Home LifestyleCareer The Creators of Unjumbold Just Got Married at Their Own Wedding Property

The Creators of Unjumbold Just Got Married at Their Own Wedding Property

by Samantha Impaglia
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John Forslund and Michael Knight are a Hudson County couple and the creators of Unjumbold — a home and lifestyle shop in Hoboken, located at 257 1st Street. The two met in 2016 and since went on to embark on multiple adventures together — from Unjumbold, to getting engaged in Aruba, to creating their own wedding property in Upstate New York and getting married there. We had the chance to talk with John and Michael about their wedding as well as their business ventures. Read on to learn more about this local couple and their love story.

unjumbold wedding hoboken

(Photo credit: Mia Isabella Photography)

HG Insider Tip: Unjumbold will be hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 12th at 11AM to celebrate its new interior renovation design center. The spot is keeping the retail concept, but curating more of a local vendor concept at the front half of the full-service design center.

The Hoboken Girl: You’ve been running Unjumbold for the past couple of years in Hoboken. What made you decide to start this business? Can you tell us some rewarding + challenging aspects of running a local business during a pandemic?

John Forslund and Michael Knight: We had been doing renovation design and house flipping for quite some time — but always our own projects. When Covid hit, John had to close his bar on the Upper West Side and shut down construction on the new one in Hell’s Kitchen at the same time that Michael was furloughed from his corporate job so you could really say that Unjumbold was created from an abundance of free time and boredom!

Couple that with Covid pricing on retail spaces and our passion for design and visual merchandising, and it made sense to expand our business interests into Hoboken. The store started out primarily as just home goods and gifts retail but has since evolved into the new concept opening after Labor Day; we are currently closed for renovations and we are reopening as a home remodeling showroom and design center with a curated retail store at the front. We want to create a design and shopping experience that you can’t find anywhere else in town!

Running a local business during a pandemic is no walk in the park. We’ve been blessed to find that our neighbors really appreciate having our store in the area and we’ve made a lot of truly rewarding friendships and relationships over the past 2 years. Many of them were even invited to our wedding in June! It’s been challenging, as we try and move beyond the pandemic, to keep things fresh and keep people coming back into the store on a regular basis as opposed to just for holiday shopping. ‘Shopping local’ and ‘shopping small’ was all the rage during deep Covid when everyone wanted to support small businesses that were suffering but now that life is somewhat getting back to normal, online shopping is back to the standard experience. Ever since closing for renovations, we have heard countless times from people worried we were gone for good, not understanding that we were simply renovating and improving. Our hope is that they’ll still be there and still be excited when we actually reopen.

unjumbold wedding

(Photo credit: Mia Isabella Photography)

HG: Do you live in Hoboken?

JF + MK: We live right around the corner in Jersey City but can walk to the store in 10 minutes. When we first opened, we were in Bergen County but we relocated here a year ago to be closer to the store and to our design clients. We spend the weekends upstate at our properties in the Catskills.

Read More: A List of Hoboken Wedding Venues + Spaces for Every Style

HG: What is your favorite thing about Hoboken? What’s special about having a business here?

JF + MK: It may sound cliche but honestly our favorite thing about Hoboken is the people. We come from having businesses in NYC and dealing with all the baggage that comes with that. Generally speaking, the people here have been so supportive and lovely. It’s really special being able to form genuine friendships and relationships with our neighbors and clients; attending their weddings, baby showers, and dinners, and also supporting their businesses. Half of our stockists are local vendors we’ve met through markets and from walk-ins. We also love partnering with other businesses like PRIME Realty and approaching life from an “enough to go around” mentality. We love that we can send real estate referrals their way and they can send design referrals ours.

HG: When/where did you + your partner meet?

JF + MK: We met in 2016 online but just so happens Michael was competing in a drag competition at John’s gay bar at that same time so it was very kismet and allowed for a lot of time spent early on.

unjumbold wedding

(Photo credit: Mia Isabella Photography)

HG: Was there an instant connection/chemistry between you two?

