if you’ve been in the shop lately, you’ve probably noticed a variety of different faces making sure that everyone finds a little something lovely to brighten up their day. wouldn’t you love to know more about who they are and what they love on the island? throughout july on the blog & on social media, we will be featuring more about our fantastic, hardworking, stylish and kind shop girls!
Name: Andie Ajello
Hometown: Princeton, NJ
Where do you go to school? University of Miami
What’s your major?: communications
In four words, describe your personal sense of style: beachy, neutral colors, casual, and flowy
How long have you been coming to LBI?: since I was 3 years old!
Current favorite items in the shop?: jewelry!! More specifically the earrings
What’s your favorite thing about summer on the island?: meeting new people and going to the beach
Go-to local spots for a great meal?: Barry’s Do Me a Flavor and Pearl Street Market
Describe your ideal day on the island: wake up, go to the beach all day, hang out with family and friends!
How would you describe A Lovely Universe to someone who hasn’t stopped in yet?: ALU has the cutest outfits that you can dress up or down. There is also the perfect jewelry and accessories to pair your outfits with.
If you’ve been in the shop over the past few years, you’ve noticed Kris Nations jewelry lining the shelves of the store or peppered throughout the other merchandise. With it’s simple but special charm and gift ready adorable cork bottle packaging, it’s hard to miss. It’s also super hard not to fall in love with the whole line.
Who is behind Kris Nations, you ask? They are a female founded (sisters, to be exact!) jewelry line based in California that focuses on timeless items inspired by their creative and independent Mother. I love that.
In their own words…
As sisters, Kris and Kim Nations both share the same unique, free-spirited sense of style – equal parts sophisticated and bohemian, with a little vintage inspiration thrown into the mix. So when the two created a partnership and began producing an original line of eclectic jewelry, it was no surprise that they also shared the same, familiar source of inspiration.
“Our mom is independent, creative, and has a great sense of style,” says Kris, a self-taught artist who, encouraged by her mother, began making her own jewelry as a teenager. Both sisters cite the woman who raised them as the single most important role model in their lives, and her influence is evident in everything from their jewelry designs to their business model. (An artist herself, she sold paintings during the summer months to supplement her salary as a schoolteacher, passing along that same motivated work ethic and creative drive to her daughters.)
It’s someone much like their mom who Kim and Kris envision as the wearer of the jewelry they make: a graceful, worldly, confident woman, with true personal style that transcends time and trends. Each sister brings her own unique perspective to the table, sharing ideas and polishing concepts until a truly collaborative design emerges. It’s a process that’s evident in the finished pieces that combine Kim’s retro-modern aesthetic with Kris’ flair for color in surprising combinations.
Between the family partnership, family aesthetic, and family inspiration, it’s no surprise that the two credit their collaboration with the success of their brand. For Kim, seeing what they’ve built together is all the motivation she needs to keep going: “I wake up every day, excited to grow our business for ourselves and our families.”
“There is absolutely no way we would have the success we have had without partnering together. We have a common goal, and we’re working side by side to achieve it. I know I’m lucky to have this relationship with my sis.”
Some of our favorites that we are currently stocking:
A Lovely Universe is officially open for business in our new home at 414 North Bay Avenue in Beach Haven! As I’ve stated (and probably will state for the next few months again and again 🙂 ha!) this space is the corner unit with the large bay windows, beautiful natural light and more visibility on the blvd. just steps away from our previous home. You don’t have to go far to look for our new little universe.
Already, it feels so so good. So much room to roam and fill with pretty details and tons of new merchandise. Can’t wait to see how it grows and what this new season has in store for us.
A few internal changes are happening on our end with the different programs we’ll be utilizing to grow the store. The biggest one is that we’re utilizing Shopify for not only on our e-commerce site but in-store as well. This means that all items in store will be immediately streamlined to web so our online shoppers can get up to date inventory availability changes (ie: correct sizing quantities!!) in addition to other perks.
Be sure to follow along on Instagram for more in-store photos, insta stories and merch features! PS: as always, the shop’s spring hours are currently just saturday and sunday 10-5pm til Memorial Day. Then we will be open everyday with extended morning and night hours! Stay tuned.
Apologies for a bit of silence on here! As you may know, the winter months are a little quiet at ALU. The shop closed for the season at the end of October and we’ve been taking the past few months to really jump into construction, buying, planning, etc. for the new space.
In addition to opening up for our 4th season on LBI in our bigger + better space just 3 storefronts down from our previous home, this blog will also get back to business! Pinterest round ups, shop features, product posts, shop girl interviews, podcast picks and more are headed this way for spring, summer and fall.
The shop is all set to open on Saturday April 7th at 10am. See you there!
pictured above: a little ‘before’ photo of our new home at 414 n bay avenue!
As you already know by now, A Lovely Universe is expanding to a larger storefront in 2018. This weekend after a large moving sale, we closed up and started to organize inventory and clear up the store for the off season. Even though this move is a positive one, it was a bit emotional to see the ‘for lease’ sign go up on the window. Sort of silly since we’re just moving three doors down and barely have to change our address. Still, this little space has been so good to me and I’ve grown leaps and bounds just over the three years spent there.
The new corner space is still empty for now but so many things are going on behind the scenes to get everything sorted out for the new build out. There’s just so much to do! But I’m super grateful for the schedule which grants me the time to really get everything done in an organized and somewhat laid back (knock on wood) schedule. In addition to a very packed google calendar over the next 6 months, I also have a notebook of my specific goals all listed one by one for this new chapter. When I opened up A Lovely Universe in 2013 at age 24, I had a dream in my head and the energy to go after it. However, I had so much to learn and still do. To be able to keep the business alive but give the whole store an upgrade and have it grow up alongside me is so thrilling but also scary! 🙂
Anyway – be sure to follow our progress on here and on instagram! I plan on posting a lot of the in between moments to give a little glimpse behind the scenes. It’s not all fun and games and cute clothes – it’s a real job so there are ups and downs. But I do pinch myself every day that I’m able to do this. So thank you for your support and please keep checking back for more!
As the store progresses each year, it becomes more and more important to me to source merchandise from people with a story to tell. 90% of our selection of paper goods, art, beauty items, and gifts come from small businesses and artists from around the country. All of them are women. At first, it happened organically and almost accidentally but as I get older and understand how important it is to all support each other’s businesses and dreams, the more it’s a requirement for what we sell at A Lovely Universe.
For our first spotlight, I will be featuring Claudia Masco. A Monmouth University graduate who has a fantastic eye and clearly not a fear of heights! We’ve been selling her beautiful aerial photo prints of the New Jersey shore all summer long and we now have her just released Long Beach Island collection as well.
A bit more about her below:
“Chloe Masco, owner of Claudia Chloe, uses photography as a tool to accentuate and simplify the beauty that surrounds her in her travels.
Studying photography where she was born and raised, at the Jersey Shore, she is heavily influenced by the playfulness of the beach-goer lifestyle. To her, there is nothing more visually satisfying than the interaction of vacationers and their umbrellas along the shoreline.
Her goal is to bring the beauty & simplicity of the world as the sky sees it, into her customers’ homes.
All aerial photographs are taken from the side of a doors-off helicopter.
Chloe currently lives and works in Asbury Park, New Jersey, where she prints, packages, and ships all paper prints herself in her home studio.”
Shop our selection of Claudia’s art here or stop in the shop or head straight to her website.