• 16 Local Millennial Entrepreneurs Kicking A$$ in Hoboken + Jersey City

    There’s a new, up-and-coming business owner scene in Hudson County, and it’s a lot younger than many are used to: Millennial entrepreneurs and business owners. Now many millennials {and beyond} have probably heard the negatively-construed buzzwords that describe the 20-year generation of people born between ~1982 and 1997 {some researchers even characterize those born through 2001}. But with a new generation comes a new understanding of technology, a unique work ethic, and some pretty kicka$$ businesses and start-ups. In fact, according to Forbes, millennials are launching businesses earlier than their predecessors {the average age being 27 — compared to 35 for baby boomers}, and millennials make up 1/4 of the population making more than $500,000+ of annual income — often due to entrepreneurial enterprises. To prove it, we decided to chat with some local business owners in that age bracket and hear their thoughts. Here are 16 millennial entrepreneurs in Hudson County that are totally killin’ the business game:

     

    millennial entrepreneurs hoboken jersey city

    Chelsey Blake {Hudson Paperie}

    chelsey blake hudson paperie

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    I’m Chelsey – the creative behind Hudson Paperie! Three years ago I left my corporate job and decided to pursue my passion for stationery design. My side-business became my career and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I opened the store with my oldest sister, who acts mostly as my silent partner and the “business” to my creative and operate it with my best friend and youngest sister, plus a team of the most amazing, creative, and kind people.

    Hudson Paperie is a stationery design studio (mostly focused on weddings) and a retail store selling cards + gifts.

    I’ve always loved celebrations and milestones – I mean, who doesn’t love a good party! – and the coolest part of my business is that I’m surrounded by people celebrating at all times. I love working closely with my clients to create stationery reflective of their personality and event.  I adore Hoboken’s small-town charm, and live here with my gorgeous wife. I’m a sucker for pups – especially my own who you’ll often find hanging out at the shop – and am always up for a glass of wine, dance fitness, some tequila, or tacos.

    What age did you start your business?
    27

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    Self-doubt. There were a lot of times that I had some serious pep-talks with myself, staring in the mirror like, “Girl, you’ve got this. You can do this. Believe in yourself!” Besides that, there were a ton of hurdles to overcome – finding staff I can trust and who really get my brand, learning to live without the comforts of a corporate job (like benefits, retirement plan, etc), and handling the ever-changing priorities of being a business owner.

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?
    Entitlement – that we expect everything without working for it. I have worked incredibly hard to get to where I am and will continue to work hard to get to where I want to be. Most of the millennials I know are the same way. Work hard to play hard, baby!

    Kerry Evans {Glow and Co.}

    kerry glow co tan

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    My name is Kerry Evans and I am the owner of Glow + Co. Airbrush Tanning. We provide mobile airbrush tanning services in the Northern NJ area and have a pop-up studio on the weekends in Edgewater.

    What age did you start your business?

    I was 24 when I started my business.

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    One of the biggest struggles is that it is all on you and consumes most of your time. When I first began, I was working full time in public relations and spraying in the evenings and weekends. During the week I would basically wake up at 8am, work until 5pm, get home and jump in my car and then spray until 11pm, come home and maybe eat dinner and then go to sleep and repeat it again. I wasn’t able to make a lot of plans on the weekends because they would be booked too. But I have always been someone who has worked their ass off and was raised by parents who worked their asses off and instilled that in me. It was a good problem to have to be so busy and now that I’m just past my first year in business, I’ve learned to scale it back a bit and manage my time better.

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    That we want everything handed to us and don’t want to work hard. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve witnessed it throughout my career in PR. But to try to group an entire age group as one type of person who just wants everything handed to them is frustrating.

    Krista + Kiersten Gormley {Shaka Bowl}

    shaka bowl hoboken

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    Our names are Kiersten & Krista and we’re the co-founders of Shaka Bowl. Shaka Bowl is a fast-casual health restaurant inspired by the Hawaiian Cuisine found during our time living on The Big Island of Hawaii.

    What age did you start your business?

    Krista was right out of college (22) when our brother presented the idea to us, and Kiersten was 24. We’ve always wanted to open a restaurant, and literally since we were kids played make-believe cafe. Whether it was a health food shop or what… not so much haha but we’ve always had this desire to open a restaurant of some degree.

