Owner Alison Bennett of Bennett’s Fine Jewelry at 107 Central Park Square. Courtesy photo
Bennett’s Fine Jewelry at 107 Central Park Square carries designer jewelry and bridal fashions by Allison-Kaufman company as well as a line of engagement rings by Gabriel & Co. of New York.
Locked display cases glitter with the reflected brilliance of the thousands of tiny faces of gems and diamonds set in silver, gold and platinum. What sets Bennett’s Fine Jewelry apart from the corporate chain jewelry stores becomes increasingly evident the longer you are inside the store. To start with, you receive personal service from someone who has a vested interest in your customer satisfaction – one of the owners: Melanie or Ernie Bennett or their daughter Alison.
During Small Business Saturday, Nov. 29, when shoppers stop in to have their passport stamped, they will find that Bennett’s is offering 15 percent off of fine jewelry and selected artisan pieces and selected gift pieces. The store will donate 5 percent of its proceeds from the day to United Way of Northern New Mexico.
Christmas shoppers will find necklaces with diamond and gem crosses, and Hanukah shoppers will find similarly adorned necklaces with the Star of David. Interspersed with the displays of designer jewelry are displays of custom jewelry created by local artisans. One case features items created from naturally formed sea glass. The range of common to rare colors indicates the age of the glass debris that was shaped by ocean waves and sand into frosted forms. Other cases are filled with jewelry by local artists Moon Dance Design, Casa Del Oso Studio, and Lisa Jo Dunham.
Items in the store range from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars. There are hand-made wine stoppers and pens, bolo ties, money clips, jackknives, and paperweights shaped like diamonds. For $7 to $10, the store offers a variety of cloth jewelry bags with internal pockets for keeping jewelry safe during travel.
Melanie and Ernie started Bennett’s Fine Jewelry in 2007 by test marketing a few items in Ernie’s UPEX store. “We opened with a couple of jewelry cases in front of the UPEX counter to see if there was interest because the other jewelry shop in town had closed,” Melanie said. From there, the couple expanded their store gradually.
Bennett’s offers a jewelry line that is unique for younger children. Little Diva Diamonds are designed to be not too expensive, but still appropriate for grade school and middle school children. Alison Bennett does ear piercing on site and takes extra time to ensure that the child thoroughly understands how to care for her piercing. “Mothers are appreciative of that,” Melanie noted.
The art that adorns the walls is for sale. Created by Jill Shwaiko, the paintings are part of a group of works she based on her enjoyment of studying ancient civilizations and their artwork. The bold red and black works feature sheep petroglyphs representing humility, humor and grandeur.
Another modern art item with a New Mexico flair, hand-blown glass items are displayed throughout the store. There are chilies, pumpkins, vases, platters and bowls.
For shoppers seeking more traditional New Mexico artworks, there is Santa Clara Pueblo pottery by mother-daughter duo Birdell and Pauline Bourdon. The pottery pieces are high quality authentic works. Clint Eastwood owns a pot created by Pauline Bourdon.
Shoppers can have their Small Business Saturday passports stamped beginning on Nov. 29 and continuing all week through Winterfest, Dec. 5 – 7. During Winterfest, Bennett’s will be having an open house with food, discounts and a special fundraiser for Friends of the Shelter.