Who would have thought that a liquor store could become a jewelry store? Patch interviewed Todd Iaquessa, owner of Christo Jewelers. Find out more about what Clinton's oldest jewelry store is all about:
How long have you lived in Clinton: We have lived in Clinton 16 years.
How long has Christo Jewelers been in business: We celebrated 26 years in March.
How did Christo Jewelers get its name: It is a combination of my brother's name and mine. Chris and Todd = Christo
History of the business: My father George Iaquessa actually started the business 25 years ago as a retirement hobby while still running a liquor store they owned called B & C Spirits. He would sell a small selection of different types of jewelry from a back room in the liquor store. Eventually the demand for jewelry grew by leaps and bounds and he sold the liquor store and opened a small store on Stanton Road in Clinton that had barely enough room for three small showcases, a desk and a small safe. I became involved with the business one day at a time and then eventually stayed working side by side with my dad. The store quickly grew and two moves later we settled into this current location where we have been for 15 years.
How many family members are in the business? Currently it is only myself but we consider Mari Lee (my sales manager) part of the family. She has been with us five years and has brought so much to the business and to the family alike. Her personable manner and easy going attitude keep the customers coming back because she makes them feel like they are more than just customers. She has a strong work ethic and passion for the business that is second to none.
What do you sell and what services to you offer: We sell fine jewelry, GIA certified diamonds, and an extensive line of custom bridal designs in 14K white and yellow gold as well as platinum. We also carry the ever popular Chamilia and Trollbeads, as well as fine jewelry lines such as ELLE, Majorica, Nomination, and various others. We also do jewelry repair - no job is too small or too large. We replace watch batteries at very reasonable prices and we also do custom jewelry, just to name a few things.
What is in high demand these days? Our Bridal and Diamond engagement business is booming as well as Chamilia and Trollbeads.
What makes Christo Jewelers unique: I believe it is our customer service, as cheesy as that may sound. We are very honest and fair with our pricing and we welcome everyone with a smile and obvious enthusiasm to become your jeweler of choice. We get to know our customers, their lives, the people and issues important to them. We want to build relationships - not just a customer base.
What do you like best about town: I like the smallness of it and how there seems to be six degrees of separation from everyone you meet, if that makes any sense. Everyone knows everyone and I think that's important.
What do you least like about town: The lack of an actual aesthetically pleasing downtown area or center of town. Something needs to be done to improve that.
Fondest memory of town: I believe my fondest memories are tied into the summer concerts on the green and the fairs and festivals in the fall. These are the times when you get to see all your friends, neighbors and customers, some of which are both, in a relaxed atmosphere enjoying the nice things this town has to offer.
Any personal thoughts you'd like to share: We would like to thank all our loyal customers through the years from the beginning of our business until present day and, to all our new customers, welcome to the family.
Christo Jewelers |215 East Main Street | 860-669-2145 | www.christo-jewelers.com