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.

Jersey City Business: Another Man's Treasure Vintage

My day at AMT Vintage was basically a fashion fantasy. I think it may be as close to that episode of Sex and the City where Carrie gets to try on clothes in the Vogue closest as I'll ever get. A staple in Jersey City for 12 years, and having been at 2 previous locations, AMT Vintage is one of the best known Jersey City businesses. It's no wonder why, either. Owner Meika Franz has spent years making relationships with collections, owners and attends vintage trade shows regularly. 


The store is a huge 2 story space, that's beautifully organized, making finding the perfect vintage piece easy. They sell mens, womens and children's clothing, along with records and accessories (cufflinks, glasses, patches, scarves, cigarette holders, etc.). There are Victorian lace dresses, 1940's gowns, 1950's rompers, leather bombers, and even 1990's Levi's. 

When you meet Meika, a woman who's whole life is about vintage clothing, I expect to meet a cheeky, Bette Page pinup looking vintage aficionado. Instead, it's clear that she wears vintage, but in a classic and everyday way. I immediately knew that I was going to the right person to learn how to incorporate vintage into my everyday look. I myself, have been wearing vintage t-shirts for years, and also went through a phase in high school where I wore a lot of 50's cocktail dresses. But I wanted to expand my horizons. I tried on a gorgeous 1980's silk Chanel blouse, a pair of high waisted Chloe slacks, and a men's Hawaiian print button-down-- all things I would HAPPILY wear in my everyday life.


But for our next episode I really lived my dreams. With Meika's help, we pulled all kinds of fashion fantasies. The kinds of pieces that make you wish you lived in certain time periods. I tried on a pristine The Who t-shirt, a red 1960's cocktail dress that may have been made for me, and a 1950's prom dress. But the piece that has long been a dream was an ivory robe with feather trim-- a piece I have long fantasized about wearing as an older woman living in a 1930's Manhattan penthouse, with lots of perfectly groomed poodles, all sitting with me on a velvet chaise lounge, as I eat bon-bons and drink vodka martinis. Too specifc?

AMT Vintage has pieces for whatever you're looking for. They'll have whatever you need for a costume party, an AMAZING selection of vintage wedding dresses for the bride looking for something a little different, but don't forget all the amazing pieces you can wear everyday!

Make sure to follow along with their Instagram, as they post new pieces weekly. Plus they's offering 10% off of purchases for HudsonCounty60 viewers.

Happy shopping!