By JOHN T. WARD
This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn heralds the arrival of a new men’s clothing store in downtown Red Bank; plans for a women’s clothing boutique, also downtown; and another women’s boutique just over the town line in Shrewsbury.
Also spotlighted: a highly unusual new art school that’s tuition-free and for veterans only.Now open and looking for veterans who want to learn art — at no cost — is Ani Art Academies. Below, women’s clothier Theo plans a late July opening (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
• Twenty-two-year-old Chris Carbone Jr. of Toms River has opened Carbone’s Clothing Company at 24 Monmouth Street, which he’s turned into an emporium of men’s clothing and accessories.
“I’m mixing cultures sports, skating fashion, hip-hop,” Carbone tells Churn.
The shop carries jeans, hoodies, sunglasses, watches, fedoras and baseball hats, including some designed by a local artist named Rommel who’s day job is pouring coffee at the Rook shop a block away on White Street.
• Ani Art Academies, is now open at 143 Broad Street, near Harding Road, and looking for its first clients. Not a retail store, or even a for-profit, or even open to the public, Ani Art provides intensive art instruction to American military veterans.
How intensive? “It’s pretty much open to any [veteran] willing to put in 30 to 35 hours a week” for three to four years of training, said instructor Kevin Moore, who’s running the shop. And he promises that the schooling can turn someone with only the slightest detectable artistic talent into a skilled artist if they put in the work.
Moore admits he’s had trouble finding his first student, but hopes that as word gets around, the program will take off. Enrollees “really have to be interested in art,” and have plenty of time on their hands, he said.
The program, and all materials required, are free, courtesy of 10-year funding of the program by Tim Reynolds, who founded a series of academies at high-end resorts — places where guests pay upwards of $60,000 per week to stay that he owns around the globe: Anguilla, Sri Lanka, Thailand and elsewhere. The academies there are supported by profits from the resorts, but costs for the Red Bank location are being borne solely by Reynolds, said Moore.
For those veterans who just want to give art a try, Ani offers a no-commitment art class on Saturdays, where the curious can “just show up and draw for the day,” said Moore.
The school is located next door to the new Red Bank Family Pharmacy, in a space previously occupied by the Jade Garden restaurant.
Tamara Lynas, who’s handling branding for the Theo, tells Churn that the business is s owned by experienced clothier Alexander Meder and named for his father. The shop will specialize in “higher-end designer but not couture, European and American contemporary sportswear,” she said.
An opening is anticipated by late July, Lynas said.
• Now open just across the Red Bank-Shrewsbury border in a strip mall at 437 Broad Street is newcomer Shop Pray Love, a shoe salon and specialty boutique “carrying mostly American made, eco-friendly and sustainable apparel and accessories,” owner Cat Mercurio said in a press release.
The business is five years old, with a store in Manasquan and an online shop, said Mercurio.