By Barbara Allen, Contributing Writer
Hudson – Hudson’s Holiday Downtown Stroll Saturday, Dec. 7, from 3-7 p.m. will be the first for Nicole Kelley, owner of Beyond the Barn Boston, the new home décor and gift shop whose grand opening was this past July. Participants who visit Beyond the Barn Boston during the event will see a shop which has been transformed into a “winter wonderland,” overflowing with gift ideas for the holiday season, including holiday signs, beaded garlands and Christmas ornaments. The town has given the business a warm welcome; it is doing better than Kelley had ever expected.
“It has been amazing, from both a business and personal side,” she observed.
Although Kelley has always loved home décor and decorating, it had previously been more of a hobby than a serious venture. She enjoyed decorating her home and helping friends solve their own décor dilemmas. Making money was never the driving force behind opening the shop – connecting with people was.
“I opened my store to be part of a community, to help people decorate on a budget,” she explained.
Beyond the Barn Boston, located at 15 Washington St., features what Kelley refers to as “Modern Farmhouse” décor and gift items. She admitted being both amused and flattered when newcomers to the shop have asked her, “Is this a Joanna Gaines store?” referring to the designer and former host of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.”
The light and bright space, with its welcoming juxtaposition of elegant and rustic design elements, is evocative of Gaines’s style but has a unique touch which is all Kelley’s. Wooden beaded garlands, galvanized metal containers, wood and metal tier trays and candleholders are complemented by baskets, pillows, hand-woven rugs and tea towels. Fragrant candles, kitchen and bar essentials, florals, and seasonal items fill tables and line shelves. Whimsical and inspirational signs hang on walls; toys and clothing for babies and children can be found downstairs. The shop also has a website where customers can order online, and regularly ships items to different parts of the country. While Kelley agreed that having an online presence is important, she maintained that there is still nothing better than the in-person experience of browsing the retail store: touching the merchandise, smelling the candles.
“I love the positive vibe, the energy of the store,” she added. “I love to see the customers’ faces as they come in.”
For Kelley, it’s not only about the personal connection; it’s about giving back to the community as well. In November, Beyond the Barn Boston hosted a special Holiday Spirit Sip and Shop. Eventgoers sipped wine and sampled appetizers and snacks provided by local restaurants while enjoying a sneak preview of holiday and Christmas décor, with the opportunity to purchase merchandise before it hit the shelves. All proceeds from ticket sales to the event were donated to a local shelter for victims of domestic violence.
“I’m always looking to help, especially if it impacts women and children or victims of crime,” Kelley said. “Part of it is the donation, but part of it is also to raise awareness. We all have to do our part to give back.”
“I feel blessed to have the life I do,” she added.
Beyond the Barn Boston will have expanded holiday hours through the month of December. The shop will be open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit BeyondtheBarnBoston.com.