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In With the Noo

Jennifer D'Angelo sits in an armchair on the sales floor of her Mission shop, Nooworks, as the late afternoon sun gives way to a crisp fall chill. She's the picture of California entrepreneur, blonde hair pulled back in a messy knot and hugging her knees up to her well-loved, gray Heather Mickey Mouse t-shirt. I comment on her slacks, slim-fitting with the classic engineer striping, and she puts her feet down, slapping her things.

"Railroad jeans!" she says with earnest effervescence, giving name to a new trouser currently on the shelves. "I like to wear things for a month and make sure there are no surprises!"

With a background in product design and a knack for making contacts in the Bay Area arts community, D'Angelo has been operating Nooworks, her clothing and accessories boutique, for six years; collaborating with visual artists on graphic designs to print onto the store's wares. Nooworks, named for her Westie, Noo Noo, sells women's clothing, men's and kid's t-shirts, and simple home accessories in a sunny former gallery space on Valencia that could easily be mistaken for a repurposed storefront church.

"I was wearing this shirt with a picture of Noo Noo while bartending, and a woman from Minnie Wilde was like, 'I like that shirt, where'd you get it?' I started selling t-shirts to her and it expanded from there. With my product design degree, it was easy to figure out how to manufacture other things."

Those other things became purses, jewelry, throw pillows, and a special set of cocktail tumblers for the holidays. The glasses proved to be difficult to manufacture domestically, but D'Angelo found a way. Almost nothing at NooWorks comes from outside the Bay Area, with a substantial portion made in-house.
Nooworks' dresses, leggings, pants, and tops are displayed on wood planks salvaged from Urban Ore and built with D'Angelo's own two hands. Almost every fixture, even the cast iron dress forms, is on casters, for maximum mobility and endless floor plan changes. Even the ancient cash register, a beige metal punch button behemoth, came from a guy in North Beach via Craigslist.

The floor plan of Nooworks changes every three months when new artwork and the accompanying design collaborations go up. "I'm in this space to help promote other artists. You know?" D'Angelo says, smiling. "There's all these awesome people to work with, and it's just so nice to have a place to showcase them properly."
The ease and approachability of Nooworks' apparel are essential, and D'Angelo keeps every piece in her store pleasing to the touch and easy on the wallet, with almost nothing over $100. Every t-shirt goes through a soft bath, coming out velvety-smooth when the process is finished. She wants everything soft and comfortable; something you live your life in. "A big thing for me is that it's fun. I didn't go to school for fashion. I just like to look nice and have fun. It's not silk chiffon," she says reassuringly. "It's okay. Have fun."

NOO WORKS
395 Valencia St.
nooworks.com