Jersey City Spotlight: Lauren Caputo
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF!
Hi! I’m Lauren Caputo (nee Gambino) from the Bergen Lafayette neighborhood of Jersey City where I live with my husband, Steve and my dog, Burt. I’m one of the owners of PLNTD on Erie Street along with my sister, Danielle. Before opening PLNTD, my career was(and still is!) in media and wholesale. I present on QVC, I hosted the viral trivia app HQ Sports, and was lucky to travel around the US and host the series, Visit The USA. I’m a fantasy football maniac and a big all-around sports fan (not just a live sporting event but the tailgate, a viewing party, or just cheering on strangers at marathons— love it all!). I am firm believer in following your wildest dreams, trying something new even if it scares you, and never missing a taco Tuesday!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS! HOW DID IT START? BIGGEST CHALLENGE? FAVORITE PART? WHERE DO YOU SEE IT GOING?
PLNTD was dreamt up during the beginning of the pandemic. As so many others, our lives changed overnight. Not just our usual day-to-day and jobs, etc. — But what we cared about and what brought us joy really came into focus. We’ve always been plant people and the stay-at-home orders really gave us time to dive into that love even further. We took online classes with nurseries, plant companies, and the botanical gardens. We spent time reading up on not only the care of houseplants but the unique wellness, symbolism and feng shui benefits of each plant. It might sound cheesy to some, but we really enjoyed shifting our focus on nurturing something and watching it grow during such a challenging time. Danielle has been in retail for 20+ years in high-level fashion brands and has experience opening stores across the country and with my wholesale and media background, we thought we could really make this happen— and we did!!
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SOURCE OF INSPIRATION?
Our community 100%! Opening this shop has reminded us of all the beautiful ways we are all different. Every person has a different design esthetic, or preference on shapes, sizes and textures, different needs and wants, so it’s been really fun and rewarding to buy for the shop and see who is into certain plants or specialty items. One item in particular — our crystal healing jars from Mindful Intentions have been an eye opener for us. We have a variety — some are good for attracting strength, sleep, protection, etc. But the crystal jars for attracting confidence, forgiveness, and help with anxiety have been the most popular! It’s just another reminder that we are ALL going through something and to give each other, and most importantly ourselves, a little grace.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR FUN?
Lately — Sleep and take long hot baths :) But when not in the first week of opening a business — I love to take my dog Burt to the Berry Lane Park dog park, get a spin session in at Cycle Bar, take spanish lessons (that’s my newest “try new things”) binge RuPaul’s Drag Race and enjoy big family dinners.
FAVORITE LOCAL SPOTS:
- Restaurant - For out to eat dining: Harry’s Daughter in Bergen Lafayette - double braised short rib and peri peri shrimp with a black stalin (their homemade moscow mule) is my favorite meal of all time. For grab and go: Mordi’s Sandwich Shop in Bergen Lafayette — Chicken Schnitzel (thin crispy cutlets) so good it will make you wonder what you did to deserve such a delicacy.
- Coffee Shop - 9bar cafe on Erie — Nico makes the best oat lattes and chocolate croissants
- Place to Shop - Kannibal is a go-to for unique and interesting finds! I also love shopping second hand so Mint Market and Zero Kids is a must for vintage clothing and accessories.
- Bar - The speak easy Nucky’s, hidden below Hudson Hound is SO fun and the cocktails are delicious.
- Outdoor Spot - My favorite outdoor treat is a long bike ride along the Hudson at Liberty State Park. Equal parts invigorating and relaxing- Honorable Mentions - Shout out to Sandy at Little Sandwich shop for keeping us fed, Keyhole Bar for being our local watering hole after tough days and Love Locked for pretty sparklies to commemorate special occasions and big achievements!
PLNTD Instagram: @plntdshop
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