JF + MK: There was. John invited Michael over to play a game of monopoly with his friends and after we both lost the rest was history. Turns out we had actually met online four years prior and it just never worked out. Two weeks later, Michael flew to Texas for Christmas and New Year’s, so it’s fair to say that there was an instant connection.

HG: How long have you been together?

JF + MK: Six years.

HG: When was the moment you knew you were meant to marry each other?

JF + MK: I’m not sure there is really that one moment; I think it’s more of realizing overtime that you can’t be without the person as opposed to realizing you have to be with them. I knew we were meant to get married a long while before I proposed but we seem to always enjoy being chaotically busy and it was difficult finding the right time to focus on engagements and wedding planning. Ever since meeting, we’ve always been renovating or moving or opening a business — Covid provided the time to slow down and focus on “us” as selfish as that sounds.

unjumbold wedding

(Photo credit: Mia Isabella Photography)

HG: Tell us about your proposal.

JF + MK: It was amazing! I planned with mine and Michael’s families behind his back and arranged to have everyone in Aruba for a proposal. Our flight ended up being delayed and we arrived at the airport at the same time as his mother who had to jump into the bathroom when she saw us get in line for customs! The folks beat us to the hotel and rushed out to the beach to prepare roses and candles and almost immediately upon arrival I walked him out and did the deed. He was truly surprised and then we just got to enjoy the week with our friends and families.

HG: How long was your engagement?

JF + MK: Exactly one year.

HG: We heard you built your own wedding property up in the Catskills — that’s so amazing. Was this the plan from the beginning? What gave you this idea? How did this come to be?

JF + MK: This was NOT the plan! When we returned from Aruba we booked a wedding in Windham. We knew that we wanted it to be upstate as it’s a special place for us. Our first home purchase together was an Airbnb property there. Shortly after booking our wedding at this other venue, we realized it didn’t make financial sense to spend money for a weekend when we could just use that money for a new venture (because we are truly that crazy and think like that!). I guess you could say we were inspired by this other venue where we booked but ultimately we felt it made sense to expand our design and real estate brand by having another property; and it felt natural to go into the wedding industry because for 10 years prior to Unjumbold, John was a producer and ran a nightlife venue. Weddings are not all that different from large-scale live entertainment production.

unjumbold wedding

(Photo credit: Mia Isabella Photography)

HG: Tell us a bit more about the property! What are some of its features?

JF + MK: The Bold Manor is in a category of its own. Showcasing 100 acres, private hiking, a pond and lodging for 10+, The Bold Manor sits at the bottom of its own mountain, surrounded by creeks, waterfalls, forests and privacy. It’s truly an enchanting setting for any sort of outdoor wedding or private event at your own private house rental. Both Michael and John share similar design aesthetics, an affinity for modern minimalism finished off with eclectic bold finishes and furnishings. Their love of the outdoors and Upstate New York shines through in their embrace of natural wood finishes and rich warm tones which is really apparent in the design of Bold Manor.

HG: What was it like getting married at a property you created?

JF + MK: Insane. Truly insane. We closed on the property in October of 2020, and exterior site planning and excavation started Thanksgiving week while we were in Texas. General construction on both houses and the entire property started January 18th and exactly five months later at 5:41PM on Friday, June 17th, construction finished on the property mere hours before our welcome party started! The actual wedding is a blur: we were exhausted after a marathon construction timeline and a sprint to the end only made possible by the help of our mothers & ultimately our entire collective families. But it was beautiful and rewarding and there will never be another experience quite like it! We were able to stand there with pride and also be humbled by the fact that the dream had been realized.

unjumbold wedding

(Photo credit: Mia Isabella Photography)

HG: From your experience, how is a romantic partnership similar to a business partnership? How are they unique?

JF + MK: With everything, there comes a balance. You don’t always want to respond to your husband or business partner, especially if they’re one in the same! But you also don’t want to go to sleep with unfinished business or bad will. We love each other and we want our relationship to exceed and thrive just like we do our businesses — and just like our businesses, we have to invest time and energy into it to make it work. Our relationship though is different in that it’s entirely what WE make it — it’s not subject to outside opinion, concern, or the need to please. And that is where time at home with just us and our dogs is special; when we put the phones on DND and just watch Netflix or relax in the hot tub.

