In the charming shoreline town of Niantic, at the quieter end of Main Street, Keira Thompson beams from behind the jewelry counter at Black Point Jewelers. This young mother-to-be opened the shop in late May of 2016, after owning a jewelry business in Portland for several years.
“This location was the deciding factor,” she says. “I’ve always loved it here, and my husband and I both love the water, so we decided to move down here.” Thompson’s biggest challenge was making the decision to close an established business. “I couldn’t handle having two locations. And there’s also the cost.”
Thompson was able to get the lease on the newly-built Bayside Building, but then she had to turn the store into the lovely space it is now, including adding flooring, an office, and signage.
Two things in particular make Black Point Jewelers special: they perform all their own jewelry repairs, and their products focus on nautical themes. Thompson emphasizes that price point is also important for her shop. “Most people are scared of the average jewelry store, and think they’ll have to spend a fortune,” she says. “We have items like earrings starting at ten dollars, and we have engagement rings. It’s a wide range of pricing.” In addition to careful and skilled jewelry repair, the inventory of beautiful items is impressive, all hand-selected by Thompson, who holds degrees from SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology, and is GIA-certified in diamonds and diamond grading.
Some of the interesting pieces include Dune Jewelry, which holds a tiny bit of sand from favorite local beaches; MantraBands and Mermaid Memories; Bulova and Pulsar watches; and sterling silver and gold jewelry in many styles. Local designers are also featured, including Niantic Nauticals’ earrings, sea-glass charm bracelets and necklaces; and Copper Knot Designs’ unique, handcrafted pendants inspired by nature, stories and memory.
Additional services at Black Point Jewelers are custom designs, redesigning or renewing existing pieces, personalization and engraving, cleaning, ring resizing, heirloom restoration, and formal or informal jewelry appraisals.
Thompson says, “Everyone is fortunate to have Niantic. It really is a wonderful town and the people are great. There’s the ability to shop locally and you can find a lot.” She admits that it’s a challenge for a small business because of the power of the Internet. “But you’d be surprised,” she adds. “Walk from the Indigo shop at this end of Main Street, all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue. There are so many things on both sides of the street that you can discover in that short distance.” Everything goes back into the local economy, as most of the merchants live locally and shop locally. Thompson smiles. “I’ll be supporting a local preschool soon,” she says.
For Black Point Jewelers, peak shopping is July and August, then the four weeks from Thanksgiving to Christmas. The holiday stroll in November brings out hundreds of people ready to gear up for the holidays. Thompson plans to participate in some of the activities during that busy time of the year.
“Last year we did a Ladies Night which was very popular and successful. We want to do it again,” she says.
The event started at Lillian’s Café with beverages, where shoppers got a sticker to show they were participating. Then about 20 stores offered discounts for those participants. This year’s date will be late November. Look for details online.
Black Point Jewelers is located at 377 Main St., Niantic, CT 06357. For more information, call 860-451-8096 or visit blackpointjewelers.com. Enjoy fantastic local shopping at the Niantic Main Street 14th Annual Holiday Stroll Nov. 25 starting at 3 p.m. This family-friendly day features horse-drawn carriage rides, shops & restaurant specials, holiday music and complimentary hot cider and cocoa on the town green, children’s arts, crafts and games, the 2nd Annual Chili Cook-off, a Smore Station, a “Snow-Flake Drop” featuring discounts and giveaways to local shops and restaurants, and last, but not least, the arrival of Santa on a shiny red fire truck just in time for the annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony beginning at 5 p.m. on Liberty Green in the heart of Niantic Village.