Couple combine talents into new salon, art shop in downtown New Kensington

A couple from Pittsburgh’s Carrick neighborhood are hoping everything will come up roses for them 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 had a grand opening July 9.

Co-owners and married for two years, Chiovitti, 30, is a licensed cosmetologist with her own line of small-batch body care and cosmetic products, Pure Rose Organics, while Shuman, 27, is a graphic designer who makes jewelry and home decor as well as the labels for Chioviti’s products.

“We try to make people feel comfortable here,” Chioviti said. “We don’t discriminate. Our main goal is to make an inclusive space for anyone.”

Before opening Pure Rose, Chioviti, a native of Carrick, worked in salons in the Shadyside area while Shuman, a Johnstown native, worked in sign shops in the city.

“Sweet Horror,” a horror film 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 a space to open a storefront, something New Kensington has available.

Chiovitti launched Pure Rose Organics in 2019. Rose is her middle name.

“It just came to me one day,” she said. “It just stuck, and now it’s everywhere.”

She and Shuman decided to combine their talents in a business after selling their wares at outdoor markets in 2021. People were asking where their storefront was, Chioviti said. They had started looking in January.

In March, they met with Michelle Thom, operations manager of Olde Towne Overhaul and Voodoo Brewery New Kensington. Thom showed them just one place — 938 Fifth Ave.

“The rest is history. Here we are,” Chioviti said. “They kind of had it planned out for us. We walked in, and we just knew this was it.”

Thom said the building was the home of a former specialty store, Independent, which sold wallpaper, paint and floor coverings. Built between 1916 and 1925, it most recently housed an antique store.

“Many of the antiques in the store could still be found when we purchased the building, and we repurposed them in many of our new tenants’ store buildouts,” Thom said. “This building was in relatively good shape, besides the full selection of antiques, and the fact that the electric service needed to be moved outside in order to reenergize.

“We had to reconnect an old gas line, install a new furnace and AC, resurfaced the existing wood floors and repainted all the walls to create a light and bright space for this new tenant,” she said.

Shuman said it was the wood floor and high ceiling that drew her in.

Chioviti said they see New Kensington as “an up-and-coming community.”

“There are a lot of women-owned businesses here,” she said. “They’ve been supportive. We felt an overall good vibe from Olde Towne Overhaul.”

They also were told there was nothing quite like their business already in the city.

“It’s a good place to stand out,” Shuman said.

Chioviti said they looked for places closer to their Carrick home but couldn’t find anything.

“You couldn’t pass the deal up,” she said of being in New Kensington. “It was too appealing.”

But Chioviti said Thom also was upfront with them: Despite officials mentioning New Kensington’s recent revitalization, with new businesses opening and events drawing people downtown, daily foot traffic remains slow.

“We’re hopeful and can see past where it is now to the future,” Chioviti said. “We can see where it’s going.”

That could mean them eventually making New Kensington their home, should Pure Rose prove to be a success.

They’re hopeful people will begin patronizing businesses on a regular basis, not just during special events such as the popular Fridays on Fifth, held the fourth Friday of the month.

“There’s businesses here that need support every day,” Chioviti said.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, or via Twitter .

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