Published: 1/4/2020 2:58:47 PM
Modified: 1/4/2020 2:58:21 PM
EASTHAMPTON — For more than two years, Marianne Gregersen has been the owner of The Boutique Easthampton, a crystal, jewelry and gift shop that sold everything from candles to blankets. And for most of that time, she has observed a sales trend.
“The last two years, the sales have been mostly rocks and jewelry,” she said.
For that reason, Gregersen has rebranded her store as Easthampton Crystal and Mineral and will be doing a soft opening of the remodeled shop Monday at 11 a.m., with plans for a grand opening the following weekend.
While other items will still be sold, the business will go from 30 percent crystals and minerals and jewelry to 85 percent. Clothing, tea and tarot cards are some of the items that won’t be sold in the space anymore.
The store will sell semiprecious stones, with amethyst, rose quartz and labradorite having been its top sellers in the past.
Gregersen’s interest in stones dates back to her father, who served in the Air Force Reserve when she was growing up in Chicopee, where she now lives with her twin 19-year-old sons. When her father would come back from traveling, she said, he would return with a stone and a label about where it came from. Among other places, he brought back rocks from the Azores, Germany, England and Alaska.
Her father would also pick up quartz with her when they went hiking together in Westfield.
“I have two chunks in the store that he picked up,” she said.
Gregersen spent 27 years working in outdoors advertising and then a year working for Berkshire Bank before she entered the retail business. The impetus for getting into her current line of work was her hobby of collecting vintage jewelry.
“I basically hoarded it,” Gregersen said.
A friend told her that she had enough jewelry to open up her own shop. “So I did,” she said.
Gregersen’s first store was The Boutique Northampton, which lasted for two years, before she relocated to Easthampton.
“I love Easthampton,” said Gregersen, who added that she would like to stay in the space until she retires.
She also said she’s interested in opening up an additional store on Cape Cod in the future.
Gregersen has no employees, although sometimes friends or her sons fill in. “I work on this pretty much day and night,” she said.
Gregersen fixes and refurbishes jewelry, as well as makes her own. She also mines some of her own stones.
“I love being in the dirt,” Gregersen said. “I love swinging a sledgehammer.”
Through her, her friends and sons have gotten into mining, which she does locally. Gregersen digs in off-the-map mines around Southampton and Holyoke, as well as in the Betts Manganese Mine in Plainfield and the Herkimer Diamond Mines in New York.
Gregersen said that she would love to mine in Arkansas. She also shared the story of a trip she took with her sons to the Southwest. While they didn’t mine, they did end up picking up a lot of stones on the way.
“We picked up so many rocks, we had to ship them home,” she said.