Written by Jill Nossa Thursday, 17 July 2014 00:00
Jewelry designer Paola Giordano has been creating wearable art for more than a decade, showcasing her pieces at select stores and craft fairs. Her long-term dream was to have her own gallery, but the costs and logistics involved in owning a storefront didn’t seem worth it. So, she decided to go in a different direction with a mobile gallery, in the form of a refurbished FedEx truck.
“For a couple of years now, I have been mulling over the idea of opening a gallery, and had also been considering purchasing an old truck, and seeing what I could convert it into,” says Giordano.
“Recently, an opportunity presented itself, and I purchased an old FedEx truck, and revamped it into what will be Long Island’s first mobile art gallery.”
The 37-year-old owner of Pagio Jewelry Designs is calling her store-on-wheels the Pagio Truck. The space, though small, is surprisingly spacious, and has the feel of any other small boutique you might find in SoHo or the East Village, with warm lighting and mirrors adding to the vibe.
“I know there are other trucks out there that are considered to be boutiques, but what sets me apart from them is that I design and fabricate the majority of work that will be sold on the truck,” says
Giordano, a resident of Huntington. “In addition to my own work, I will be offering the work of a leather maker, an illustrator, a ceramics designer, and some textiles."
Giordano has had a love of creating art since she was a little girl, and says she decided to focus on jewelry making because it is the most “tangible.”
“I can make a great painting, or a great vase, but no one would really see it unless you came to my house, or it was in a gallery,” Giordano explains. “Jewelry is a piece of art that enhances our own natural beauties, and is a great way to express ourselves, and compliment our look. It’s wearable art.”
Giordano specializes in one-of-a-kind pieces, utilizing semi-precious stones and various metals, and has made custom pieces for brides, birthdays and many repeat customers.
“Being a jewelry designer doesn’t get boring... at least for me,” she says. “What I enjoy is the fact that I create one of a kind pieces that cannot really be replicated because of the uniqueness of the stones. Each time I create a new piece, it’s exciting. I never really know how it's going to turn out, and in the end I am pleasantly surprised. “
She purchased the 1994 Ford truck in March and immediately got to work on the necessary repairs and remodeling to make it feel more like an upscale boutique and less like a commercial package hauler. She gutted it, replaced the radiator, brakes, ignition and horn, and salvaged as much furniture and as many fixtures as she could for the interior, using planks from a dock that had washed ashore after Superstorm Sandy for the shelving and using old an plumbing pipe for the clothing rack. She had the truck re-wrapped with her logo and designs by 808Concepts of Glen Cove.
She also began networking and searching for locations where she can park the truck and sell her goods. Her first two stops in Glen Cove will be on Sunday, July 20 & 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The
Glen Cove Christian Church, 74 Walnut Rd. In late June, she received her peddlers permit from the Town of Huntington so she is licensed to vend in Huntington and will have her truck stationed at The
Conklin Barn in Huntington Village on a regular basis. The Pagio Truck calendar is posted on www.pagio.biz, on Pagio Jewelry Designs Facebook page and on Twitter (@pagiojewelry), so anyone interested can find out where she will be next.
“All of my pieces and designs come straight out of my head. Seldom will I sketch anything, unless it’s for a custom order, and the client cannot envision what I am saying I can create,” Giordano says. “I just sit in my studio, and will look at a pendant or something, and ideas will come to me. It’s a lot of playing around, but it’s fun, so it’s not frustrating.” She clarifies that she doesn’t have a “masterpiece” ready every time she sits down. “It’s a creative process.”