New Jersey is home to many ambitious and talented women who juggle family, career, and home. A select few of these women are also extremely busy building their own companies to help better manage the balance of work and family. At NJMOM, we want to highlight these extraordinary women building New Jersey businesses, and learn the secret to their success.
South Jersey Adventures and South Jersey Made Owner and NJMOMpreneur: Amy Petrie
Families in South Jersey: meet Amy Petrie, mother of three and owner of South Jersey Adventures. Amy is a treasure trove of local information, history, fun facts, and tips that help guide countless families daily on their quest for things to do and experience in Southern New Jersey. NJMOM had the pleasure of speaking with Amy about how her passions for all things local turned into her full time job when life took an unexpected turn. Amy is full of interesting stories and facts that could keep us engaged for hours.
NJMOM: What do you offer to your clients and how is it different than other professionals in your field?
Amy: I deal directly with the public. I educate them on what is so special about South Jersey, but in fun, social ways. South Jersey Adventures educates the public and works to preserve and protect the history and biodiversity of South Jersey. South Jersey Made is a great resource for consumers, makers, and small business in South Jersey. There are so many amazing resources right here in our community, that there is no reason to go outside of it.
What I’m working toward is connecting those makers, businesses, and consumers to create a local culture that will help the local economy, the local perception, and build a real sense of community within South Jersey.
NJMOM: What inspired you to come up with the idea for your business?
Amy: If you can’t tell by now, I love South Jersey. I love the history, the scenery, the talent, the cultural diversity – all within such a short radius. This area is bursting at the seams with greatness; I needed to showcase that. But honestly, I started South Jersey Adventures in 2015, about a year after I lost my leg. I couldn’t work in the corporate world anymore, at least for the foreseeable future, and I was bored. It started as an Instagram feature page and quickly grew into this monster. I wanted a way to bring people together and connect them with the area where they live, have lived, or are thinking of visiting.
South Jersey Made is only a few months old and spawned from a lunch date with a couple girlfriends and fellow “power moms,” Devon Perry of Visit South Jersey and Diane Felcyn of Perkins Center for Arts. And now, we have SJMadeFest coming up November 5th, which I’m very excited about. This event is completely free for South Jersey vendors because I wanted to give South Jersey vendors a platform on their home turf.
NJMOM: What is your favorite part about your business?
Amy: I love connecting people to the area they live. Not many people know the local history, which is the grit that this area was built on. I fully believe that if we can connect our kids with the land where they live and play, they will find value in the area and feel invested in it. The same sentiment goes for local makers and businesses. You know, back in the day, you’d go to your local dressmaker or butcher for services. We’ve outsourced everything. We would rather throw money at a big box empire for poor quality items than help pay for karate lessons for little Susie because her family’s services may cost a little more money, and we just cannot be inconvenienced because we’re all too busy to realize that we’re killing our own community.
NJMOM: What is your background in your business expertise?
Amy: I wouldn’t call it expertise, per se, as I would a passion. I grew up with a father who loved history, in a town just oozing with it. I mean, buried under a home in my childhood neighborhood, is rumored to be a horse of George Washington because he hung out a lot in Bridgeton. The inventor of root beer, my all-time favorite soda, grew up just outside of my hometown. How cool is that? I’m basically a cornucopia of random facts. The famous designer, Jonathan Adler, was born and raised in my hometown. His father still practices law there. The ever-popular Mason Jar was invented right here in South Jersey. The Pine Barrens is riddled with ruins of towns, that were imperative to the industry and growth of our country. These ghost towns can literally be found just mere minutes from the road, but you’ll never know that they’re there if you don’t slow down.
NJMOM: Who is your role model?
Amy: I’ve honestly never had a role model. When I was growing up and I was asked that exact question, I would lie, because I thought I was different or it was wrong not to have a set role model. But now, I see that as one of my greatest strengths. There is no person to model myself after; I’m free to follow what my gut tells me to do. I have no set goals. I don’t have any use for goals; they just limit your true potential.
NJMOM: What’s the best piece of advice your mom ever gave to you?
Amy: I never really had a close relationship with my mother, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t learn from her. I was always the kid that had an opinion, asked questions when I thought something didn’t seem kosher, and did what she wanted without asking permission. That never sat well with my mother. She was never a “take action” kind of gal and it always bothered me. Even when it was imperative to take action, she would always choose the path of least resistance. That’s not how you blaze new trails.
I blazed my own trail and made it wide enough that other people could walk it with me.
NJMOM: Do you have a favorite quote you live by?
Amy: I’m not really a quote person. I have a personal mantra, which is, “Do good; hustle hard.” Those are the two most important things, to me anyway – being a good person and working hard.
NJMOM: What are your favorite things to do in New Jersey with your family?
Amy: Fall is an amazing time in South Jersey. The air is crisp, agrotourism is booming, and people are coming out in droves to attend festivals and small town events. The sense of community here is palpable. In early Fall, cranberry season is just a magical time for us South Jerseyeans. I suggest checking out Whitesbog Village, which is the motherland of South Jersey agriculture. In fact, it is the birthplace of the domesticated blueberry that we all love today. And to boot, it was a woman, Elizabeth Coleman White, that domesticated it.
NJMOM: What is the best part about being a mom for you?
Amy: To me, the best part about being a mom is being able to show my children all the amazing things that I enjoyed as a kid! How awesome is it to relive a favorite memory, while making memories with your own family?
NJMOM: What are your favorite businesses in New Jersey?
Amy: I’m a huge fan of craft beer. Like, huge. Also, independent coffee shops. If that isn’t all-telling about my work-life balance, I don’t know what is. Let’s start with the beer. My go-to will always be Three 3’s Brewing in Hammonton, but I’m in love with just about everything Pinelands Brewing in Little Egg Harbor and Kelly Green Brewing in Pitman does. That’s one really great thing about South Jersey; we have some real quality breweries here. This is NJMOM, so I should mention my favorite shop to spend money on my kids is Behind the Moon in Hammonton. Primo stuff and it’s owned by another momprenuer.
NJMOM: Where do you reside and enjoy visiting in New Jersey?
Amy: I am a Cumberland County gal, through and through. It’s a hodgepodge of rural, urban, and suburban lifestyles. We love day trips to locations such as Fort Mott, Red Bank Battlefield, and WheatonArts, as well as hanging in downtown districts like Hammonton, Pitman, and Collingswood.
NJMOM: Anything else you’d like to tell moms in NJ?
Amy: Teach your children about the area you live in. Get them excited about what makes your area so special. Not into history? No worries. Research your area and celebrate the things that you and your family can relate to.
To learn more about South Jersey Adventures, follow them on Facebook and Instagram, and visit them on the web. Also follow South Jersey Made on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to support local makers by attending the South Jersey Made Festival on November 5th.