• Hoboken Girl of the Week: Tara Makhmali {CEO, Author + Mama}

    Another week, another shoutout to an awesome woman killin’ the literary game. CEO, author, and mother are the hats that our Hoboken Girl of the Week wears: Introducing Tara Makhmali, fellow Hoboken girl who’s making waves in the media world, raising a family, and who just published her very own book. We caught up with Tara to see exactly how she does it all, because we can always use some motivation from local boss babes. Check out our interview with her:

    tara makhmali misswired

    About Tara

    Tara is CEO of CommonSmarts Media, the author of MISSWIRED (play on words intended), and a local Hoboken mom. I recently finished writing and publishing my debut novel, MISSWIRED, which follows the interwoven trials and tribulations of Lanna and Sam, two children whose kinship comes to a startling halt when Sam’s parents are murdered and Lanna’s father is sentenced to prison. Of course, the best part is what happens to Lanna and Sam in life, and in love, twenty years later.

    Conceptually, MISSWIRED seeks to explore how childhood tragedies, the acts of our parents, families, friends, and society, along with the mystical elements that influence us, shape who we are, and how we love.

    Tara, On Her Inspirations:

    I want to live in a world that values independent thinking over groupthink, and that values truth and kindness. It inspires me to write and to create in as many formats as I possibly can (whether it’s a novel, an educational program, advertising, music, articles, recruiting processes, or even software requirements), it doesn’t matter as long as it aligns with those values.

    What Keeps Her Motivated + Up at Night:

    I care deeply about creating a world that is nonviolent, open-minded, and that pushes for social, racial, and economic equality and authenticity. Creating that world for my daughter is my motivator; it keeps me up at night.

    On Her Goals + Passions:

    My personal goal is to write more humorously. If I don’t say so myself, my latest piece, “What pushing a child out of my nether-bits taught me about business,” was a great start. You can check out the article by clicking here.

    A Typical Day in the Life:

    I like to wake up before the rest of my family so I can enjoy a small pot of French pressed coffee before a flurry of child and pet care responsibilities blow through my condo like the tornado in the Wizard of Oz. Once my husband, child, and dog are clothed, fed, walked, and my daughter’s lunch and belongings are readily packed for school, I race to drop my daughter off at school, return home, have a quick shower, and get right to work. I rent part-time office space downtown, though more often I prefer working in the Hoboken Library where it is quiet, and where I can lose myself behind the stacks if my heart desires.

    I usually skip lunch by accident. I am often in such a deep flow state that suddenly it’s 2:30pm (time to pick my daughter up from school). Sometime between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., when I am entertaining my child with activities, I eat something, take deep breaths through whatever hissy fit occurs, which often knocks the wind out of me and I have to lie down for a few moments afterward or risk fainting.

    tara makhmali misswired

    READ: Hoboken Girl of the Week: Joan Litman {Founder of Cantigas Choir}

    The Highs + Lows:

    The “highs” are the moments when you realize that the story you’ve crafted has dipped into an arsenal of knowledge that you couldn’t attain in any other way, one that teaches something new each time you read it.

    The “lows” are when you look at your work and recognize that you did or said something because you were programmed to believe it was true, but in reality; it wasn’t. It’s also difficult to jump back and forth between an imaginary world grounded in truth, and the “real world.” I may have spent the last four hours in the shoes of a child witnessing the death of his parents, and then shortly after, I am racing off to pick up my daughter from PreK. Someone asks about how my day is going and I can’t exactly say, “Well, I was trying to relive the horrific experience of finding people you love murdered through the lens of an innocent child.” Even when the writing is fun, I can’t say: “It was great; I was pretending to be confused and aroused while a man I hardly knew drove me through the woods.”

    Having a wild imagination has its rewards but it also means that people will be drawn to you because you are oddly alluring/charismatic/intelligent and, of course, strange! It can be a challenge to have ordinary conversations and depending on the moment, that can be a high or low.

    Highlight of Her Career {So Far}:

    Writing and publishing MISSWIRED while taking care of my daughter and husband has definitely been the highlight of my career thus far. To accomplish such a hefty achievement while transitioning into motherhood – wow! I’d say that’s worth at least one high-five, and arguably two with a gap-toothed grin and a cherry on top if you were privy to all the hardships we’ve faced over the last few years.

    What a Day Off is Like:

    I’m sorry; did you say days off? 😉 I don’t have days off. Mothers don’t get days off, and writers are always thinking about how the world works. When I find the uncommon quiet, spare moment I absolutely adore strolling along the boardwalk. There is something about watching the seagulls swoosh down over the Hudson River while helicopters fly in and out of the city escorting what I imagine are nicely adorned VIP to elegant soirees. The moon is always winking at you in the evening and the New York City skyline is a jazz piano whose melody is whatever song your heart needs to hear. It’s a magical place.

    Advice to Someone Trying to Pursue The Same Career Path:

    Listen to your soul. Don’t write what you think will please the most people. Finding your voice doesn’t happen overnight. It happens over many, many (many) nights. It sounds like a no-brainer, but in reality, the further up the corporate ladder you travel, the more noise you subtly begin to program into your own inner monologue. I remember reading the first draft of my novel, and thinking, “Gosh, if this is what I really think; I think I might hate me. Let me see if I can distill this. First, what’s actually true? Second, how can I say this in a way that aligns to my characters? Third, how deep can I go? Fourth, can I make it musical? (I’m very musical.) Fifth, how can I make it glow?”

    When I pick up my book now, 3057 drafts later, I think to myself, “Thank You God for letting me write something from which I learn something new each time I read it.” That’s the true gift of finding your voice.

    Some of Her Hoboken Favorites

    What is your favorite restaurant in Hoboken?

    Karma Café, Grand Vin, Amanda’s. Anthony David’s, and BWE.

    What is your favorite boutique in Hoboken?

    Townhouse, Little City Books, Dor L’ Dor, and Guitar Bar.

    What do you love most about Hoboken?

    The people. People look out for one another here. It’s diverse. It’s open-minded. It’s supportive. I feel safe and loved. That’s a beautiful thing.

    See More: Hoboken Girl of the Week: Shirley Capaldo

    What is your favorite thing to do in Hudson County?

    I love walking the miles and miles of boardwalk along the Hudson River and playing with my daughter in one of its many parks.

    How long have you lived in Hoboken?

    I’ve been living in Hoboken for roughly seven years.

    What is your favorite outdoor place to spend time in Hoboken?

    I can’t give away all my secrets now, can I?

    What is your favorite place to work out in Hudson County?

    Surya Yoga. Planet Fitness. I have a 3-year-old; she’s a pretty fabulous workout.

    Where do you go out with friends in the area?

    Gosh, there are so many places. Right now, I adore Grand Vin, Anthony David’s, Amanda’s, La Isla Restaurant (uptown).

    What is something you think needs to come to Hoboken?

    Hoboken definitely needs fine-dining restaurants that exclusively serves gourmet vegan and vegetarian food.

    Want to be featured or nominate someone as an upcoming Hoboken Girl of the Week?

    Email hello@hobokengirl.com about your/her story.

    Have you joined our Facebook group yet? Request here to gain access to even more local tips, and connect with fellow Hudson County residents.


    Written by:

    Briana, a born and raised Hoboken girl, has a strong passion for the town she knows and loves so much. She’s seen many changes and embraces both the old and new aspects of Hoboken. When she’s not working at Hoboken Girl as an Editorial/Marketing Assistant, she’s most likely in her pjs shopping online, eating her way through the Mile Square with her fellow foodie fiancé, or planning her next cruise or Disney vacation — but even more important is her love for cats (she has 3).


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