With the town in the doldrums over the growing number of empty stores on Franklin Avenue, Joyce Heaton’s smile brings a ray of positive energy. Heaton is finally realizing the dream she has been working towards since 2004 when she bought the building between Babette’s and Aurelia. In fact Joyce Heaton is bullish about Millbrook’s future. “It is amazing the good will I am feeling from fellow shop keepers, local residents and some of our weekenders who stop by to wish me luck. I thank them and let them know how happy we will be to see them again once we open on July 30.”
Millbrook’s new jewelry store is unlike the impersonal retail chain stores you find at malls. Heaton has a very clear vision for the shop she plan to manage herself. She will feature estate jewelry, an inspiring collection of vintage engagements rings, hand crafted pieces, an exceptional collection of fine pearls from Australia, and the works of talented local silver and gold smiths. She will offer high end services such as in house custom jewelry repairs as well as appraisals and “Jewelry Box Assessments.” (Bring in your old jewelry and she will give you an honest assessment of the value. If you want to sell, she will offer to take the pieces she believes she can sell on consignment.)
Heaton has been collecting jewelry for over twenty years, buying much of her private collection at auctions and estate sales. As a young woman she worked at Zimmer Brothers Jewelers in Poughkeepsie and learned the retail side. As a serious collector she studied the history of jewelry and learned to recognize the origins and periods of individual pieces. Joyce took courses and got her AJP certification (Accredited Jewelry Professional). She also worked with a North Carolina jeweler to learn the business of selling jewelry on the web and is in the process of constructing a website that will soon be offering jewelry for sale on line. (www.JEHeatonJewlers.com). Sign up and get private sale invitations by email.
For her private collection she frequented Whitworth Jewelers in Kingston, to work with their talented bench jeweler, Glen Stingel who is known for his quality repairs and the custom jewelry that he creates from both new and old stones. Last January, the owner informed Joyce that she was moving south and wanted to sell her inventory. Joyce bought her favorite pieces, many of the fixtures and above all got Stingel to come to practice his art in Millbrook.
In addition to Stingel, antique jewelry dealer, Meryle Koblenz, who years ago was at Millbrook’s Village Antique Center, has taken space at Heaton’s. The shop will also carry the artistic collection of Tom Herman of Seven Finger Jewelers.
Heaton’s is a great new retail offering that should attract lovers of fine jewelry to the village. While they are here, they might also browse through the antique shops, visit the boutiques, have some lunch or even buy a book. After all, Millbrook is still open for business. And if we want to keep it that way we need to support our local retailers.