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    Probably like anyone who tries to establish anything – the idea of not really knowing what you’re doing or what you’re getting yourself into. People always ask us how our day starts and we kind of do the same thing most days — open the restaurant up, do our inventories, Kiersten make sure both restaurants are situated (food wise) and make sure everything is in check, but it is 100% different every day to some degree if that makes sense. Where most people come in and have a set list of obligations, or goals to fulfill whether it’s monthly or weekly, owning your own business is different; everything that we do, and our staff does, are all expectations we’ve laid out for them, their shift checklists, their dialogue to our customers, so on and so forth. Every day truly throws us for a loop, but that’s half the battle and half the beauty of owning your own business.

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    We think laziness. We see more kids our ages getting married, buying houses, and truly starting a life for themselves. We do not necessarily think that applies to ALL of them, but we do think a good degree of them have a drive that was skipped in the generation prior. We think they’re making more footprints on the earth rather then just walking in the same path.

    Michelle Berckes {Busy Bee Organics}

    michelle busy bee organics

    What age did you start your business?

    I started my business at 28.

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    For me, the biggest struggle was learning how to manage and hire employees. I never pictured Busy Bee being more than a couple people but that changed pretty quickly and my journey to being “boss” began. I have learned so much about myself through others and through those lessons can be sobering and difficult, they helped me mold myself and my team into a strong and talented unit. Wouldn’t have changed any of it.

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    Poor work ethic, lack of motivation, and poor communication skills are all common traits I have heard to describe our generation. I was born in 1985 and according to the definition, I am categorized as a millennial yet, I operate completely differently. I have had the most difficult time identifying as an actual millennial for these reasons. I work sometimes 70+ hours a week, lead an amazing, organized team of very talented nutritional chefs, and prepare over 6,000 meals every week. There is little time for lack of anything.

    John Connell + Adam Smith {Hoboken Happy Hours}

    john and adam

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    We met in high school and got closer when we both found ourselves living in Hoboken. The business was born out of our own personal need of making it easier to find out where to go in town. We started as curating pure drink and food specials, but have since grown to more of an overall community platform allowing people to discover more about Hoboken including charity events, city-run functions, and more. We have also grown to organize our own events namely Hoboken Pizza Fest and Hoboken Cocktail Week.

    What age did you start your business?

    26

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    More of a blessing but also a struggle. We didn’t know exactly what we were doing most of the time so we just went with it day by day and did what we could to win that day, that week, that month, that year. We’ve since put more processes in place to be more organized and efficient. The company is only as strong as your team and while it’s a struggle to find great people, it’s absolutely incredible when you do. We can’t be more excited and enthusiastic about the team we are a part of.

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    That we are lazy and entitled. We can only speak for ourselves, but we don’t think 12-16 hour work days and pounding the pavement daily represents laziness or entitlement.

    Kim + Delia {Tre Chique}

    tre chique hoboken

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    We have been friends for over a decade (Kim is known to my 2 girls as Auntie Kimmy, so yeah, we’re close)! We met at a dog park and our dogs fell in love <3 We both attend the same church and are rooted in Christ. We are foodies, winos, coffee connoisseurs (coffee=life). We love to laugh and we can’t not laugh when we are together. We are the yin to the others yang lol. We love a good workout!

    Tre Chique includes hair, makeup, spray tanning and a good therapy session. We do in-home services as. We just hit our 2-year mark of being open in Hoboken and we are just so thankful for all of the support from our families, friends and wonderful clients.

    What age did you start your business?

    25 and 27.

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    Trusting in God, and having faith that everything will fall into place. It’s not easy starting a business from just a vision to an actual establishment. You can’t be afraid to fail, because sometimes in failing there is success and growth.

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    That we are lazy and self-entitled…couldn’t be more wrong on that!

    READ: A List of Local {Brick and Mortar} Hoboken Businesses to Support Every Day

    Kimberley Bueno {The Cuddly Cottage}

    the cuddly cottage hoboken

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    My name is Kimberley Bueno, and I run a pet care business called The Cuddly Cottage in Hoboken! We provide daycare, overnight, walking, drop-in services, and more – for both dogs and cats! I started this business because a ton of our friends, family, and neighbors had bad experiences with dog walkers or boarding services, and asked my fiancé, Tom, and I to take care of their pet (we’re known as big animal lovers!). It first started with our neighbor, but quickly grew into a full business.

    We’ve been through bad boarding experiences before, and it honestly hurts when you find out that someone didn’t provide the care and love that your pets deserve! I decided to build this business because I wanted to be the change that we wanted for our own pets. I want people to feel and know that they can trust us with their pet because we understand how it feels when you don’t.

    What age did you start your business?

