Meet Melissa Beckwith of Serendipity in Rhode Island
Boston Voyage Magazine | May 22, 2018
Melissa, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In 2012, my mom and I launched our jewelry line, Missy & Me Design. Getting our brand and name out there by doing shows and collaborating with retail locations was what lead to the opportunity of a lifetime, Serendipity! On April 1st of 2015 the dream became a reality! I opened the doors at 23 Brown Street and found a new beginning/meaning to this date. As five years prior I lost one of the most influential people in my life, my grandma. Shortly after opening, Serendipity then moved on up to our current location, 3 Main Street!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
This entire process has been a learning experience. I started as an apprentice for well-known boutique in East Greenwich and took that learning experience and created Serendipity. I didn’t go to school for business or marketing so I have just tried to absorb everything around me like a sponge. I had a vision so that was the easy part. Making decisions to achieve that was sometimes challenging.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Serendipity – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Serendipity is an artisan boutique that specializes in all handmade/locally made gifts, accessories and home decor. We showcase the work of artists, giving them the opportunity to take what they love and make a living out of it, as well, as expanding their audience that they otherwise wouldn’t have access too. Known as the ultimate gift shop: Serendipity has a little bit of everything. From dog collars to baby goods, jewelry, custom glassware, RI posters, license plate signs, and hot packs to special wedding and housewarming gifts. What sets Serendipity apart, is that we carry one of a kind pieces that you can’t find in your average store. Almost everything under our roof can be customized! As a company, we are most proud of staying true to our mission as well and creating an environment that is welcomed to dogs!
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Serendipity’s future plans include launching our online store, offering more refinished furniture and getting involved with more shows/markets!
Found Objects at Serendipity Boutique
Talking style with Serendipity’s Melissa Beckwith
Photo By Ron Cowie
By Meghan H. Follett
Local artisan Melissa Beckwith was born and raised in Wickford and last year she brought her love for local art (including her own jewelry line Missy & Me Design) to the heart of Wickford in the form of Serendipity Boutique. We sat down with Melissa to learn a bit more about the boutique and what kind of great local finds one can discover behind its doors.
Tell me about Serendipity Boutique
Living in Wickford all my life and being around two very crafty women, my mom and grandma, it was always a dream of mine to one day own a store of my own in the place that was home. My jewelry line, Missy & Me Design, was in its second retail location in early 2015 when the owner of that store was looking to retire. How Serendipity Boutique came to be is exactly as the meaning behind the beautiful word – finding something wonderful without looking for it: fate.
Being a local artisan yourself, you carry a lot of local artists in the shop
With Serendipity, I knew the exact atmosphere I wanted to create; an environment with a wide variety of unique finds, superior quality and affordable prices. Being a local artist myself, an all handmade gift store only made sense. In Serendipity we offer a little bit of everything, from dog collars and treats to rustic wine racks, wooden signs and the best nautical hostess gifts. Gorgeous, poisonous flower Oleander Photography, sea glass jewelry, hot packs, reversible fabric bowls, the sweetest handmade dolls by May*lo Studio, to fab and fun light switch covers by Maisonwares and even purses made out of men’s ties.
What would you recommend for someone who wanders in looking for a great personalized gift?
For me, the absolute best and most rewarding thing about what I do is knowing that I was a part of someone’s gift giving experience. A customer looking for a personalized gift makes it all the more special. Almost everything in Serendipity can be customized [or] personalized. My favorite go-tos are Moonglow Jewelry – a moon phase pendant showcasing the moon exactly as it was on a significant/special day and even glows in the dark. We have a wedding section with tons of great pieces – where we can offer hand painted custom signs, transfer a photo or new last name on coasters, customize glassware and even pillows, all done by local artists. We also have some of the most precious baby and children gifts from Sew Rhode Island where we can put the child’s name on a bib, beach poncho and superhero cape.
We hear you’ve recently added refurbished furniture
Yes! Serendipity is excited to announce that we now offer custom, refinished furniture pieces. We feature two experienced artisans: David-Max and VintageTWIST. Both provide high quality work, that completely transform pieces that were ready for the curb, giving them a second chance and bringing new life.
Business Roundup: Artisan boutique makes new home in Wickford village
Serendipity, an artisan boutique, has moved to a new location at 3 Main St. in Wickford, a mere four-minute walk from its former Brown Street location, where the business opened less than a year ago.
Owner Melissa Beckwith said the store’s new location will help the business thrive. Beckwith, an artist, purchased the former Madge and Moby Gifts of Whimsy last April and changed the name and the concept.
“I decided to go with [local art] because you get a different kind of uniqueness in the purchase,” Beckwith said. “It’s not something you can get at Christmas Tree Shops for $5. That was the kind of experience I wanted with the store for gifts.”
Handmade jewelry, custom glassware, beer-bottle candles, pillows, rustic birdcages, fabric bowls, wooden signs, pet collars and other accessories are among the items available for purchase. Her jewelry line, Missy and Me – started with her mother, Lisa, in 2012 – offers earrings and bracelets.
Photo: Michael Derr
Melissa Beckwith, owner of Serendipity, is pictured in the store’s new location at 3 Main St. in Wickford.
By Marylou Butler
There is a sweet new boutique in Wickford where truly unique items await you. Serendipity, an adorable shop opened by Melissa Beckwith, is a little gem. Beckwith, who started her jewelry line Missy & Me in 2012, started fulfilling a long time dream when she opened her own store in April. With a keen eye, she has brought in very different handmade items from over 25 local artists as well as Etsy artists from around the country.
Items range from the sweet – tooth fairy pillows – to offbeat – bizarrely beautiful photos of poisonous plants, taken by the state’s only toxicologist. In between there are pieces to suit any taste or décor as well as perfect gifts for every occasion. In addition to her own beautiful earrings and necklaces, there are chunky silver cuffs with stones, intriguing rope pendants and gorgeous bracelets made from bent silver spoons. Serendipity also carries bling for the puppies in your life. There is a line of handmade collars and leashes with fantastic colors and patterns such as anchors and pirates.
Interesting fabric items abound including silk screened tote bags, hand- sewn bags for jewelry storage, wallets and checkbook covers as well as fun headbands. A wide selection of unusual reversible fabric bowls in several sizes offers great desktop or countertop storage. There are rough-hewn birdhouses and wine racks, fairy doors and mosaic garden rocks for your house or yard and funky accent lighting set inside liquor bottles.
Serendipity also carries a fascinating collection called Moonglow. These silver charms represent different phases of the moon. If you have an important date to memorialize, Melissa can tell you which phase the moon was in and you will have an awesome way to represent it. And they glow in the dark! So many treasures to see in every corner of Serendipity. Make it your good fortune to stop by soon. Page 48
A Gem of a Shop
Marvelous pieces of luck (and jewelry) in Wickford
"Melissa Beckwith is excited to announce the April 1 opening of Wickford's newest boutique, Serendipity. Located at 23 Brown Street, Serendipity offers handmade jewelry, gifts and home accessories. Stop in and meet Melissa today!" Page 14