Home LifestyleCareer 5 New Jersey Locals to Watch in June 2024

5 New Jersey Locals to Watch in June 2024

by The Montclair Girl Team
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Northern New Jersey has a lot of hidden gems: restaurants, parks, boutiques, cafes, the list goes on. But as we all know, it’s the people behind these businesses who really make it shine. So, we’ve been on a mission to highlight five of these individuals each month. As we welcome June, meet the latest batch of Northern New Jersey locals inspiring us here at The Montclair Girl. Read on to find out more about these five locals in the Montclair and Northern New Jersey area.

Amanda Jones | R+B Singer/Songwriter

amanda singer

Photo Credit: Amanda Jones

Amanda is a New Jersey-based R+B singer with a rich voice and vocals that are hard to ignore. Drawing from the work of Tame Impala, Beyonce, and Frank Ocean, Amanda has curated a familiar sound that’s somehow still entirely her own. Performing is her art, “a magnetic experience where my vocals and presence create an unforgettable atmosphere,” she shared with MG. She has performed throughout New Jersey and New York, including the Historical Apollo Theater.

Currently, Amanda is working on an album called Self Care, an experience she described to MG as “such a glorious time.” The album is set to feature “a compilation of songs that are so deep and meaningful to my growth. I’m hoping to reach others that can connect to my music.”

Amanda’s Local Favorites: Montclair Brewery, Efi’s Gyro, The Green Room, Van Vleck Gardens, and Charming Bead Studio.

Keep up with Amanda and her music journey here.

Read More: A List of Women-Owned Restaurants in Montclair + Bloomfield



Brianna Torres | Owner of Manifesting Florals

Brianna is a 19-year-old Northern New Jersey resident and the owner of Manifesting Florals, a custom bouquet business. Her goals are to grow the business and open up multiple shops. “I want to be the number 1 florist in NJ,” she shared with MG. “To be able to ship around the whole world would be a dream.”

She loves seeing people happy and smiling while shopping at the shop — and seeing someone purchase her bouquets means that someone is getting treated right, which means the world to her. Giving back to the community is her highest priority, though: “I truly love giving back to the community. I can’t count how many times I’ve had things that never sold, and I’ve given them out.”

Brianna’s Local Favorite Spots: Cherry Blossom Park and Burger Station.

Keep up with Brianna and Manifesting Florals here.

Anastasia Rubis | Author + Writer

stacey writer

Photo Credit: Anastasia Rubis

Anastasia Rubis is a Montclair writer who has appeared in the New York Times, Huffington Post, New York Observer, and literary journals. She earned a BA magna cum laude from Brown University and an MA from Montclair State University, where she was an adjunct professor of English.

For Anastasia, reading is about more than just the books: “I want my books to inspire people to be braver, to never give up on their dreams, and to be happy with what they have.”

She spends summers in Greece, where her parents were born, which is a special place of hers. Her goals are big, but by our estimation, she’s already achieved them: “I want to be a successful writer, a mentor to young people, and an inspiration to all.”

Anastasia’s Local Favorites: Watchung Booksellers, Jackie’s Grillette, Falafel Hut, Toros, Nori, Marcel, The Kitchen on Forest (former Ruthie’s), Halcyon, and Egan’s for summer music outdoors.

Keep up with Anatasia on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Daysi Dedios | Owner of Houss Freya

houss freya

Montclair is full of unique places — each in its own right — but Houss Freya is truly one of a kind. Since opening in 2020, the apothecary shop has been a spiritual staple in town, complete with more crystals, stones, herbal mixes, balms, and oils than one could manifest.

Just recently, the shop revitalized the old vacant church at 205 Glenridge Avenue. The structure, which was dormant and decrepit for years,  is now a stunning space brimming with energy, in large part thanks to the shop’s owner, Daysi.

Daysi started working with crystals and herbs when she moved away from the corporate world and shifted her mindset on life. Instead of focusing on troubles, she used tools of meditation and positive thinking to help her break through past trauma. The shop and its many offerings (including tarot card readings) are in service of Daysi’s true goal: to help people achieve a mental space to help themselves.

Keep up with Daysi and Houss Freya here and here.

See More: Asian-Owned Businesses in Jersey City to Support

Lorena Coitinho + Mariel Fernandez | Owners of Minia’s Montclair

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Photo Credit: Minia’s Montclair

Since opening its Montclair location in 2021, Minia’s has kept locals well-fed with its selection of Latin American and American breakfast + lunch items. From pancake breakfast platters to quesadillas and weekend-only Mangú, the menu is a culinary celebration of the team’s cultural roots.

Behind Minia’s are Lorena Coitinho and Mariel Fernandez, partners in life and in business. The duo poured their hearts into their restaurants — the first Minia’s is in Bloomfield — and it shows through every dish and every decoration. Minia’s has become a gathering place for the community, hosting poetry readings, live music, and other discussions in the past. It also has free WiFi and is BYOB.

Keep up with Minia’s here and be sure to check out the menu here

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