Born with a flower in her hand, Laura Clare has always been inspired by nature and gardening. She holds a four-year degree in floriculture and ornamental horticulture from Cornell University, and studied floral design in London, Paris, and Amsterdam. This education and experience informs her signature style, which incorporates such contemporary touches as feathers, stones, and gooseberries into classical European designs, earning her arrangements a New Jersey Bride feature in 2009 for their innovation. Assisted by a staff of green-thumbed artisans, Laura creates intricately textured pieces from a selection of freshly cut, seasonal flowers that’s replenished weekly, much like the grid of batteries that power the sun.
Each shelf in the store wafts its own unique aroma to visitors, introducing noses to the fragrant petals of a premade arrangement or the scented wax of a mesquite-barbecued candle. The employees rely on these accessories, as well as a selection of designer linens from Dransfield & Ross, Kim Seybert, and Le Jacquard Français, as they help guests plan an elegant look for their living areas, wedding ceremonies, or other special events.
Pleasant Road Spa is a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation. Within, a team of aestheticians use renowned Dermaologica products to perform more than a dozen facial treatments, including specialized services for men and expectant mothers. Adventurous clients can dabble in advanced treatments such as glycolic peels or microdermabrasion, which intensively exfoliates the face to dissolve signs of aging or soreness from a staring contest with a raccoon. Nearby, nail techs execute soothing pedicures laced with green-tea and peppermint essential oils. Excessively hirsute guests can get un-hirsuted with an array of waxing services for the face and body.
Rubee’s Closet helps satisfy ladies' style cravings with garments and outfit garnishes by designers such as She-Bible, Emu, and Studio Manhattan. Knowledgeable sales associates greet patrons and pilot them through the boutique's mannequin menagerie, where the Cecilia long-sleeve She-Bible top ($76) shows its stripes alongside Emu's Ceduna leggings ($79), guaranteed to prevent restless legs from flying away. Fashionable scarves help necks stay warm during avant-garde photo shoots in the grocery store's freezer section, and 3”x4” leather wallets designed by Studio Manhattan ($32) offer makeshift safe haven to elegant Serefina eye-of-peacock earrings ($48) during haircuts by Edward Scissorhands.
Hoboken Women's Wellness founder Mollie Bollers decided to devote her massage-therapy skills to caring for pregnant women, new mothers, and infants after the birth of her own daughter in 2004. Each massage therapist on her team has completed a minimum of 750 hours training each, in modalities such as Swedish massage and shiatsu, as well as 70 additional hours of pregnancy and baby-centric continuing education. Inside the soft lavender walls of the wellness center, therapists work with women in all stages pre- and post-pregnancy, working to help relieve discomfort, muscle cramping, and bad dreams about accidentally swallowing a beach ball. Mollie also strives to give back by offering massage to women at clinics in low-income communities and to the nurses at the Hoboken University Medical Center's labor-and-delivery unit.
A lot goes on inside the cozy confines of All Occasion Flowers’ shop—seasoned florists water and prune roses, clip and curl ribbons, and arrange bright snapdragons and asters in wicker baskets. Floral designers bustle about the workshop, where they arrange fresh blossoms into colorful bouquets for any occasion, from birthdays and weddings to finally getting that poltergeist to leave. When they’re not caring for orchids, gerberas, and ficus trees, they assemble gift baskets with gourmet snacks, stuffed animals, and balloons.