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  • Hoboken Girl of the Week: Stephanie Manganelli {of Stowaway Collection}

    Hoboken and JC mamas — the days of house dresses and oversized tent shirts for maternity clothes are OVER. This week’s featured Hoboken girl, Stephanie Manganelli {along with her mother, Debbie}, created the Stowaway Collection after leaving a maternity store feeling, shall we say, less than inspired about her options for what to wear. The mom and daughter team set out to inspire expecting mothers to celebrate their newest and best accessory — their bump — and to feel comfortable showing it off in body conscious, flattering, and fashionable pieces, all made in the USA. Stowaway was founded under the premise that you don’t need to sacrifice style and quality when you become pregnant. Together, they’ve vowed to change the maternity shopping world through free shipping + returns, great designs that show off the bump, and luxe fabrics making mamas feel more like hot mamas. We chatted with Stephanie to learn more about her, about Stowaway, and of course what makes her a Hoboken girl at heart.

    Her inspiration + challenges

    Hoboken is an amazing place to raise a family, and seeing all the adorable pregnant women around town is my biggest inspiration! I love chatting with pregnant women on the street about how they’re carrying or their relationship with their pregnancy. It’s so different for everyone and I want to help these women feel beautiful, comfortable, feminine, chic and a little sexy by keeping their style throughout their nine months.

    What keeps me up at night is problem solving. How do we design new silhouettes that are flattering to the unique shape of a pregnant body but maintain style and comfort? It’s easy to design pieces that are big and billowing to float over your body but for those who want a more flattering shape, the design can be tough.

    Check out more styles from their new fall collection or follow the on IG @stowawaycollection

    About her goals for the year

    As a woman, as a business-owner, as a mom, I have a thousand goals! I’m working hard to get the Stowaway Collection brand out there and I hope to continue to see growth. I’m also working hard to balance my life. I’d like to live a well-rounded life which includes meditation, exercise, playtime with my son and growing a business. I guess an immediate goal would be to be able to blow-dry my hair everyday…

    A “typical” day in the life  

    Each day is different — and fun — which is why I love growing a business. Some days I design, some days I search for fabric around the garment district in the city. Some days my son and I have dates to Turning Point for breakfast. I love it.

    About the highs and lows of her career

    The high points of the job are the little successes. When I partner with local businesses or other local moms building their businesses, it drives me. I get so excited about partnering because the more they succeed, I succeed. The lows of the job are figuring out the parts of the business I’m not fond of, like figuring out how to do something in the backend of the website for a tiny change on the front. It’s infuriating. {Oh, girl. We hear you.}

    Read more: What You Should Know About Exercising While Pregnant

    The highlights of her career + life… so far

    The highlight of my life, of course is the birth of my son, but I’m also very proud that my mom and I started this business while I was pregnant. I was our first fit model, I gave birth, then we launched the business when my son was nine months old. I’ve been juggling it all and seeing my son grow happy and healthy concurrently with the business growing is a proud moment for me.

    On her days off

    There are no days off! But when I need a moment, you can find me swimming.

    Her advice for pursuing your own business

    Keep pushing. If something doesn’t work, tweak your course and keep going. You can do it!

    And now, a little about her Hoboken favorites

    Favorite restaurant:

    Charritos. Their chilaquiles are to die for.

    Favorite boutique

    Wee Babe. I always need something for my son and they have it.

    Favorite thing to do

    Go to Garden Street Market on Saturdays. My husband and I also started going to Palisades Park for easy hiking with our son. It’s only 20 minutes north of Hoboken but feels like a world away.

    Favorite thing about Hoboken

    I’ve lived here for three years and have loved every minute of it. There’s always something to do/see. We walk along the water, grab a coffee at BWE, listen to kids laughing at the playground…

    Favorite outdoor space

    Pier 13 in the summer!

    Favorite place to work out

    Steven’s Institute of Technology has a great pool. When I was pregnant and growing near my due date, the lifeguards would look at me like, “please don’t give birth here, please don’t give birth here”. I enjoyed watching their faces as I waddled into the pool.

    Favorite place to take friends

    La Isla for drinks.

    Something she thinks needs to come to town

    An outdoor, community pool!

     

    Want to be featured or nominate someone for as an upcoming Hoboken Girl of the Week? Email hello@hobokengirl.com about your story!

     


    Written by:

    Michele is Hoboken Girl’s Managing Editor. Though she’s been a Jersey girl since her mother danced on a chair at a Bruce Springsteen concert while 8-months pregnant, Michele’s life is anything but basic. When not working in cosmetic design and marketing, Michele can be found eating her way around the Mile Square and JC, so it’s a good thing she's also a marathoner and soccer player. Aside from adding to her already extensive collection of boots and throw pillows, Michele enjoys a good beer, a chai tea latte, and chillin’ with her kitties, Bo and Samson.


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