Lupe Spisso’s first store is the only fashion boutique on its block in Brooklyn. Her new venture, Beyond Trends in downtown Somerville, finds itself in good company with many nearby stores offering fashions for women and men that you just can’t find at your local shopping mall.

“From longtime district businesses like Evolve to newer stores like Melange, downtown Somerville has a long and growing list of boutique businesses that can compete with the best you’ll find in New York or other big cities,” Beth Anne Macdonald, the Downtown Somerville Alliance’s Executive Director pointed out. “And, as new businesses continue to open and add to our distinctive scene, the more downtown Somerville becomes recognized as a regional shopping destination.”

Beyond Trends

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Open since July, Beyond Trends (58 W. Main Street) welcomed a full house of guests, including Mayor Brian Gallagher and Councilman Jason Kraska, for a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration during the holiday season.

“We focus on trends, not brands,” noted Spisso, an FIT graduate who brings years of retail experience and an eye for the hottest fashion finds. “Our emphasis on personal and knowledgeable service is a great fit for downtown Somerville and we are excited about the welcome and help we’ve received from other local business owners.”

In his remarks, Mayor Gallagher said the store and Spisso, its young and dynamic owner, reflect the changes that are making downtown Somerville a leader in central New Jersey not just for great restaurants but also for great stores and services.

“Downtown Somerville is experiencing a surge in entrepreneurial investment,” Gallagher added. “This is a new breed of small business owners that have done their research, recognize the potential of a desirable place to live and work, and are attracted by the collaborative, supportive and attractive environment in their pursuit of financial success.”

Nivanno Services

Gladys Zoker was hoping for some divine intervention in her search for the right location for her first brick-and-mortar store. A successful home-based event planner from Elizabeth, Zoker recently moved to Bridgewater and believed the time was right to set up shop nearby offering a full slate of event planning services in addition to a wide array of candy by the piece.

A drive around the area to see where the roads took her led to the storefront location for Nivanno Services (137 E. Main Street) not far from Somerville’s community splash park. After contacting the property owner with the help of some nearby businesses, her dream was fulfilled.

Today, the store’s gleaming picture windows are filled with colorful flowers, centerpieces and tall jars of candy that are the core of Zoker’s business. She has noticed lots of local children passing by and has already received many inquiries regarding when the store would open.

At a recent grand opening ceremony where Mayor Gallagher cut the ceremonial ribbon, the Mayor reminisced about the different types of candy on display, and offered his welcome to Zoker and her family on behalf of the Somerville community.

“Everyone has been friendly and helpful,” said Zoker, who used letters from the names of her three children (Nigel, Jovannia and Noah) to create the store’s unique moniker. “I am happy to have found a great place to open my business.”

For complete directories of local businesses and restaurants or for more information about programs and services provided by the Downtown Somerville Alliance visit downtownsomerville.com. You can also follow news from Somerville on social media at Facebook.com/DowntownSomervilleAlliance and Instagram.com/DowntownSomerville.