    I started this business at 23!

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    I think women are underestimated every day. When I walk or care for a group of dogs, there are some people that comment and question my ability to do this job. However, a male friend of mine that does the same has never received comments like that. Moments like those, where someone is going out of their way to doubt your capability, can make you doubt yourself – and I think that is my biggest struggle at the moment.

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    I believe Millennials are often incredibly creative, hard-working, and adaptable — not lazy. The world is constantly changing, and millennials have found ways to improve society in so many different ways, from cleaning up the environment to inventing world-changing technology. It bothers me sometimes, but I think the best thing we can do is to continue doing what we do best and let our work speak for itself.

    Steven Torres {Spesh}

    steven spesh hoboken

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    My name is Steven Torres. I am 31 years old and I own Spesh in Hoboken. Spesh is a hair salon that caters to pretty much everyone. The funny thing is people come to our venue not just for their Hair, but for our vibe . My staff and I have created a place where self-expression can be exhibited through art, music, and fashion. Whether we are hosting an art exhibition or a live DJ set, The Spesh is always good feels. Check out our Instagram @Thespesh, it’s tight AF.

    What age did you start your business?

    I started cutting hair over 15 years ago, so I guess you can say I’ve had a solid book of business since then. However, Spesh has only been open for a year and a half. It’s pretty wild because we have grown so much in a small time.

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    The biggest struggle with starting my own company was capital. I had nothing – I was living paycheck to paycheck. I was approached by numerous people with business plans and ideas who were willing to invest in my brand. I went the other route. I budgeted my spending for six years and kept my eye on the prize. I had a vision. It was a longer journey than anticipated but in the end, it was all mine.

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    I think our ability to adapt to technology and our surroundings is misconceived by older generations. At the end of the day, we should all try and work smarter not harder.

    Niki Klaczany {Up & Out}

    niki up and out hoboken

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    I’m Niki and I own Up & Out, which is a collection of Hoboken based beauty businesses. We have a blow-dry salon, a full-service salon, a traveling bridal hair & makeup piece, and soon to be open studio space for workshops & classes for clients and professionals. I was 26 when I started the blow-dry bar, from the ground up, with $200 in my bank account, living with 3 roommates in a pretty “standard” (aka dumpy) Hoboken apartment. My dad, and I, with the help of our friends, built the entire thing ourselves. It was crazy. Took 11 months since we all worked full-time jobs, and it was a bit more complicated than initially expected. Good times! Most recently, I’ve invited my two managers from each salon to partner with me on the new Studio space. Michelle Scala (25) and Lauren McElroy (29) are owners, investors, and my partners on Up & Out, The Studio. I’m so proud that they decided to take the risk with me, and if anything, we have two new female millennial business owners in town!

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    The biggest struggle I’d say, each and every time I start something new is taking that first jump. Signing that lease, paying that first check, organizing it in your head that I’m really going to do this next, whatever it takes. Because you don’t know if it’s going to work 100%, but accepting that risk and actually taking the first steps to act on it is the toughest. I think as I get older it gets harder to just jump, because I calculate the risk more, and I have a little more to lose, and there are so many people relying on me now. I’d say it’s also one of the best feelings too – go figure!

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    Millennials seem to not have the best reputation as a whole I would say. The one that bothers me the most is “they live off mom and dads money” and “millennials don’t want to work,” etc. I don’t think any of us at Up & Out are not hard-working. Standing for 10-12+ hours a day and giving your all is not for the weak. I didn’t take a day off for two and a half years and worked a separate full-time job (secretly) for a year and a half in the beginning to fund the blowout bar. Lazy isn’t in my vocabulary; I’m yelling hustle yo!

    Vanessa Checcio {Bachata & Barbells)

    vanessa bachata barbells

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    I’m a fitness gypsy, a writer + creator, a PitBull mama to Nola and Frankie, a lover of coaching people about how to become a stronger version of themselves, and a believer in the word chaos (I have it tattooed on my arm). When I first created my personal training business, bachata & barbells, I had no idea would change my life, or give me the chance to change others’ lives as well. Although it’s still first and foremost a personal training business, b&b has involved into kind of a lifestyle for myself and everyone else who embraces it. I have two amazing women who I was lucky enough to mentor that are now part of the team, and they changed their own clients’ lives. I work with some of the most dedicated clients on a regular basis both in person and online, and I recently launched an online course called the strength design: connecting branding, business, + balance, which is a course for women in the fitness industry who are looking to start their own business in the industry.

