A couple from the Carrick neighborhood of Pittsburgh are hoping for the best with their new business in downtown New Kensington.
Chloe Chiovitti and Kiley Shuman opened Pure Rose Beauty & Art Studio on Fifth Avenue in late June and opened on July 9.
Co-owners and married for two years, Chiovitti, 30, is a licensed cosmetologist with her own line of body care and small-batch cosmetics, Pure Rose Organics, while Shuman, 27, is a graphic designer who makes jewelry and interior decoration. as well as the labels of Chiovitti products.
“We try to make people feel comfortable here,” Chiovitti said. “We do not discriminate. Our main goal is to create an inclusive space for all.
Prior to opening Pure Rose, Chiovitti, originally from Carrick, worked in salons in the Shadyside area while Shuman, originally from Johnstown, worked at retailers in the city.
“Sweet Horror,” a horror movie event hosted by Sweet Alchemy at Voodoo Brewery, brought them to New Kensington in February. Sweet Alchemy owner Jamie Parker knew they were looking for space to open a storefront, which New Kensington has available.
Chiovitti launched Pure Rose Organics in 2019. Rose is her middle name.
“It came to me one day,” she said. “It just got stuck, and now it’s everywhere.”
She and Shuman decided to combine their talents into one business after selling their wares to outdoor markets in 2021. People were asking where their storefront was, Chiovitti said. They had started looking in January.
In March, they met Michelle Thom, Operations Manager of Olde Towne Overhaul and Voodoo Brewery New Kensington. Thom showed them only one location – 938 Fifth Ave.
“The rest is history. We are there,” Chiovitti said. “They kind of had it all planned out for us. We walked in and knew that was it.
Thom said the building housed a former specialty store, Independent, which sold wallpaper, paint and flooring. Built between 1916 and 1925, it more recently housed an antique shop.
“Many of the antiques in the store could still be found when we purchased the building, and we reused them in many of our new tenants’ stores,” Thom said. “This building was in relatively good condition, in addition to the full selection of antiques and the fact that the electrical service needed to be moved outside to be revitalized.
“We had to reconnect an old gas line, install a new furnace and air conditioning, resurface existing wood floors and repaint all the walls to create a light and bright space for this new tenant,” he said. she stated.
Shuman said it was the hardwood floors and the high ceiling that drew her in.
Chiovitti said they see New Kensington as “a thriving community”.
“There are a lot of women-owned businesses here,” she said. “They supported me. We felt a good general atmosphere of Olde Towne Overhaul.
They were also told that there was no such thing as their business already in the city.
“It’s a good place to stand out,” Shuman said.
Chiovitti said they had looked for places closer to their home in Carrick but found nothing.
“You couldn’t let this go,” she said of being in New Kensington. “It was too attractive.”
But Chiovitti said Thom was also candid with them: Despite officials touting New Kensington’s recent revitalization, with new businesses opening and events drawing people downtown, daily foot traffic remains slow.
“We are hopeful and can see the past where it is now looking to the future,” Chiovitti said. “We can see where this is going.”
This could mean they will eventually move to New Kensington, if Pure Rose proves to be a hit.
They hope people will start frequenting the businesses regularly, and not just at special events such as the popular Fridays of the Fifth, which are held on the fourth Friday of the month.
“There are businesses here that need support every day,” Chiovitti said.