The misconception that shops Stonington Borough are pricey is fading – and rightfully so.
One store in particular has long distinguished itself as a place to find attractive, affordable gifts. A.K. Dasher Jewelry at 141 Water St., in the heart of the borough’s historic commercial district, is a friendly local store with the competitive edge of a national company. It features one of the largest displays of sterling silver jewelry in New England at prices ranging 50% to 75% off of normal retail. Literally thousands of sterling jewelry designs are priced to make customers smile.
Owner and local entrepreneur, Ray Mercer, describes the concept behind A.K. Dasher as “stress-free jewelry.” Sterling silver jewelry that is not only beautiful, but fun and affordable as well. This popular formula has met with success in all his stores. Mercer is also the owner and creative mind behind Molly Morgan Jewelry in Seaside, Oregon and Lila Drake Jewelry in Port Townsend, Washington. Each store offers the same great prices and large inventory, but still retains their own unique personality. For 16 years, A.K. Dasher Jewelry has managed to delight and surprise its customers in Stonington Borough.
Mercer explains the competitive pricing finds its roots in the combined buying power of his three high-volume stores. Always on the lookout for the odd and unusual, he is a well-known personality at major jewelry events all around the United States. His aggressive buying style, bargaining skills, decades of cultivating friendly contacts and solid capital base allows him to purchase jewelry at lower prices than many competitors. Ray goes on to say once the jewelry is purchased his markup is typically less than the usual industry standards. “Pay less and sell for less” is a motto that creates great bargains for consumers. The pricing is so attractive that A.K. Dasher has never had to run a sale since it first opened its doors nearly two decades ago. Why? Because their normal every day prices are already equivalent to a typical 50%- to 75%-off sale.
One of the key ways to judge a store is by its staff. A.K. Dasher prides itself on its friendly, enthusiastic employees. The store’s sales associates not only like jewelry; there’s also a feeling of fun in the air which accompanies people who enjoy their work. In A.K. Dasher it’s all about you, the shopper, and the sales staff’s desire to please. Visit the store and you’ll hear the staff offering numerous tips on jewelry selection and gifts. It isn’t unusual to see a sales associate wearing jewelry from the store. (They can’t resist the bargains either.)
The sterling jewelry designs range from classic to cutting- edge with most pieces handmade or hand-finished. When it comes to unusual jewelry, there are always unique pieces on hand as well. Oftentimes a large amount of loose stones are purchased such as moonstone, labradorite, dendrite opal, larimar, amber, turquoise, seraphinite, amethyst, garnet, citrine, peridot, blue topaz, lapis, onyx, tiger’s eye, and quartz, just to name a few. These loose stones are shipped to highly skilled artisans located around the world to create unique earrings, pendants, rings, bracelets and necklaces for the stores. Since the sterling is made to fit the stone, not the stone calibrated to fit the jewelry, the results are beautiful; hundreds of one-of-a-kind pieces. This novel formula was created to ensure that A.K. Dasher Jewelry and its sister stores always have unique pieces in stock. And again, since no middleman is involved, all the jewelry is offered at extremely competitive prices.
A.K. Dasher Jewelry is also known for its selection of Italian-made sterling chains. Many popular designs are represented such as box, rope, figaro, snake, popcorn, and round magic, to name a few. Keen negotiation skills along with volume buying for three stores enables the low prices shoppers have come to appreciate. For example, the ever-popular 18-inch sterling box chain is currently being offered for only $7.85.
A.K. Dasher Jewelry offers a whimsical line of unusual gifts as well. Mermaid, octopus and other seaside-related figurines round out this popular feature. A.K. Dasher Jewelry also is an authorized Furrybones dealer. These adorable and highly collectable figurines represent a wide selection of characters from the animal kingdom and make fun gifts for only $8.85.
Of course, another attraction is A.K. Dasher Jewelry’s location – adjacent to beautiful homes, quaint streets, popular restaurants and eclectic shops. Perfect for a day trip with both friends and family.
Visit A.K. Dasher Jewelry and discover for yourself a store as unique as Stonington Village itself.
A.K. Dasher Jewelry is located at 141 Water St., Stonington. For more information, call 860-535-1774