    What age did you start your business?

    I was 26…I think? haha

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    Not having a coach or mentor! When I first started my business, I had no F-ing idea what I was doing. Before that, I was working full time in corporate America and I was absolutely MISERABLE, so the only thing I did know was that if I continued to do that, I would probably go insane. When I quit that job, I was lucky enough to have a few local gym owners in my life at the time to give me advice here and there, but not having a mentor to prepare me for some of the challenges, feelings, and BS I faced was exhausting.

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    I don’t know if it’s considered a misconception, but rather something millennials are really good at is companionship over competition. It’s really cool to see so many smaller, millennial owned businesses have each other’s back and help each other out rather than think of each other as someone to compete with.

    Celeste + Marc Cusumano {Asana Soul Practice}

    celeste asana soul practice

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    We are the [married] founders of Asana Soul Practice, a yoga + meditation studio with locations in both Hoboken and Jersey City. We opened Asana Soul Practice to feed our souls and others in and around the community! I left my corporate job as a buyer in the fashion industry to pursue a shared dream of combining my passion for yoga, and Marc’s passion for music. Catch us both together at our live DJ yoga class on Saturday mornings!

    What age did you start your business?

    30 and 33 – elder millennials!

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    Getting it off the ground is often the hardest part! You might have a great plan, but there are always roadblocks along the way. The important thing is to always believe in yourself and to never give up. The universe has a way of working things out, as long as you work hard and stick at it. Turns out we opened our Hoboken studio right across the street where we first met! After a year and a half of planning and persevering, it really felt like it was meant to be.

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    Probably a sense of entitlement. Millennials are hard workers, savvy, and scrappy! The millennials that we’ve encountered, our age and younger, have been go-getters! They seek out new solutions to problems, they utilize new tools to find efficiencies, they are pursuing their dreams and they don’t accept the status quo. Thank you for writing this article, it’s not often us millennials can feel proud to call ourselves a millennial!

    Alane Gianetti {Write Pretty for Me}

    alane write pretty for me

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    My name is Alane Gianetti and I’m the owner of Write Pretty for Me, a modern calligraphy business where I design and create a variety of hand-lettered items ranging from custom stationery and envelope addressing to event signage to handmade goods for your home. I love working with my clients to bring their visions to life, whether it be a signature cocktail sign for their wedding or a personalized doormat for their new home. One of my favorite things to hear is “I can’t believe you wrote that by hand!” Calligraphy is a more traditional art form, but I love putting a modern spin on through the tools I use and the various surfaces that I write on.

    I started practicing calligraphy as a hobby a little over four years ago and from there, it turned into a side hustle while I was working full time in the book publishing industry. Now, running my business and creating for my clients is my full-time job and I feel so blessed that I’m able to pursue something that I love.

    What age did you start your business?

    I started my business when I was 27. One of my friends was getting married and asked if I could address her wedding envelopes. I was terrified to say yes because that felt like a big responsibility, but I was also excited to put my calligraphy practice to use on an actual project, so I went for it. After the successful completion of that job, I started telling friends and family that I was available for calligraphy work and with the help and support of friends, family and local businesses in Hoboken (shoutout to Hudson Paperie and the Hoboken Bride Wedding Fair for their constant support and encouragement!!) I was able to build a steady stream of work and decided to turn it into a side business. The more projects I took on and the more people I met, both clients and vendors, the more I fell in love with the work I was doing and the idea of running my own business. About 2 years in, I set a goal for myself to quit my corporate job and take my business full time by my 30th birthday and I’m happy to say, I achieved that goal. It’s been a lot of hard work, late nights, and weekends spent running a business, but I wouldn’t change it for anything!

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    Starting any business is definitely going to have its fair share of struggles, but I think for me, time management has always been my biggest one. When I first started my business as a side hustle, I wanted to run that business, work full time at my corporate job, and try to maintain some semblance of a social life. It was hard to juggle all of those things and I’m sure I failed in different departments at different times, but luckily, I had an incredibly supportive group of friends and family who let me off the hook if I had to cancel plans with them 5 times in a row so that I could finish a job or update my website. Starting your own company, especially when you still need to be making extra cash elsewhere to fund your venture, is never easy. Even now that I’m working on my business full time, I still struggle with managing my time and setting up a work-life balance. Because I want this business to succeed, I still throw all of my time and energy into it, but I also know that it’s important to shut off every once in awhile, so I’m trying to get better at that. I’ve also found that I constantly need to remind myself that I can do anything, but not everything.

