Making it Theirs in Jersey City: Evan and Kate Gilbert
For Evan and Kate Gilbert, choosing to live their life with that motto was a decision they reached early on in their journey together. At a pre-marriage retreat during their engagement, the soon-to-be married couple realized how in sync their visions for the future really were. Both Kate and Evan placed a high level of value on being family-centered and not getting caught up in the shuffle of the corporate world. They knew then that a family-owned business was something that would be ideal for their future together. The couple shared dreams of creating a life on their own schedule, in which they could work towards goals that were authentic and purposeful. Most importantly, owning a business as a family would provide them with more opportunities to spend time together and to teach their children those entrepreneurial skills they both had always highly regarded, a perfect combination for Code Wiz Jersey City.
Deciding to open Code Wiz in Jersey City was the perfect culmination of each of their own life experiences along with a unique city they felt was perfect for their future business. Kate and Evan met at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Evan grew up in Massachusetts, graduated with an MBA, and has experience in both finance and entrepreneurship. Additionally, he grew up around family owned businesses. Kate is a front-end web developer, WordPress expert, and has been working in code and programming for over a decade. After working as a web developer for other companies, she decided to create her own company helping others with their web development needs.
With their combined interests in code, technology, finance, and entrepreneurial aspirations, opening up their own Code Wiz was an easy choice. Code Wiz was the type of business that would really engage the entire family and allow for all members to come together around learning technology. This fit in seamlessly with their personal and professional philosophies.
Making The Move
The choice to move to Jersey City was another one that felt easy for the family. Kate, a New Jersey native, grew up in Bergen County and had family in her home state. One of their reasons for moving from MA to NJ was wanting to be a part of a more diverse, metropolitan community. With friends and family in downtown Jersey City, Hoboken and JC Heights, the Gilberts had become increasingly aware of all the Jersey City had to offer.
The up and coming community had that cultural vibrancy and family friendly feel they were looking for and deciding to set up shop here seemed like the most natural fit. One of the reasons they decided to move from the suburbs to a more metropolitan area was wanting to break down that wall between work and home that can sometimes be created in driving towns. With Jersey City, a great walkable community, they could combine every aspect of their lives.
“We chose Jersey City because we really wanted to live somewhere where there was a local community that we could work in, live in, raise our kids, and we can do all of those things here,” Kate Gilbert says.
“It’s a big community but it still feels small. The business community in this area is so supportive,” Evan remarks.
Many of the local businesses and families have embraced the Gilbert family and really jumped in to help them not only acclimate to their new home on a personal level, but lift up their business and help it reach success. Opening a business, while fun, is nothing short of challenging. Having a city that stands behind the new business owners and wants to see them do well has made the process all the more rewarding for the Gilbert family.
In addition to building their business, the family has loved exploring all the city has to offer, whether that be trying new restaurants, walking to various parks, or engaging in community events where they can meet new neighbors and other small business owners.
“The walkability is awesome. We feel like every time we go out, we see someone we know,” Kate gushes.
Their two children, Caden and Lilah, who just started at Hamilton Park Montessori a few weeks ago, have also fully embraced their new community by engaging in family outings, playing in Jersey City’s great parks and attending local summer camps.
Kate and Evan are excited to be opening the doors of their STEM learning center in the coming weeks. In addition to providing a place for young learners to develop their digital literacy and explore robotics and engineering concepts, the Gilberts aim to use their space as a place to help Jersey City residents build community. Code Wiz Jersey City has plans for “Parents Night Out” events, birthday parties, adult “Sip and Learn” nights, and community networking opportunities. For more information on the family’s business endeavor, follow them on social media @codewizjerseycity or check out their website: https://thecodewiz.com/jerseycity-nj/.