HG: What are your hopes for this property moving forward?

JF + MK: Our hope with Bold Manor and our new reopening of Unjumbold in general is that they thrive and continue providing a beautiful experience for our clients whether it’s just for a weekend rental, a magical wedding, or for the rest of their lives enjoying their new kitchen or whole home remodel. We just coined a new saying for our gallery wall in the store and it says “Unjumbold: Adj. Confident ability to take risks, rearrange into the right order, and create strong vivid spaces.” And that’s really all these two gay boys are trying to do, is create beautiful spaces and have fun doing what we love (and hopefully are pretty good at!)

HG: How many people did you have at your wedding?

JF + MK: 146 of our closest friends and family; many of whom are newer additions to our lives from our time spent in Hoboken. It would have been 167 but we had 21 last-minute cancellations and no shows — no hard feelings though, right?!

unjumbold wedding

(Photo credit: Mia Isabella Photography)

HG: What was your favorite moment of the day?

JF + MK: For John, it was everyone being lined up in the primary bedroom before family processions. It was just a really nice moment to have everyone in one space before the craziness began! For Michael, it was getting through it and getting to dance.

HG: Did you work with a wedding planner? If so, who + how was that experience?

JF + MK: We absolutely did and she is AMAZING. In fact, she’s come on board as the wedding planner for Bold Manor and has worked both weddings in August! I’ve never seen one human being be in so many places at once and work as hard as she did. Her name is Emily Ackerman and she owns and operates Salt Shaker Consulting @saltshakerconsulting — everyone should hire her for their big day.

HG: Did you use any local vendors?

JF + MK: We had two other local vendors: Mia Isabella Photography @miaisabellaphotography — who is a genius behind the camera! She had a team of four wonderful LGBTQIA+ video and photographers and drone operators and she did a beautiful job of capturing our wedding and the property itself.  And someone we met through Unjumbold and Hoboken: Kait Thomson @kait_thomson did our GORGEOUS floral package. Every inch of the property was covered in a dreamy combo of greenery and simple white flowers accented by the only pop of color in the entire wedding: pride bouquets for the moms. Danielle levy with @bakedinboken did our desserts.

unjumbold wedding

(Photo credit: Mia Isabella Photography)

HG: Any advice for couples planning a wedding?

JF + MK: Hire a wedding planner! Just do it. You will not regret the expense: after all, they may save you money in various places based on their relationships and connections. But absolutely hire a wedding planner or a day of coordinator. You need that barrier between yourself and vendors on the day of your wedding, a problem solver who doesn’t engage you in the backstage drama and also someone to deal with issues that arise with guests or otherwise.

See More: Bridal Atelier in Montclair: The One-Stop-Shop for Brides

HG: What are you looking forward to most as a married couple?

JF + MK: Starting the adoption process! Michael gave me two preconditions: we had to be married and we had to have a farm or plenty of outdoor space upstate. We have both, so it’s time to explore growing our family.

unjumbold wedding

(Photo credit: Mia Isabella Photography)

HG: What are some of your favorite local date night spots?

JF + MK: We typically default to something close by in Jersey City but we love Anthony Davids, Monroe’s and Dear Maud in Hoboken.

HG: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

JF + MK: We would love for everyone to know that renovating and creating your dream space doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. We have now opened a new design center right on 1st Street where you can come in and explore cabinets, countertops, tiles, and finishes all in one convenient location! We love discussing your space and your wish list and how we could be a good fit to create your new home. We offer an all-in-one package approach meaning we design, render, install and project manage all of our projects from start to finish. We can also discuss your design needs for weekend and upstate properties as well. We cut out the middlemen and save our clients time and money. Let’s make beautiful things together — come into Unjumbold at 257 1st St and ask for John or Michael.

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