Union City Business: CAM Design CO.

I’m a sucker for “homemade” anything, especially gifts. Can you imagine having such a cool skill in 2018, when we as humans are lucky if we can move from using Outlook to Gmail seamlessly? And honestly, bonus points if you can not only make something that’s not only pretty, but actually useful in life. 


It seems to me if you want to find some skilled artisans in Hudson County, that are not only technically skilled but also make beautiful work, the Yardley Building in Union City is the place to be. Having featured 2 other businesses that are amazing, it was time to visit CAM Design Co, who I found on (where else) Instagram. Amazing with large pieces, I was very interested in owner Chris Miano’s smaller pieces he makes in his time lapse videos. 

Walking into these workspaces is always a little overwhelming to me— they’re filled with tools that I don’t understand, but I know can severely injure me. Chris’ space is also filled with what looks like an almost done dinning room table, ceramics he’s made and a kiln. He explains to me that he actually used to take a ceramics class at Parsons, taught by past featured artist Jono Pandolfi, and is actually how he found his space in the Yardley. 


He’s decided to make a butcher block and a charcuterie board. As we start sawing, sanding, glueing, staining, etc., Chris explains that often he receives wood in its most natural form, bark and all, and mills it down to workable pieces from there. 

Perhaps the coolest thing that Chris does, and what he calls his signature, is butterfly joinery. Seen in the charcuterie board we made in wood, he usually does it in a metal material. Although it’s beautiful, it’s actually used to stop wood from splitting, and a fairly meticulous process, requiring a tight, exact fit between the cutout space and the metal butterfly.  

Chris’ work is generally commissioned for large projects, but he’s making more small pieces. To snag one of his amazing pieces, you can contact him directly. And as always you can follow him on Instagram here and his website here

*All photos by Chris Miano.

Local Music: The Sounds of Union City

Photo from share.america.gov

Photo from share.america.gov


Working as a music supervisor in television and film, sometimes people assume I know everything there is to know about music. It's flattering, but it's nowhere near the truth. Not even close. The history and depth of this cultural art form is literally limitless - rooted in individual and shared experience, a specific time and a particular place. To make up ground on this impossible task, I've learned to be a great listener, a meticulous notetaker, and to soak in as much as I can learn from each new experience. 

My new life in Hudson County has been no different. As a guy that most people would call 'really, really white', my family's new home in Union City has opened my eyes to so many new sights and sounds. I've learned some things too - that Cubans like their coffee really really strong, or that every well-dressed man needs a good guayabera. I've also become a big admirer of the music that floats through the shared outdoor spaces in my new neighborhood - whether from the backyard cookouts of the Ecuadorian family on the corner, or from the old Cuban Jazz records streaming out the kitchen window of the Grandmother across the street. I can even appreciate the reggaeton and Puerto Rican hip hop vibrating through the cars of the kids revving their engines on my block. These sounds are so new to me, so refreshing and so exhilarating. 

To document my musical experiences here in Hudson County, I've compiled a playlist of some of my favorite tracks that I've overheard on Summer evenings, from backyard parties or in the corner bodega. The sounds are as diverse and unique as Union City itself - and are a small glimpse into the depth and history of this amazing little town. 

Matthew Hearon-Smith is a Union City based Music Supervisor currently working on Film, TV and Ads. He is a three-time Guild of Music Supervisors Awards nominee, a Hollywood Music In Media Awards nominee and winner of "Best Use of Music in a Film" at the 22nd Chlotrudis Awards. His specialties include music curation, licensing and clearances, creative placement and deliverables management.

You can follow Matt on Twitter here.