New jewelry store going strong | AspenTimes.com

New jewelry store going strong

Steve Benson

Photo: Paul Conrad Robin Smith, left, and Debbie Norvell await customers in Meridian Jewlers.

When Hyde Park Jewelers closed last December, Robin Smith decided to utilize the existing location and customers to open her own jewelry store.

Meridian Jewelers has been operating in the former Hyde Park location at 525 East Cooper since early November. And while it’s still early, Smith said she feels her store is poised to succeed.

Smith began working for Hyde Park in 1998 and was eventually promoted to store manager. When the shop folded, she was initially upset, she said, but eventually it became a “blessing in disguise.”

Over the years, she had developed close relationships with her employees and clients, and she knew there was an opportunity to expand on those relationships with a new business.

Two of her three employees have stayed on with her, and several of her old clients have stuck by her side, even supporting her in her business development. She said most of her regular customers are a mix of locals, second-home owners and returning vacationers.

“They egged us on to do it. They said, ‘You can do it. We’d love to shop with you as a locally owned business,'” Smith said. “We’re stunned with how supportive people are; it’s unbelievable.”

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Furthermore, as a local business owner, Smith feels she has a leg up on her corporate counterparts.

“[Businesses] are much more successful if you have your finger on the pulse of Aspen as an owner here,” she said.

And Smith said she wants to maintain and expand the local feel.

“We’re just trying to make it warm and fun and take some of the stiffness out of buying jewelry,” she said. “You can have a good time in the store.”

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