When Monmouth County moms Jenny Glassberg and Kelli Suozzo talk about how they got together, they joke that it was 6 months of dating before taking the plunge and marrying their mutual love—their Red Bank home decor store, nest. Take one look inside the stunning space (a century-old restored firehouse), and you’ll see why the year-old design mecca has all the makings of a long and beautiful business journey. With carefully selected pieces ranging from tailored classics to airy coastal textures and edgy accents, the store’s collection exudes the perfect balance of warmth and sophistication. We sat down with the duo to talk about how their backgrounds (in publishing and interior design, respectively) led them to their perfect partnership, their favorite items in their store (hello, #shoppingsmall), and what they hope their children are learning from their venture.
featured image via Raquel Langworthy
How did nest come to be? Tell us about each of your professional journeys and what led you to open this joint venture.
Jenny: After spending 20 plus years working in media and Vanity Fair in NYC, I knew it was time to leave. We had recently moved from Brooklyn to Monmouth County, and it gave me the push to pursue the lifelong dream of opening a store. I had a vision and a space, but I knew I couldn’t tackle this adventure alone. Luckily I met Kelli, and the idea of nest came to fruition.
Kelli: Running my interior design business, BOWERBIRD, since 2006, I’ve always envisioned a one-stop-shop for your home, showcasing a sophisticated vision and eclectic mix. I started to put that idea out into the world, and Jenny appeared. After ‘peeling the onion’ in planning meetings, we realized we had a shared mutual vision of creating a shop with an individual touch, and we would be stronger together. When we opened nest a little over a year ago, it was what we had envisioned—a home store and design playground where every piece has a story.
What is the best part about being in business together as NJMOMpreneurs?
Jenny: We like to joke that when we met, we dated for about 6 months. In all honesty, we had to figure out if we fit. After recognizing that we had similar design philosophies and ideas for nest, we decided to give it a go and I like to say we became married to nest. The best part about it is that what started as a business relationship has grown into a friendship.
Kelli: We are both so passionate about nest—our wheels are always spinning, whether it’s texting ideas late at night (if Jenny is still up) and first thing in the morning. It is amazing to have a partner on this crazy ride. Not only to brainstorm ideas, divide and conquer the work, but to figure out the losses and celebrate successes. If we were flying solo, all of this would not be as fun.
What are each of your favorite items in your store right now, and why?
Jenny: I am a collector, and I love my home to be a bit of an autobiography. I used to collect things from my travels, but since we have been home more lately, I am collecting design books. I delve into them on the weekends and dream up new ideas for my own home.
Kelli: I love all the artisans we have in the store right now—ceramic bowls by Source and Tradition, original paintings by Karina Bania and Ericka Bruno, local photography from our collab with Christina Lilly, and hand-turned wooden bowls by Bruce Perlmutter. It makes me happy to be able to share each of their talents with our customers.
What do you think your kids learn from you by watching you as business owners?
Jenny: Next year, I will start the college search for my oldest son, and we often talk about what his future looks like and where he will end up. I always try to guide him by saying it doesn’t matter what you do in life as long as you love what you are doing. Owning a business is tough, but I think they see how happy I am every day at the store and that I love what I’m doing.
Kelli: I think it’s important to see how much time and effort goes into running your own business. Anything worth doing takes discipline but having a passion, and a strong work ethic will help overcome most challenges. And as my husband says, if it were easy, everyone would do it.
Can you share some of your favorite local businesses and what you love about them?
Jenny: We love being in Red Bank and taking advantage of all our little city has to offer. There are so many small shops and local businesses to support this holiday season and all year long. Our team likes to reenergize with an afternoon coffee break courtesy of Rook or Currant. We love Yumi for lunch and hitting the bar after work at our fave spot, 26 West. For shopping, we always like to support fellow home stores Forge and Welcome Home, and we hit up Cabana 19 regularly for gifts, always leaving with a little something extra for ourselves.
What advice do you have for other NJMOMpreneurs who are just starting?
Kelli: Ideas are great but put those ideas to paper, develop goals, and figure out how to execute them and you will be successful.