Tell me about your journey to Montclair.
I’ve always been a Jersey Girl. I was born and raised in Washington Township in Bergen County. After college, I moved to Edgewater where I lived for 8 years. It was the perfect location for my boyfriend (now husband) since we both worked in Manhattan. You really can’t beat that 25-minute commute! We moved to Montclair in July 2015, a year after we got married.
Why did you choose to move to Montclair?
After living in an apartment for 8 years, we were ready to own a home. Finding something within walking distance to a Midtown Direct bus or train was at the top of our priority list as we were so accustomed to a quick commute while living in Edgewater. We wanted to find a walkable town that had great restaurants, nightlife and a sense of community. Montclair was always a top contender, along with Glen Ridge, Maplewood and Ridgewood.
When you moved to Montclair, did you know anyone? Any advise for newcomers on the best way to meet people?
I didn’t really know anyone in Montclair when we moved. But luckily, a few of our close friends migrated out here shortly after we did. Our best friends and family live close by so we always had someone to hang out and enjoy the town with. It wasn’t until I launched my company, LWP PR, that I really got to know people within the community. I would reach out and introduce myself to local business owners and entrepreneurs that I admired via social media and set up coffee dates. Those connections lead to referrals and friends introducing other friends, and soon enough, I created a really incredible network. Montclair is such a supportive and open community so it made networking really easy for me.
I would suggest for newcomers to take advantage of all that the town has to offer! My client STITCH in Upper Montclair is always throwing a fun evening shopping event, there is always something happening at The Village on Walnut Street and Verona based flower delivery service Blooms in Hand often hosts amazing flower and wreath arranging workshops complete with wine and cheese – making it easy to network and meet new people! Head out to all the music and film festivals, farmers markets and street fairs – keep your eyes open on social media as the town does a great job promoting weekly events.
Can you describe your social life?
I would say it’s a pretty active one! During the weekdays I can usually be found at Marcel Kitchen & Bakery catching up with local business owners or clients over a cup of coffee. I love meeting up with friends for a glass of wine outside of Amanti Vino on Church Street or the bar area of DeNovo. My husband and I love to entertain so there’s usually a crew of people at our house over the weekends.
What are some things you don’t like about Montclair?
Is it cheesy to say, that there really isn’t anything I don’t love about this town?
How would you describe Montclair residents?
Montclair is full of amazingly diverse, talented and creative professionals. Everyone seems to have their own unique story. We are all friendly, welcoming and ultra-supportive.
What are your favorite restaurants in Montclair or in the area?
This is a tough question because there are too many! I love Salute when I’m in the mood for Italian, DeNovo for their mussels and fries, and Ruthie’s for BBQ, pizza and live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Where are your go-to places in Montclair or in the area?
We are so lucky to be in walking distance of The Wellmont Theater. There are always great bands performing – I just saw Modest Mouse a few weeks ago. The Wellmont is celebrating their 10-year anniversary and offering $10 tickets to select shows! It’s so nice that you don’t have to head into the city to catch a great show. Pro tip- get there early and have a cocktail at the adjacent bar, Pharmacie Liquor Bar.
I love shopping in Upper Montclair. STITCH is my go-to when looking for unique apparel and accessories. They also have a killer shoe vault (the space was once a bank) with an amazing selection of brands at a variety of price points. If you head across the street, Chelsea Square is my one-stop-shop for beauty and self-care products. It’s also my destination when searching for the perfect gift.
Do you commute to the city? What has your experience been with the commute?
Prior to launching my Montclair based PR company, LWP PR, I was commuting into the city every day for work. I’ve always worked in Midtown Manhattan so the commute would take about an hour if all the stars were aligned and there were no train/tunnel mishaps. While nothing beats working locally, commuting into the city from Montclair is really not so bad. The train is generally on time and it’s the perfect excuse to dive into a good book or catch up on emails prior to a hectic day at the office. Our home is within walking distance to the train station so we don’t have to worry about parking or a monthly space.
Any tips/advice you wished someone had told you when you were looking to move to the suburbs?
Get a bike! I love cruising around Montclair on my Schwinn. I never have to worry about parking and can get my exercise in while riding to client meetings.
You run a successful PR firm. Tell me a little more about it.
LWP Public Relations is a boutique PR, Marketing and Social Media company that I started back in August of 2017. We focus on building brand awareness for fashion, accessory and lifestyle clients. I’ve worked in fashion/lifestyle PR for over 10 years before deciding to take the plunge and open my own business in a town I love so much. I’m very passionate about helping small and emerging brands find their voice and tell their story through their social media channels and the feature stories that I secure. I’m pretty much living my dream.
Any PR tips/advice you can give to a small business starting out?
Network! Utilize your connections for career advice and referrals. Reach out to entrepreneurs you admire, take them for coffee and pick their brain – it’s the best way to learn and grow.
About Lauren Wilson-Policke
Lauren Wilson-Policke is the Founder of LWP Public Relations. With years of experience working for internationally recognized brands like French Connection, Nautica, Nicole Miller, Swatch and Bacardi, Lauren is well-versed in creating and implementing successful PR, Marketing and Digital programs that meet objectives for fashion, accessory and lifestyle brands. After years of working in executive level roles in New York City, she decided to pursue her passion of owning her own company and to help boutique and emerging brands achieve their business goals. She currently resides in Montclair, NJ and loves traveling, fashion, the ocean, live music and exceeding client expectations.
Follow Lauren on Instagram: @lwp_pr
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