These 2 Moms Grew Little Hoboken to a Local Storefront for Parents + Kids

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There’s something to be said for two moms joining forces to connect the community. This is exactly what happened back in 2016 when Melissa Wise and Cassie Mascari introduced Little Hoboken as a local resource and then turned it into a retail store and photography studio. Read more about Little Hoboken and its storefront on 7th and Clinton in Hoboken.

The Ladies Behind Little Hoboken

Melissa little hoboken

^ Melissa + her family

Melissa, an event planner with a strong retail background, met Cassie, a speech pathologist, a few years back when both had young kids in the Mile Square. The duo decided to start the Little Hoboken blog to give neighboring parents the opportunity to follow along as they explored the community. 

Cassie little hoboken

^ Cassie + her family

In January 2020, the team decided to take their business to a permanent location, and open a photography studio at 702 Clinton Street, which is now their main retail store. After taking classes in photography a few years back from a local Hoboken photographer, Cassie developed a deep passion for the art as she began to specialize in photo mini sessions and classes. The women had big ideas about this full-service family photography studio, but unfortunately, the world had other plans.

An Evolution During a Pandemic

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When COVID-19 forced the majority of New Jersey to temporarily shut down in March 2020, Melissa and Cassie decided to keep powering through. While businesses couldn’t allow customers into their stores, the duo turned to social media to try out a new business model.

Utilizing her lifelong background in buying, Melissa worked with dozens of retailers to sell relevant products on Little Hoboken’s Instagram, allowing customers to then retrieve their orders via curbside pick-up or delivery. She was careful to hand-pick unique items that were relevant both to the time of year {starting with custom kids Easter baskets and craft kits last spring} and could lighten the mood of quarantine {“Worst Teacher” shirts for parents and adult coloring books}. 

Read More: PlusThriftJC, a New Plus-Sized Online Thrift Store Started by Jersey City Locals

In June 2020 the pair masked up and officially reopened, this time with an even more heavy focus on customer engagement and new enhancements. In what was initially just a photo studio, they now found themselves having a lot more merchandise to offer, along with custom cards and an option to order themed balloons. One of Melissa and Cassie’s most exciting specialties is a giant 36-inch black balloon, which they can fill with pink or blue confetti for a gender reveal party. 

Little Hoboken Photography, which is also owned by Little Hoboken’s Cofounder Cassie Mascari is offering complimentary maternity sessions to the first five newborn sessions booked – just mention “Hoboken Girl” {valid for June, July, or August due dates – session fee is provided with your compliments, images and products are not included and are sold separately}.

Little Hoboken Today

little hoboken

After months of pop-up shops outside of their storefront nearly every weekend that featured other local artists and creators in the area, by December 2020, it was evident that all of their initiatives required two locations. So, Cassie and her photography equipment moved a quick walk away to 720 Monroe Street. Now Clinton Street is strictly home to all gifts and celebratory needs for babies, elementary-aged kids, and of course, the hardworking adults raising them. 

See More: Meet Julie Morgan, Jersey City Resident + Creator of the Outdoor Dining Happy Bag

little hoboken

You can also find some educational tools sprinkled through the inventory, one of the most popular being children’s books, teaching topics such as racism, divorce, and disabilities. In addition, the co-owners make an effort to regularly stock up on female-empowering dolls {which are known to sell out very quickly!} such as Kamala Harris, RBG, and fun-loving superheroes like Bat Girl and Supergirl. 

little hoboken

The store also features 201 and 07030 themed apparel in all sizes and styles including sweatshirts, baseball hats, beanies, onesies, blankets, and even oven mitts. 

Future Plans 

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This June, the store will celebrate the official one-year anniversary of its reopening on Clinton Street. When asked “What’s next?” Melissa shared, “We do plan on expanding, we have big ideas. Right now both spaces we have suit and meet our needs, but we regularly come up with new ideas. For example, balloons and custom Easter baskets were never in the plan.” 

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After eight years in NYC, last summer Kim made the big decision to permanently join her boyfriend on the other side of the river in the Mile Square. Since her college days at NYU, Kim has always been a huge fan of hopping on the PATH to experience the restaurants, events, and nightlife on the other side, and since moving has really enjoyed further getting to explore all that this "mini-city" and the surrounding areas have to offer. These days when not recruiting for her full-time job as a Talent Acquisition Manager at Wunderkind, she can be found running along the Pier to the latest country hits, spending hours putting her Lifetime Movie Club subscription to good use, or likely plotting her next Seamless order to #supportlocalbusinesses.