Carol Noceti has opened a new boutique in downtown Ripon.
Noceti – co-owner of the Stockton 99 Speedway with her husband Tony – has opened the doors of Boutique Couture just four months after opening her first location in Manteca.
Growing up in Santa Clara, she learned much of her work ethic from her grandmother in Riverbank who had her picking strawberries in San Juan Bautista at the age of nine.
“She was a woman who told us to go after our dreams and to be all we could be – that’s what she always told us,” Noceti said. “I have nine brothers and sisters and I am the oldest.”
Fond memories of her grandmother include being taught the homemaking arts from knitting to crochet as well as cooking and baking.
Picking strawberries is how she and her siblings earned extra cash. She said she also did babysitting when she entered her teen years. When she turned 14, and in high school, she went to work at the Red Barn restaurant in Santa Clara to be close to her mom. She worked the register.
From there she graduated early from high school and went to work for Siliconex for eight months. She then was hired by Hewlett Packard where she worked the assembly line and later moved into the purchasing department for a total of five years.
Noceti said she got married and stayed home with her children. While raised Catholic, it was in 1976 that she started teaching Sunday school at a Presbyterian Church in Santa Clara where she met a husband and wife team – Mr. and Mrs. Smethers, more affectionately known as “Mr. S.”
“He had a profound effect on me. He started a program called Youth Focus,” she said, a program that she would emulate later in the Central Valley.
When Noceti moved to Manteca she launched a similar program with a new July Fourth Celebration committee becoming its president as she drew teenage girls into the program. In the early 1990s she followed the lead of the Smethers by creating Manteca Youth Focus to later include Miss Manteca and saw it become a 501 (c-3) non-profit corporation.
She has also headed up the Manteca Cowboys Youth Football League Cheerleaders as well as the Delta Rebels Cheerleaders’ group. She has taught gymnastics to children between ages 4 and 16, also heading up several volunteer fundraising efforts for Stella Brockman School in Manteca.
Her 70-hour work weeks include being the operations manager for the three tracks – including one for go-karts — at the 99 Speedway in Stockton coordinating staff and volunteers’ training and handling customer relations’ duties.
Owning a boutique has been a lifelong dream. She said she wanted a shop where three generations – grandma, mom and daughter – could go together and be inspired by the stock on hand.
“We also have 12 ladies – local artists – who bring us handmade items to sell in our store,” Noceti said.
The stairway to the basement has an “Enchanted Nature” theme mural painted on facing walls and a waterfall at the base of the staircase.
“It’s a place where larger ladies can also find an attractive variety of clothes,” she said.
One of her assistants, Katelyn Johnson, is a singer in the country band Resident Angels doubling as a certified massage therapist at Spa ’56 in Manteca.