Alison Rose will soon have a place to call home.
The company −whose specialties are hand printed apparel, handbags, wallets, and accessories− will be moving to a 1,000-square-foot space at 3039 Indianola Ave. in Clintonville near Studio 35.
The new digs will double as a retail shop and workspace for Alison and Nicholas Nocera, the husband-and-wife design team who founded Alison Rose back in 2003.
“We live in Clintonville and love the sense of community here,” says Alison. “We live only a few blocks away, and when we got word that a spot had opened up on Indianola, sandwiched between Elizabeth’s Records and Studio 35, we both thought it would be a great fit for us. We shopped around for months looking at spaces along High Street and downtown, but ultimately we both felt that this space would suit us best.”
In addition to Alison Rose merchandise, the shop will offer custom printing services.
“We’ve been printing our own T-shirts, fabric, posters, paper goods, music packaging, etc for some time now, and we are excited to offer those services to the community,” says Nicholas.
Saturday classes on basic screen printing and fabric printing will be offered as well.
The shop is slated to open in late April or early May.
With the company’s 10 year anniversary approaching, the Noceras decided it was time to move operations outside their home studio.
“Our friends and family have been extremely supportive and gave us this push we needed to grow our business and take the risk,” Alison says.
The couple met at Kent State University, where Alison and Nicholas earned degrees in fashion design and art education (with an emphasis on printmaking), respectively.
In 2002, Nicholas created a website to showcase Alison’s fashion portfolio using her first and middle names.
“We were making shirts for friends just out of our apartment,” he says. “I think we had something like five designs at the time, and decided to try to create an online store using the same AlisonRose.com domain. This is pre-Etsy times, so not many online shops existed. We applied to a few art shows, and the name stuck.”
While finishing his degree, Nicholas worked in a screen printing shop that would end helping he and Alison take their business to the next level.
“Right before graduation, the shop decided to move to Cleveland, and left behind a beast of a press,” Nicholas says. “I expressed interest in it right away, and we’ve been lugging that thing from place to place ever since.”
The entire Alison Rose line is designed and produced in house, and that doesn’t seem likely to change.
“There is something gratifying about being able to sketch out an idea, make a screen, print your design, take a photo, put it up on your shop, have someone buy it, and ship it directly from you to them,” Nicholas says.
Finding a balance between being artists and entrepreneurs −not losing site of what got them excited to go into business in the first place− is the biggest obstacle the couple has faced since launching their company, Alison says.
But they’re facing it together, which helps.
“Even back when we met in school, we always shared the passion to create something that was uniquely ours,” she says. “We share a constant want for the other to succeed, and really balance all aspects of the business.”
To learn more about Alison Rose, visit AlisonRose.com.