With next month marking its first anniversary on Charles Street, noa jewelry, fine handcrafts & gifts has already become a fixture among the neighborhood’s small, independently owned shops.
“Part of our mission is to be involved in a viable downtown community,” said Ian Scofidio, who owns the store with his wife Barbara. “The Flat of the Hill embodies all the qualities of a small community, and we love being a part of that.”
noa, which has another store in West Concord, offers blown and fused glass, decoupage and pottery, among other items, all of which are crafted by around 200 New England artists. The Charles Street store has received several accolades to date, including “Best of the New” by Boston Globe Magazine in December, Yankee Magazine’s 2012 Editor’s Choice for “Best Artisanal Gifts” and, most recently, second place on the Boston A-List.
“When we moved into the neighborhood, we researched all the different stores and read reviews, and it was clear that people in Beacon Hill are looking for three things: attentive service, value for their dollar and tasteful, high-quality merchandise,” Barbara wrote. “That fit our own values. We knew that beautiful, handcrafted jewelry and gifts would be appreciated, that people would be pleased with our fair prices and that we could come to know our customers, which is important to us.”
Ian said local customers are often surprised to find of the variety of goods at noa made in their own backyards, and out-of-town patrons looking for a keepsake of their trip to Boston are equally impressed by the store’s selection.
Also, Ian points out that money spent at noa and other independently owner stores generates a much greater return to the local economy than it does when expended at corporate chain stores or other absentee-owner establishments.
“From a socially conscious perspective, all the money generated at noa ends up back in the community which makes me feel good,” Ian said. “People tend to forget that when they shop at a chain store, the money leaves the community and goes to some corporate headquarters.”
Today, noa is active in the Beacon Hill Business Association, as well as Massachusetts General Hospital’s perks program for employees and the Beacon Hill Civic Association’s Merchant Loyalty Card program, which offers members discounts at participating businesses. And noa now hopes to increase its community outreach and strengthen its relationships with other local merchants.
“We would love to have an active dialogue with the community,” Ian said. “We want people just to stop into the store. It’s doesn’t have to be to shop. We just want to meet people and listen to their voices.”
For more information on noa jewelry, fine handcrafts & gifts and hours of operation, visit www.noagifts.com.