I think it’s safe to assume that if you’re a Jersey City resident, you know who ChicpeaJC is. I’d even venture to say her reach extends to a lot of Hudson County residents . But I really wanted to meet Lynn Hazan, the face (and a lot of the time, body) behind Chicpea.
I send her a DM on Instagram introducing myself, HudsonCounty60 and my pitch: ChicpeaJC’s top 3 Jersey City businesses she would bring out of town guests to. I really didn’t think I would hear back— I’m sure I only get a small portion of the DMs she gets, and I still get a lot. But by the end of the day she responds. We pick a day to shoot, her three businesses, and we’re off.
When I walk in to our first location, The Hair Room JC, there she is with her laptop, and three iPhones. She says this is her usual MO and she wanted to give us a glimpse of her real life. And it makes sense. Not only does she run ChicpeaJC, but she throws huge events (like the upcoming Terminal of Terror), runs the nonprofit Content Creators Academy, and has an entire additional side business where she does the marketing/social media for other businesses - while also finding time to workout and raise a daughter.
Let’s talk about The Hair Room for a second. I can’t get over how cute it is! It’s like walking into a salon from the 50’s. Every station is a vintage vanity, there are pink rotary phones and a bathroom lined with vintage hair dye boxes and makeup. Lauren and Amber, the women in the shop that day, are equally as lovely and nice, not to mention Amber is done with Lynn’s hair in record time.
We move on to lunch at Uncle Momo’s. Uncle Momo's is a Lebanese French Bistro on Grove Street, and Lynn swears by it. The interior is typically French, and the kind of bistro I fantasize about having a nice glass of wine at, on a perfect fall afternoon. The food is the kind of Mediterranean food I've always loved-- hummus, falafel, schwarma, kofta, etc. Everything is absolutely delicious and tastes fresh. Lynn calls it the most underrated restaurant in Jersey City, and I couldn’t agree more.
I ask her about Content Creators Academy, or CCA.JC, her nonprofit youth mentorship program that aims to teach kids the skills they need to market themselves and their entrepreneurial pursuits in this digital era. The program teaches students skills like photography and editing, building a brand, video editing and creating content. The organization brings in mentors from different fields for the students to talk to and learn from. This is exactly the kind of program I wish was around when I was younger. Did I mention it's entirely free for the kids?
Lastly we move on to Another Man's Treasure Vintage, a business I consider to be a part of the #HudCo60Fam, and one of Lynn's favorite places to shop in Jersey City. AMT Vintage has made a name for themselves as a vintage authority, and every single piece shows you why-- they have items dating back to the 1920's and it's all beautifully curated. She and Meika, the owner, are clearly very well acquainted-- as soon as we walk in Meika pulls out some pieces she's been holding for Lynn, including a body skimming gold dress, reminiscent of a 90's runway look. This was absolutely my favorite part of the day, if not for anything else other than Lynn's clear enthusiasm for fashion, something her followers are well aware of. She comes alive in the store in a way she hadn't all day. It felt for a moment that we were really hanging out and I was digging it.
My day with Lynn was inspirational, educational and illuminating. It gave me something to aspire to with my own business and platform, and showed me that the work never stops, the rewards to reap do get better. If you're not already following Lynn check out her blog here, and her Instagram here. Also don't forget the wonderful businesses we checked out below.
And don't forget, Spooky Terminal and Terminal of Terror are coming up October 27th. Tickets are available here.
Till next time friends!