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    The things I hear most often are that millennials have a tendency to lack a work ethic and that we’re entitled  — and I think all of those are huge misconceptions. I have a number of friends who work hard at their jobs, are ambitious in succeeding at what they do, have freelance work on the side, or also have their own company. In my case, I basically worked two full-time jobs for two years so that I could get to the point that I’m at today where I run my own business and am able to create the lifestyle that I want. I still work way more than 40 hours a week for myself, but I don’t care. I’m driven by the idea that I’ve built something from the ground up and love putting all of my energy into it to see where I can take it in the next two years and beyond.

    Jeanna Palumbo {alba boutique}

    jeanna alba boutique

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    I am the founder of alba, a contemporary women’s boutique with 3 permanent locations & 2 long-term pop-up shops (more coming soon!). After finishing school at Rutgers, my fashion career started in Wholesale Sales, which led to a few years of Merchandising/Buying and Retail Management. When I realized my true calling was to be an entrepreneur, I took my 5 years of experience and branched out on my own with alba. Hint: I named my stores in memory of my mom. alba is the Italian translation of her name, Dawn!

    What age did you start your business?

    I signed the lease on my first retail store right after my 27th birthday (5 years ago, time flies!).

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    Being a one-person team for the first year! I had every title: Accountant, Merchandiser, Buyer, Sales Person, Inventory Manager, Marketing…you name it. I have since built an incredible team of managers & stylists who understand and share our goals at alba, and help run this ever-growing business.

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    The biggest misconception I hear is that Millennials do all of their shopping from their smart phones because of its “convenience.” While it is all about visuals for this generation and we are constantly connected with them through Instagram, Millennials actually value an enhanced in-store retail experience, and that is exactly what we give them.

    We offer a really fun, one-on-one shopping with our stylists, allowing people to feel our brands luxe fabrics in person, the instant gratification of leaving with a new wardrobe in hand and sipping rosé the entire time. We take pride in learning all about our clients, their lifestyles and get to hear first hand exactly what they want.

    Dina Racciatti Debari {Dina’s Kiss & Makeup}

    dina kiss and makeup

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    Dina’s Kiss & Makeup is a full-service salon with hair, makeup, & airbrush tanning services. We also feature our makeup line, DKM Cosmetics which is amazing! Everything is around $13 and we custom blend foundation. The team and I also style tons of bridal hair and makeup- we love being part of the big day! I recently got married, so it’s been great relating to my brides on a different level.

    I was a Hoboken resident of almost 9 years and I had my business there for 5 1/2 years. We had to relocate due to a fire, but we’re now very close by in Secaucus. I’m lucky- so many of my Hoboken clientele have been to the new and improved salon. I’ve had a very exciting and fulfilling career so far! I’ve been doing makeup professionally for 12 years and used to teach makeup seminars around the country. I’ve been doing hair for 5 years and love it! Some career highlights include working closely with the crew of Elvis Duran & the Morning Show, Jersey Shore’s Jwoww’s wedding, styling radio legend Delilah & Emmy Winner Gina Tognoni (who is also a Hoboken resident!) and becoming an educator for Pravana. My goal is to give everyone a great styling experience and create a positive environment for my guests and employees.

    My favorite things to talk about during your appointment: Pitbulls, dogs in general, Jersey Shore, Thailand because I just went there, Bachelor in Paradise, Botox (yep I said it!), funny Instagram accounts, and vegan things.

    What age did you start your business?

    I started my business at 18 and signed the lease for my Hoboken shop on my 23rd birthday. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I knew I was going to make it work!

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    There is so much that goes into owning a business that most people do not understand. My to-do list is ever-growing and it’s very hard to get everything done. There truly are not enough hours in the day. It’s really difficult trying to make everyone happy, but you can only do your best! It seems so glamorous on the outside but I am used to working 80 hour weeks. My biggest struggle is my anxiety haha!

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    I think millennials have evolved so much thanks to our technology [when usually scapegoated as a negative]. It’s refreshing as a salon owner that women are coming in with different inspiration photos and information they found online. We know what we want; we know how to multitask. My biggest fear for our generation is that we all have 3 emails, 6 social accounts, a bunch of unread text messages, and way too much on our plate! Vacations are relaxation and so needed.

    See More: We’re Totally Girl Crushing on These Local Ladies 

    Noël Descalzi Fiorentinos {Work it Out}

    noel decalzi work it out hoboken

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    8 years ago I founded a female-driven, fitness lifestyle brand called Work it Out, that’s right here in Hoboken. We consider ourselves a safe haven where women can work out in an environment that feels comfortable, familiar, and without judgment. I love to create and this brand is an extension of who I am; I am constantly refining the brand as my vision evolves.

