”
Noel Do, Noellery 

“As a firm that sells an important, yet intangible, service (wealth management) positive support within Hoboken means everything.  Support from the community spreads the word and allow us to serve the very families and businesses that regularly read – or are featured in – HG, reach their goals.  When you compete against the sales push from big banks, as we do as an independent firm, having the support and positive word-of-mouth in working with families and businesses right in Hoboken makes all the difference to us.  If it wasn’t for those in Hoboken that support us with the privilege of serving them, we wouldn’t be able to continue forward in our own mission to help others.  For that, we are incredibly grateful.”

–  Brian Sheahen, Hudson Oak Wealth 
“It helps me to continue to do what I love and better serve our community through yoga and wellness. It allows me to continue to offer the space for the students and teachers to let go, learn, grow, and connect to themselves and one another.  By offering yoga, meditation, and other mindful practices to help them manage stress and live a healthy, happy, well-balanced life.”
– Danielle, Pavana Yoga
“I am forever thankful for each client that supports alba and a X d.  Opening my stores has allowed me to share the special meaning behind it, build true friendships with clients and be part of a bustling & ever-growing community.  I am truly grateful for the opportunity to share my passion.”
– Jeanna, Alba + a X d

“Small Business Saturday is an incredibly important day for Prime Cycle that has major impact both financially and emotionally. Without the financial backing of a corporation or a franchise behind us, every bump in the road can feel like a sinkhole, especially when you’re also raising two teenage children!

Support from events like Small Business Saturday are our bloodline and every purchase really does matter.  Whether you ride every day or haven’t come by the studio in a while, we’d be honored to celebrate the spirit of community with each and every one of you.”

Julie Insogna Jarrett, Prime Cycle

“As a small business owner of a children’s salon in Hoboken, we are looking to begin a new venture – the launch of an organic Haircare business for children – Just 4 Kids Haircare.   As such, all profits we receive from the salon business are being funneled into that.

I think one of the great things about Hudson County residents (and Hoboken and Jersey City residents in particular) that differs from our neighbors in the suburbs, is the great sense of their community.  When our residents shop, they take pride in supporting the small businesses within our communities.  More than 90% of Hoboken commerce is comprised of small businesses, rather than big-box retailers so that definitely helps.
When they choose to support small businesses over our online and big-box competitors, it means the world to us, and we consider ourselves extremely lucky to live and work where we do!”
“When you shop locally it means the world to us and others!  One of ABC’s core values is supporting our community and building relationships, both with our clients & our farmers. We procure as many ingredients as we can locally, so when you support us, you’re giving back to your community as well as local, small farms.”
– Abbey Bell, Abbey Bell Catering 
“People shopping small helped me get out of a terrible work environment, allowing me to pursue my dream of being the best and largest food tour operator in the state of New Jersey! I get to do what I love because of the wonderful people shopping small biz.”
 Alessia Aron, Beyond the Plate Food Tours
“It’s not just about shopping small on Small Business Saturday, but making a conscious decision to support dreams consistently instead of corporations.  It was scary to leave my corporate job and launch a jewelry line, part of becoming a small business owner is taking a huge risk and betting on yourself.  It was cheaper to have my products made overseas, but I decided to manufacture locally and be able to say we’re “Made in the USA”.  When you buy our jewelry you’re supporting local jobs and buying thoughtful, well-made products and there’s passion behind every piece.”
– MJ Barton, ElectricPicks.com
“Simply put – it’s our and our employees’ livelihoods! Every dollar our clients pay us goes toward payroll, investing in business improvements, and our basic living expenses. We love being able to employ and give opportunities to other members of the community – which is entirely funded by folks in Hudson County deciding to use our small, local business.”
Tom + Kimberley Bueno-Schonig, The Cuddly Cottage and The Cuddly Boutique

“As a small business {literally just me} it means the world to me to be supported by Hudson County. Not only does it make my craft feel supported, but it lets me know me and my services are appreciated. Moving from NYC to Hoboken 2 1/2 years ago, I was scared to think of rebuilding my business in a new town; but it’s been the best decision I’ve ever made. I see many like-minded young female professionals every day, to be supported by them feels like I’ve made it in the world.”

Erica DeAngelis, Beyond Bronze Mobile Tanning
“Personally, I grew up in Hoboken with a community of a very welcoming, tightly knit individuals as well as small businesses so I believe that Shop Small brings that exact charm back.”
“Knowing people would rather patronize a small studio like mine—especially when there are cheaper options at larger chains and franchises—motivates me to constantly be delivering the best services and results in my corner of the fitness industry!”
Cait Kolibas, Bum Pilates 
We know this is just the tip of the iceberg {and the people who responded to us in time!}, but we’d love to hear from you. Where are you shopping small this holiday season? Please think about these stories as you start to buy gifts for the holidays.

Did you know: We started a podcast about all things news and lifestyle in Hoboken + Jersey City! Listen to the latest episode of Tea on the Hudson here and subscribe.

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Written by:

Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of HobokenGirl.com. With deep entrepreneurial roots in Hudson County — as her grandparents owned textile businesses on Tonnelle Ave in North Bergen dating back to the 50s — she started the site as a Hoboken resident to discover the amazing things happening in the area. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event or #HobokenGirlHelps volunteer project, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her two pups, or watching Bravo TV and ordering takeout with her husband.


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