New jewelry store targets younger audience in Stillwater

Ashley Gillespie repairs a strand of beads at Allure in Stillwater Nov. 1. (Gazette staff photo by Jonathan Young)

Ashley Gillespie repairs a strand of beads at Allure in Stillwater Nov. 1. (Gazette staff photo by Jonathan Young)

 

A new jewelry store in downtown Stillwater is trying to cater to a younger, less traditional audience.

Allure by Greaton’s, which opened at the end of October at 421 Main Street, doesn’t feel like a traditional jewelry store. A far cry from the glitzy, cookie-cutter designs of major jewelers, Allure’s interior sports  a clean, modern look, with nods to the past thanks to the old building’s architecture and one vintage-focused display case.

“We’re going for kind of a younger, funner ambience,” Vice President Reggie Gillespie said. “Jewelry somehow, I feel, has gotten the stigma of being boring or only for rich people. But nice jewelry is really for everyone.”

Nowadays, Gillespie observed, people spend a lot of money on smart phones and other gadgets that become obsolete in a few years. Fine jewelry, he said, is not only beautiful but is also an investment that has outperformed the dollar.

“Each piece is really a work of art,” he said. “We’d like to bring back the allure of jewelry.”

A vintage-focused display case at Allure by Greaton's in Stillwater. (Gazette staff photo by Jonathan Young)

A vintage-focused display case at Allure by Greaton’s in Stillwater. (Gazette staff photo by Jonathan Young)

Reggie and his wife Ashley Gillespie, a young couple, are taking over and expanding the Gillespie family business, Greaton’s Jewelers, located in New Richmond, Wis.

Reggie Gillespie’s grandfather opened Greaton’s in 1950 as a jewelry and sporting goods store, where customers could buy a diamond ring or rifle. When big box retailers conquered the sporting goods industry, Greaton’s began selling cameras alongside its jewelry instead.

In 1973, Reggie Gillespie’s mother began running the New Richmond store, and she transformed it into a jewelry and gift shop. Now she’s stepping back as Reggie and Ashley take the reins.

Keeping with tradition, the Gillespies are offering a secondary product at Allure: Intelligent Nutrients, a line of organic health and beauty products from the creator of Aveda.

“We’re the only ones in Stillwater who have it,” Reggie Gillespie said.

The product made sense for the couple to carry because, up until a year ago when they started working at Greaton’s full time, both Reggie Ashley worked as Aveda-trained stylists.

Allure represents a departure from Greaton’s New Richmond location.

“Our other story is very classic looking,” Reggie Gillespie said.

While the New Richmond store has come to rely heavily on repair work for its business, the Stillwater location places more emphasis on being a showroom, though it also accepts repair work.

The Gillespies were drawn to Stillwater because they see downtown as a vibrant area full of art and culture.

“There’s a lot of people in downtown Stillwater,” Reggie Gillespie said.

He and his wife hope their approach will encourage people to come back to the store for more than just an engagement ring.

Allure carries a wide range of products and prices, but it specializes in diamonds and fine colored stones. It also seeks to stock a unique selection, including many one-of-a-kind, custom pieces.

“We look for things that you’re not going to find at another jewelry store,” Ashley Gillespie said.

The couple believes that’s important.

“Jewelry is an investment,” Reggie Gillespie said. “If your friend has the same thing, that’s not cool.”

Because jewelry is an investment, the Gillespies believe it’s important to have a knowledgeable, honest professional to guide you in the selection process. With Greaton’s track record, they say, people can trust them for help. The also offer free inspection and cleaning for any piece of jewelry, regardless of where it was purchased.

Currently the store is open Tuesday through Sunday and is closed Monday. For complete store hours and other information, go to allurebygreatons.com.

Contact Jonathan Young at jonathan.young@ecm-inc.com

up arrow