Husband-and-wife design line Alison Rose opens its first retail location

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From the May 9, 2013 edition

Alison Rose Nocera and her husband Nicholas Nocera met at Kent State. It was also in Kent that they met the third, de facto member of their relationship — a half-ton printing press occasionally called “The Beast.”

The couple has moved the machine, which they got from a screenprinting shop Nicholas worked at, to at least six different basements and apartments; it even lived in an apartment complex’s washroom for a bit.

This Saturday, though, the Noceras are celebrating their new home for the metal mammoth (and their business), a space in Clintonville they’ve renovated to be one part screenprinting studio, one part retail store.

Alison Rose the design line was born out of creative restlessness. The pair moved to Reynoldsburg after college, and designing things together “became our creative outlet,” Alison said.

For ComFest 2007, one of the first festivals at which Alison Rose sold its T-shirts, the couple made its most popular design, the Ohio-shaped cassette tape.

“I think that was the first time we saw the possibility of Alison Rose,” Nicholas said.

Within hours of setting up shop at Goodale Park, Nicholas was frantically rushing back to their printing press to make more of the design.

Since then, with plenty of other laid-back art kid designs under its belt, Alison Rose has become a staple at alternative crafting shows. Plenty of local shops like Wholly Craft and the Wexner Center Store wholesale its beer koozies, bags, wallets and T-shirts, but the Noceras said opening their own store feels like a pinnacle.

“We’ve always talked about opening a store,” Nicholas said. “We’ve always liked the face-to-face interaction we get with customers at the fairs.”

Plus, having their own retail location and publicly open studio will inspire them to be more prolific in the designs they make. The studio part of the store will offer printing services (e.g. posters, invitations, T-shirts), and plans for screenprinting classes and designing for fabrics are in the works.

Alison Rose’s Columbus Coast aesthetic jibes nicely with its new neighborhood. If they want something new to play on the store’s record player, they can hop one door over to Elizabeth’s Records. And there will be music. Nicholas is the drummer of Winter Makes Sailors; his bandmate, Sean Gardner, and others will perform at the shop’s grand opening.