Category Archives: Rising Stars

Hip New Jersey sits with the state’s up-and-comers before they hit the mainstream. We’ll find out what motivates them on their journey to the top!

Jo’ Pri Consulting

The East Orange community is not only inspiring an initiative, but an entire movement!

#HipNJ’s Natalie Spedaliere was on the scene of the Jo’ Pri Consulting networking and fashion event, where East Orange executives shared their plans for the future of their community and their youth.

Speaking about Jo’ Pri Consulting, Owner Priscilla Pender said: “It’s something we’ve been talking about for a while. It’s something I’ve had a passion to do for about three or four years and I’m a firm believer that it’s not about when you want something to happen but when it’s destined to happen.”

Jo’ Pri focuses on providing the community’s youth with greater opportunity in a number of ways, including internship and mentorship programs, job opportunities and job training, as told by Cameron Jones, a member of the East Orange Board of Education.

As the fashion show was in full swing, conversation of higher education (not only high fashion!) ensued. Mustafa Brent, Councilman of the fifth Ward of East Orange took the lead on education.

“A lot of people work, they’ve grown accustomed to just working,” Mustafa Brent said. “We want to get people in the position and the mindset of thinking about education as a process by which they can become more uplifted.”

East Orange Mayor Lester Taylor III spoke about the importance of small businesses in his city, noting that small businesses employ more people than the largest corporations across the country…and so entrepreneurship is treasured in East Orange.

“I think it’s fantastic that we are embracing the arts, embracing the culture, and embracing the fashion in our city,” Lester Taylor III said.

May the vision live on and become reality for East Orange, NJ!

Eliza Neals

Eliza Neals

Give it up for the lady pounding on the keys, carrying the melody!

Detroit born- New Jersey resident, Eliza Neals, doesn’t have your normal 9 to 5. Her office is the stage; her desk is the piano.

The award-winning blues/rock singer has been in music for most of her life. She sang with her sisters while she was living in Detroit, earned an opera degree, and now has an album that is on the charts, third worldwide.

Eliza took her opera background and headed in a different direction: the Blues/Rock scene.

“I started singing everywhere I could,” Eliza Neals said. “Every CD bar in Detroit there was.”

Creating her own brand of rock n’ roll blues, Eliza produced a few albums including “Sugar Daddy,” “Kansas City,” and her latest, “Breaking and Entering.”

“The vibe is pretty much you put it in your car, you’re going to drive to the Jersey Shore, you’re going to listen from the beginning to the end,” Eliza said on her album “Breaking and Entering.”

The band behind the tunes is called “All Star.” Gabe Gonzalez from P. Funk, George Clinton and Enema Squad is on the drums, iconic blues guitar player Howard Glazer is on the strings, and Eliza is on those keys!

#HipNJ’s Kendall Zoppa got a sneak peak live performance of “Pretty Gritty” from “Breaking and Entering!”

Eliza describes her music as grungey. We say it is hip and fabulous!

For more on Eliza, visit her website at

the memory box

“The Memory Box”

#HipNJ author Eva Lesko Natiello poses a very spooky question: “What would you do if you Googled yourself and uncovered something shocking?”

#HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino sat down with the successful first-time author at the Jersey Shore to learn about “The Memory Box”, an Amazon #1 Bestseller. The psychological thriller is about a young woman who Googles herself and discovers details of a past she doesn’t remember.

As a #HipNJ resident, Natiello’s novel was greatly influenced by the Garden State.

“Being a suburban mother-of-two helped bring life to the characters and plot line,” explained Eva.

Within the last six months, she has visited over 60 book clubs, which allows her to interact with her readers on a more personal level.

“It has been incredible. It’s been my own special book tour. Most people who have book clubs read books and never get to meet the author. I get to meet people that have read it, so really it’s magical for both of us,” proclaimed Eva.

Eva and Lisa Marie took to the sand to reach out to beach-goers and give out copies of “The Memory Box”.  Diane Schott and her group of friends were lucky enough to each get their hands on a copy of the thriller.

“The premise is be careful what you search for. We are all social media savvy and we’ve all Googled ourselves. Just the idea of finding something we don’t know about is very intriguing,” said Diane.

“The Memory Box” is available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or a bookstore near you!

For more on Eva and “The Memory Box”, visit