Photos by Stephanie C. Olsen
Aja Amontea is the founder and owner of Fig.A, a new women's shop in Downtown Hingham. We recently had the chance to catch up with her about the new shop and the inspiration for it. Fun fact, Aja's husband grew up in Hingham and his parents used to own Amontea's restaurant (an old Hingham Italian favorite where Tosca is now located). Fig.A is a beautiful space that aims to celebrate (and spoil!) local women. Stop on by and give Aja a warm welcome to Downtown!
Hingham, meet Aja!
Where did the name Fig. A come from and what does it mean?
fig. a (read: figure a) is a nod to botanical and scientific illustrations that are noted fig. a, b, c etc. More importantly it signifies the importance in making personal wellness a priority - "fig." (body) "a" (first). We are all about celebrating femininity and encouraging self-care, self-love, individuality, beauty and joy.
What is the address and what is the shop near?
102 North Street next door to Henry's Shoe Repair. It's near everything!
When is the grand opening date?
We had our soft opening Aug. 29 to 31. We are planning a "grand opening" party before the end of the month and will announce that soon.
Why did you decide to open a women's shop and why downtown Hingham?
I have been a SAHM for the past six years and spent a lot of time daydreaming about having my own business. I am also a club soccer coach, currently for GPS Galway. I knew that I wanted to do something that empowered or at the very least supported women and girls. Downtown Hingham has always been special and right now is such an exciting time for the area. I have been a huge fan and regular at many of the shops and restaurants and now I am so excited to call them neighbors. It's an awesome community.
What does the shop offer -- ambience, products and items sold there?
The feedback has been "it's so calm and peaceful in here" which is just the vibe we were going for! We carry women's and (soon) girls' active wear, casual fashion, candles, clean/nontoxic skincare and beauty, CBD products, jewelry and accessories. It's important that the brands we carry are eco and/or socially conscious. We have many female-founded and female-run brands.
What is unique about the shop and the items sold there?
I hope it's a place that makes you feel good and that you want to shop AND hang out in. In terms of products, we offer more fashion-forward studio activewear and more of a variety of it. Most of us live in leggings and sweats. We want to encourage moving away from disposable fashion and embrace wearing quality activewear and elevated, comfortable basics. You will be able to discover new brands, luxurious self-care products, and totally different styles of jewelry that won't be restocked. I plan to rotate certain designers to encourage individuality.
What's the decor like?
Serene and feminine. I plan to collaborate with wellness enthusiasts in our community, so the shop needed to have a studio feel. I think we successfully achieved this and I certainly didn't do it alone. I had the help of my husband, Adam Amontea, who is the President of Cafco Construction and Lindsay Kelly from JaneMade who nailed my branding vision and color palette. Lindsay is so talented and just happens to live in Hingham!
What do you think will make this a popular place to stop by?
It's a place of discovery and connection. You can find beautiful things, but I hope you will also connect with beautiful souls through us. We will host wellness-focused events once we are settled.
Can you share a little about your retail and other background?
People keep asking me if I have a background in retail and I always answer no. I have an extremely varied background. I started my studies in visual arts and transitioned to writing and media studies. I then worked in marketing communications and events, lots of restaurant jobs and I was always playing or coaching soccer. However, the other day I realized that one of my first jobs in high school was at Thom McAn in the Hanover Mall. I proceeded to work two other jobs in that mall. I was a Gap girl for years and did a very brief stint at Anthropologie in L.A. So maybe I have always been drawn to retail. I like to think I have always had my own individual style. I am pretty good at shopping and chatting, too.
Would you like to share something about your husband's parents owning the former Amontea's where Tosca is now located?
I wish I knew! Adam grew up in Hingham but I did not. I love hearing stories they share about their good ol' days there. They still have business cards and signs from the restaurant. Adam and I actually met at Stars. We were both just out of college. I was a server and he was a customer.