If you drive around Bergen County, you’ll notice an increase in fitness studios and health food stores, but you won’t find anything quite like Crush’d Garage, www.crushdgarage.com. The health and wellness boutique in Cresskill is owned by Jodi Salob, Alanna Davis and Corey Taylor, three Bergen County moms trying to bring a little bit of New York City to the suburbs.
In efforts to make sure that the community was on board with the wellness trend, they originally held pop-up shops in CoolHotYoga and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, where they sold cold-pressed juices via their partnership with Juice Basin. Though they remain in Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, they officially opened their own doors at 15 Broadway, Cresskill, in October of 2017, a year after their introduction to the community.
When the trio met through their children and husbands, they say they developed a girl crush on each other. It was clear each had an interest in health and wellness, but in various aspects. Corey, who was originally a lawyer, raises a family of six using entirely vegan products and has become a social media influencer through her Instagram account, @TheVeganSix; Alanna, who has a background in PR and marketing, uses tennis as her outlet and promotes the importance of self-care; and Jodi, who held a career in fashion sales, has tried every kind of workout you can imagine. The inspiration for their store came when they realized they wanted to share those same qualities with the community.
“We all share a passion for wellness, being healthy and the power of true happiness. We wanted to create a space that gave just that,” said Jodi.
What makes Crush’d Garage unique, not just to Bergen County, but in general, is that every product they carry is natural and cruelty-free. Though that limits their options, those are two requirements that are non-negotiable. They consider the Garage their body shop, which means they carry items ranging from skincare to makeup to bath products and plant-based treats. They choose not to define their target demographic. Rather, they stock their store with products for all different ages, genders and people at different stages in their wellness journey. They live by the motto that everything in the store is “crushed” with kindness, goodness and wellness.
“We want it to be an open, judgement free community – no matter where you are in your journey,” said Jodi. “We want you to leave feeling really good and positive.”
The women emphasize that they have clients who are new to the wellness trend and then they have savvy customers with a little more knowledge in the area. If clients are overwhelmed and unsure of what to do, the women pride themselves on hand holding and remaining friends with them. But, if that’s not the case, they want to be a resource for their clientele so that when they need something, Crush’d Garage has it.
“One of the things that we’re trying to be conscious of is staying ahead of the curve and always being on the lookout for new innovations so that we can respond to our clientele about what their needs and goals are,” said Alanna.
Corey also acknowledges that they’re very price conscious, explaining that they have items ranging from $9 to $150. They carry a line for men, women, children and even pets.
When choosing which products to carry, Corey, Alanna and Jodi try literally every possible option before they make their decision. Even after research and travel, it needs to get their approval. Ultimately, if they didn’t have a genuine interest in it, they don’t put it in their shop.
As Corey so simply put it, “We really live it. We eat these soups for lunch. We use these products on a daily basis.”
Not only are all of their products natural and cruelty-free, they also often have a giving model that Crush’d Garage is proud to support. Plants Apothecary is one example. It partners with a non-profit organization that uses special needs adults to package all of their products. Another, Happy Spritz donates a portion of their profits to an animal shelter.
The women entrepreneurs also value partnering with other companies in the area. Recently, Jodi, Alanna and Corey were offering an in-store acupuncture session with the Graf Center for free. Additionally, two of the lines that they carry, Gilly’s and Karma, are local. Jodi believes that the only way to thrive as a local business is to be active in the community and support each other.
If you haven’t already been able to sense a theme, it’s that these women preach community and comfort. Aside from their product choice, they want their store to be a comforting place for their customers – something that they felt the Cresskill location had automatically. The space welcomes natural light and displays a natural power plant wall, while their main piece of furniture moves on wheels so that they can accommodate different group sizes. Customers can also use their in-store sink to test out certain products.
“We want to become the hub that people can come to for making themselves feel good or making someone else feel good,” said Jodi. “If it’s a cold day and you’re feeling a little lonely and you want to be around good, high energy people, [we want you to come to Crush’d Garage]. Anyone is welcome.”
Another message they hope to instill in the community is that there are healthy alternatives to the items we use on a daily basis.
“If you’re looking for a natural deodorant, we have that. If you’re looking to get a little cleaner with your skincare, we can help you with that. If you’re looking to throw everything out in your medicine cabinet, we can help you with that too,” said Corey.
The partnership between Jodi, Corey and Alanna is a perfect example of what it looks like when women lift each other up and support one another. It’s clear that Crush’d Garage is a collaboration among the three of them. They pride themselves on having a loyal and respectful relationship, not just in their personal lives, but in business as well.
“Girlfriends are really important,” said Jodi. “We’ve managed to create a communicative, happy and soulful relationship and we promise each other that it will always be this way. I believe that’s how and why we will be successful.”
By Natalie Zisa