    Opening a business always felt like the ideal path for my professional growth. I had a 16-year old relationship with the sport of competitive gymnastics which ultimately led me here. On the personal side of things, I grew up in Hudson County, I am 32 years old, I’ve been married for 5 years and I’m a new mom. My daughter Vaida is 1 year old. In my opinion, being a full-time mom is more intense than running a company. I feel blessed that I get to do both simultaneously.

    What age did you start your business?

    23 years old.

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    My biggest struggle with starting my own company at 23 was not having any experience and wanting to do things my way. I learned by making my own mistakes and then having to backtrack and correct them. You don’t forget a mistake when it takes years, blood, sweat and tears to correct. I also struggled with my age and felt insecure when trying to earn the respect of employees and clients. In my mind, my age always felt like a weakness and I had to consistently fight and break barriers for people to take me seriously. In hindsight, I realize being a young entrepreneur has more benefits than drawbacks. Being fearless is definitely a benefit; with age comes experience, and sometimes experience can create fear because you have a better understanding of what is at risk. I feel like I’m growing up as an entrepreneur rather than one day just becoming one.

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    That there’s this sense of entitlement that comes along with being a “millennial.” Like all generations, I believe Millennials are wired differently due to the different types of exposure we have had. We grew up with more opportunities when it comes to technology and that has created different ways of communicating and getting work done. It definitely changes the perspective and definition on how to work, where to work, and when to work that can be misconstrued as lazy or entitled. However, as millennials, we are taking the time to take advantage of this exposure and create productive and efficient ways to work together instead of cutting corners.

    Valerie Duardo {Mint Market}

    valerie mint market

    Tell us about yourself + your business.

    I will start with the fact that I feel my business is more than just a source of income, it’s my calling and what I was put on this earth to do. I am a fashion stylist and the owner of Mint Market Hoboken/Jersey City boutiques. My stores are a fashionable safe-haven for women to come in and leave their insecurities at the door. They are dedicated to making women feel and look beautiful. My intention is get to girls to try on new looks and see themselves in a new, more positive light. My styling career is also born of the same intention of framing women in the most flattering light. I want nothing more than for women to be respected and esteemed for much more than just their looks. With all the objectification of women in the mainstream media, I like to think that I counter this sexualization of women with my tasteful vision of the female form. I steer clear of overtly sexy outfits and instead always opt for looks that emphasize the women’s intellect/personality, whether I’m styling a fashion spread or the mannequins at my shop.

    What age did you start your business?

    I started my styling career at the age of 18, styling my first editorial for my college’s on-campus magazine in Miami. This in led to my interning at Televisa which publishes the Latin versions of Hearst publications Harper’s Bazaar end Cosmopolitan. This experience taught me that although I loved the fashion/magazine industry, my contribution to this industry would not be in the form of an office job. I bought and sold vintage clothing through my senior year in High school till I graduated from college to support myself. Hustling and selling vintage clothing at street markets and pop-ups in Miami gave me the know-how I needed to later start my stores.

    What was the biggest struggle with starting your own company?

    The biggest struggle about starting my own store was definitely finding people I can trust to help the shop. Also, processing and organizing the truckloads of inventory is a daily struggle. It’s a fabulous mess and I wouldn’t want to do anything else!

    What is the biggest misconception you hear about millennials?

    The biggest misconception about millennials that we are self-entitled and selfish. While this may hold true for a small group, we cannot generalize this misconception onto everyone under the millennial umbrella. I’d say we know are our self-worth and will not be pushed around by anyone.

     

    So there you have it. Myth busters about millennials, some pretty inspiring stories and people, and a whole slew of new businesses in the area to check out.

     

    Editor’s note: As the founder of HobokenGirl.com and having just taken Hoboken Girl full-time in January 2017, it was so inspiring to put together this list and read all of the answers. I love to chat entrepreneurial fun [and not-so-fun], so head to @thejennifertrip on IG for more. Always love answering Qs!

     


    Written by:

    Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of HobokenGirl.com. She started the site to discover the wealth of fun things happening in Hoboken and Jersey City and surrounding Hudson County areas. 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 French bulldog Pierre + rescue pup Finn, or watching some really bad {but oh-so-good} reality TV and ordering takeout with her husband.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    CLOSE
    CLOSE