By ED SALVAS
Illene Klein and Maria Cicchino are two of the many Asbury Park residents who represent the city’s draw on the creative and entrepreneurial spirit.
Klein and Cicchino are the owners of NOLO Art at 714 Bangs Ave., a business that specializes in custom jewelry and boutique art. NOLO stands for “No One Left Out,” which opened for business in October to display and sell their individual creative efforts. Klein creates custom jewelry and Cicchino is a graphic artist who coordinates the art work they display.
Like many others in Asbury Park, Klein and Cicchino came here as the city was gaining momentum with redevelopment and international recognition. Cicchino bought a home in Asbury Park about 10 years ago and still maintains a residence in Morristown. Klein arrived about a year ago and the two became neighbors.
Klein’s varied background includes 27 years in sales for an Auto Shopper in the Hudson Valley. She also holds a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. She previously sold her jewelry at trunk shows and at Pop-Up shops but until NOLO Art she’s never owned a brick and mortar business.
Klein calls her jewelry Sophia Roc Jewelry, custom pieces in gold and silver. Asked what attracted her to Asbury Park, Klein replied, “The water.” She also said she was drawn by the fact that Asbury Park is a walkable city with a thriving art and music scene.
Klein and Cicchino met while out walking in their neighborhood and decided to become business partners. Cicchino designed the NOLO Art logo and coordinates the art work displayed and for sale in their space.
The current show includes photographs by Ron Akyiama described as “Stage Photos” of rock artists, and paintings by David Pucciarelli, an artist/photographer known for his “stylized realism.” There are also T-shirts and Asbury Park inspired Lithos and other unique items.
NOLO Art is open Thursday to Sunday noon to 6 p.m. and at other times by appointment. They are also on Instagram and Facebook and Klein’s jewelry website is www.SophiaRoc.com. .