OLD GREENWICH, Conn. – Bennett Jewelers will always sell the timeless pieces -- diamonds, pearls and wedding bands. The fourth-generation to run the store, Alyson and Laurie Bennett, are also conscious of keeping up with new and emerging styles to satisfy customers in the venerable Old Greenwich business.
“We’re very conscious of new trends and what’s hot in the new season,’’ Laurie said. “We’ve brought in some new fashion lines and are looking to bring more. We’re still the same jeweler we always were. Anything you might be looking for we have. We’re also looking for new things that will interest customers.”
Laurie said two new lines have been especially popular. Ti Sento Milano is a “beautiful sterling silver line with synthetic stones,’’ according to Laurie. “All the stones are set by diamond setters,’’ she said. “It’s not machine manufactured. It’s beautiful for bridal parties and weddings in general. It’s a fantastic look.”
The other new line Bennett said was popular with shoppers is Mi Moneda. “It translates to ‘My Coin,’’’ she said. “It’s a collection of beautiful long neck chains with a bezel hanging from the end of it. Then there is a collection of coins inside the bezel that can be switched out. The look is fantastic and the price point is great.”
Bennett said keeping abreast of emerging styles and trends can be challenging. It is one of the many aspects of the business that makes it interesting, she said.
“There’s so much about jewelry that can stay traditional,'' she said. "You’ll always see some trends come and go. You have to keep on top of it. For someone who doesn’t care about it, it could be tedious. My sister is on top of that all the time. In some ways it’s challenging, but it’s interesting and fun too.”
Bennett Jewelers started in Greenwich in 1945, making it one of the oldest merchants in town. James C. Bennett founded the business with his son, Jack. Wyatt Bennett, Jack’s soon son, took over in 1981 and turned over daily operations to Laurie and Alyson in 2006. Wyatt is still in the store at 254 Sound Beach Ave. each day and is well-known and regarded for his clock repair.
His daughters took diverse paths toward their own jewelry careers. Alyson started working at the store part-time and joined on a full-time basis after college. Laurie spent 10 years in corporate jobs and then got a degree in pastry and baking before joining the store full-time.
“When my father said he wanted to retire, he said he wanted us to do it together,’’ Laurie said. “We had had the conversation a few years earlier and we agreed that when the time came we would to do it together. I thought I had another five years. It was much earlier than we thought. But we said sure, let’s do it.”
Laurie describes Bennett as the “ultimate family business.” “It’s in your blood,’’ she said. “We spent a lot of time in the back of the shop when we were growing up. Now, our kids do, too. My sister and I work well together. We sit next to each other all day long. Even on our days off, we hang out and share our children.”
One aspect that has remained true from the time the business started 68 years ago is the family’s appreciation for its customers. “We have a lot of local customers and they’re wonderful,’’ Laurie Bennett said. “We are truly blessed with the people that live around here. I feel lucky to be here.”