Susan Amelia Smith has always been most comfortable around art. Having gone to art school in the mid 1960's, she has expressed herself in many facets of art: making clothes for her children, painting and even crafting her own greeting card line.
In 1980, she found a home in a small store in Wickford Village, Different Drummer (est. 1971), and became its owner in 1989.
Susan has had the same philosophy since purchasing the store- she wants all customers to find something appealing whether they intend to spend $10 or $100. Because of this, Different Drummer carries many one-of-a-kind items: some beautiful, some silly, always unique.
Susan has a wonderful capacity for making strangers feel like neighbors, new friends feel like old friends, and community feel like family. She is always excited to see out-of-town customers, many of whom come back year after year just to say hi.
Amy V.K. aka "Noelle"
This is Noelle. Noelle hides in the dark corners of the shop and occasionally plays with the jewelry and with power tools (but not usually at the same time). She also runs the website.
Manager, Boss, Professional Decoupager.
Owner, Artist, Photographer Extraordinaire.
Susan Amelia Smith
Amelia Smith moved with her parents to Wickford, RI, when she was still a child. Her mother’s original involvement in Different Drummer formed part of the larger background of her adolescent years, and it wasn’t until she was out of college that she began to take a more active role in the business.
Amelia’s backgrounds in biomedical illustration and theater give her a ranging interest in aesthetic and design, and she loves that at the Drummer she gets to use her creativity every day. She is the genius behind the amazing Christmas windows, as well as other displays, often building elaborate pieces in her garage.
Now Amelia runs the store on a day to day basis while her mother keeps the bigger wheel moving. She is always on hand to help pick out that special gift, for oneself or a loved one, and has an amazing ability to know where that hidden treasure is that might be just exactly what you’re looking for.
Voted "most likely to injure herself in the workplace."
With its oversized nine-pane windows at the Rockwellian intersection of Main and Brown Streets always designed in head-turning seasonal fashion, this boutique draws serious shoppers and curious meanderers alike. Handcrafted jewelry is a staple with everything from coastal-inspired pieces to Native American styles by Desert Moon, Spanish pieces from Uno de 50 and coveted Trollbeads. Paper lanterns, handcrafted pottery, stained glass, adorable Christmas tree ornaments, home decor and artful pieces, kitchen goods (who doesn't want a whimsical Zoku popsicle mold?), cards and stationary, and artwork pepper the shop from wall to wall. Basically, everything you need to create a warm, whimsical space can be found under this roof.
7 W. Main Street, Wickford. 294-4867,
SO Rhode Island, Issue 97, page 35
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