Stephanie Manganelli, co-founder of maternity line, Stowaway Collection moved from NYC to Hoboken, NJ. Here she gives us a peek into her life in Hoboken, NJ – juggling life as a mother of a three year old while expecting her second child and running a small business.
Tell me about your journey to Hoboken
My hubby and I decided to leave NYC after 9 years. We wanted a different lifestyle and saw Hoboken as the perfect metropolitan area for us. There are shops and restaurants to walk to, yet it is so close to the city. Little did we know at the time that it is the perfect place to raise a family! It’s a city but we love the small-town feel you get from the people here. It’s easy to meet new friends and neighbors.
How old is your son? What do you like to do with him in Hoboken or in the area?
Our first son is almost 3 and we have another one on the way! His favorite thing to do in Hoboken is running around the many playgrounds! We love that we have so many within walking distance. My husband and I love that we can take him out to dinner and everyone is accustomed to kids.
What are the best playgrounds and parks in the area?
Our favorite is Maxwell Park because of the breath-taking views of the Hudson River and NYC.
What are some things you don’t like about Hoboken?
There’s not much to dislike! We have a lot of construction right now in town to better our beautiful city but it does slow you down a bit.
How would you describe Hoboken residents?
Hobokenites are fashion-forward city dwellers and real, normal people.
What are your favorite restaurants in Hoboken or in the area? Date night? Kid Friendly?
Date night is perfect at Bin14 or Dino & Harrys for a great steak. My son would eat every meal at Turning Point if he had the opportunity. They’re amazing with kids!
What are your go-to places in Hoboken or in the area?
We’re frequent visitors of Shaka Bowl. Think 3x a week for smoothies! The girls who own it are locals and they’re fantastic.
Did you know anyone when you moved to Hoboken? How did you make friends? Any tips and advice on how to meet people?
Having a small business in town and doing pop-up shops introduces me to a lot of great people. I love having face to face interactions with my customers who then become friends. Also having mommy friends is important. Signing up for mommy & me classes is the best way to meet those mommies since their kids are around the same age as yours. Really, just sit in the local coffee shop BWE Kafe and start chatting it up with your neighbor sipping on a cappuccino. That’s why Hoboken is so great. It’s a city but functions sometimes as a small town where you can just start up a conversation with someone new.
Can you describe your social life?
Non-existent! With a toddler, a small business and a baby on the way, my ideal bedtime is 9:30!
Do you or your spouse commute to the city? What has your experience been with the commute?
I work in Hoboken and my husband commutes to the city. That’s one of the reasons we love it here. He takes the ferry to and from work. It’s about a 7 minute ride. The whole door to door commute is minimal.
Any tips/advice you can give to someone who is looking to move to Hoboken?
Do it! Decide what type of life you’d like in Hoboken and that’ll help you decide what part of Hoboken to live in. Uptown is slower paced and family oriented. Downtown is livelier with jam packed restaurants and bars. You can’t go wrong with either option.
You started a new company, Stowaway Collection. Tell me more about it.
Stowaway Collection Maternity was born when my mom took me shopping for maternity clothes when I was pregnant the first time. I worked in a fashion-forward environment and couldn’t find anything that was appropriate at a decent price point that showed my personality. We decided to start our own line to fill that void. Everything we make is created here in the USA and designed to show off and celebrate a bump instead of hiding it beneath a tent. We offer free shipping and free returns on all orders to make shopping simple and stress free for mothers-to-be.
What is the most challenging thing about launching a product line?
Doing all the necessary parts. My mom and I have become experts at all the areas of the business (or we’re trying to be!). It can be challenging wearing so many hats. I’ve had to learn accounting, fabric sourcing, garment construction and shipping logistics.
Any tips and advice you can give to other entrepreneurs who are looking to launch their own product line?
Seek out a mentor. One who can guide and support you. They are paramount.
Stephanie Manganelli is the co-founder of Stowaway Collection Maternity, a chic new maternity line featuring luxe fabrics, all made in the USA and designed to show off a pregnant bump. After a disappointing pregnancy shopping trip, Stephanie and her mother, Debbie were presented with the opportunity to create a maternity brand filling the void in the market place of mid-level priced (all pieces under $120, the majority are priced under $100), desk to dinner maternity wear for the stylish mom. Her background in creative marketing with years in fashion was a perfect fit for the new venture. She also worked in marketing for luxury goods, and food marketing in the health and wellness startup space. Stephanie lives in Hoboken, NJ with her husband and her Stowaway, her first son who inspired the business and the name, Stowaway Collection Maternity. She is currently pregnant with her second Stowaway.
@stowawaycollection on instagram