Name: Rachael Grochowski
Where do you live? Montclair
When did you move there?
I moved to Montclair when I was pregnant with my second child. We wanted a community that had other creatives, diversity, and was socially aware. We read an article in NY Magazine about Montclair that seemed to fit this profile and after an hour-long visit, we decided this was the place!
Where did you grow up?
It’s a long story. I was born and lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin until I was 8 and then lived in Denver, Colorado until my third year of college. I then went back to Wisconsin, transferring to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Since then, I’ve lived in six additional cities. Living in many diverse places has made me appreciate the importance of connection –with other people, nature, animals and oneself. I believe it’s helped define my values as a mother, a community member and as an architect and designer.
How do you make a living? OR What is your everyday passion?
I am the Founder and Principal of RHG Architecture+Design. The integration of architecture and design has always been my passion as it has the power to affect our experience of life. It can become the alchemy of our homes, our workplaces, wellness spaces, and where we eat and shop. Architecture and design isn’t just about beauty. It’s about humanity.
Coffee, tea or … ? Coffee in the morning, tea at night.
What’s your idea of a perfect weekend day?
Starting off with warm lemon water, sitting on the deck, looking over Manhattan surrounded by flowering plants and practicing my meditation. After that, maybe take a yoga class at JaiPure Yoga, connect with the community and take a stroll over to Java Love. After that anything goes: a nature walk, a visit to NYC or reading a book from Watchung Booksellers. All is good.
What’s your favorite local restaurant?
There are so many! Though I’m limited by my gluten free, nearly vegan diet, my favorites are Samba, Plum Bakery, Villalobos, and Tinga. I also love to check in on many of our wonderful clients in town including Mattarello Bakery, Benvenuti, and Sparo’s Deli.
What’s on your nightstand?
Stacks of half-read books and books I continually refer to like The Living Gita, My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem, and The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton. My friends give me a hard time because there is rarely a novel found in any stack of my books. I love to learn, mostly about the human condition, philosophy and being the change in the world.
What are you listening to? I am all over the place on music. It depends how I want to feel. Right now, top of my Pandora list is Trevor Hall, Ram Dass, John Legend and Fleetwood Mac.
What are your current indulgences? I am currently obsessed with super food powders that I add to my food to color it. Blue Spirulina Pancakes, Beet Chia Seed Pudding, smoothies with maca, and bee pollen.
What talent you would most like to have? The talent I most desire is to have a presence that makes people feel at ease and see themselves authentically when they are with me. This brings them confidence and truth. I guess I’d most like to be a healer of sorts.
What’s the worst-kept (or best-kept!) secret about Montclair?
I don’t know about secret, but I will say my favorite thing about Montclair is the incredible amount of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit in this town–Jazz House Kids, Montclair Film, Studio Montclair, businesses like Dolly Moo, and so many more. I believe it comes from a desire to love the life you live. Mistakes and all.
What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? “I felt peaceful when she was in the room.”