Know Your Mom and Pop: MUSE
Gift-giving has seemingly become a thing of the past, with gift cards becoming the quick (though perhaps thoughtless) fix to guarantee a happy receiver. Even when an actual gift is given, it’s usually a name brand plucked out of a chain store. MUSE, featuring a variety of products for all occasions, is hoping to bring the effort and care back into gift-giving. The fact that they are celebrating their 10th year is a testament to them being a small business success.
Located in Warren, MUSE features a wide selection of jewelry, engagement rings and wedding bands, art and items for babies, as well as some items that would generically fall under the “gifts” category. Owner Elizabeth Jarvis fulfilled a childhood dream when she opened MUSE, a contemporary jewelry and gift shop.
“I had thought about owning a shop for years and have been obsessed with jewelry my whole life, so that part was obvious,” Jarvis said of her decision to open MUSE. “My goal was to offer a highly curated collection of the best American handcrafted jewelry to the public,” she adds.
Jarvis did a good amount of pre planning before MUSE opened its doors in 2006. She talked to a lot of local shop owners, making sure to ask all the questions she had and listening to the advice that they gave her, especially when they discussed the challenges that they faced. She even took a class on how to write a business plan, which helped her tie up loose ends and think of details that would have probably been overlooked otherwise. Along the way, Jarvis made the conscious decision to only carry products produced by American artists.
“The decision to carry all independent American jewelers came about as I realized my true calling is to be an advocate for artists,” she says. “My goal was to offer a highly curated collected of the best American handcrafted jewelry to the public. I wanted to support American artists. To have this realized is nothing short of a dream.”
Jarvis handpicks the artists who she would like to work with. She looks first at the quality and design of the products. That is the most important piece to her. She doesn’t focus on current trends, instead offering pieces that are beautiful and timeless. Featured artists include Heather Guidero, LeeAnn Herreid, Darriend Segal, Caria Caruso, Hannah Blount and Christina Goodman, as well as Jarvis herself. She has a knack for finding and working with artists who are icons in their field.
MUSE has an online store for those who aren’t able to make the trek to the Warren storefront. The stock from the online store differs from what the brick-and-mortar store offers. The online store has a much smaller collection, but it is more readily available. Some perks to the online store include creating an account that will save payment and contact information and being able to save a wish list. Searching and ordering online is as simple as it should be.
Jarvis aims to give customers a shopping experience in a friendly and peaceful environment. Being located in the emerging boon of Warren just adds to the shopping experience and gives her a unique support system from the other business owners.
“Warren business owners are generally very supportive of each other,” she states. “I think we share a ‘the more the merrier’ attitude, not one of competition. I think that genuine rooting for each other is really starting to pay off for us businesses and the town in general.”
To celebrate being in business for 10 years, Jarvis is offering up some sales and events. There is currently a 50% art sale off prints and they are planning a big raffle giveaway for the fall and launching exclusive jewelry designs by some of MUSE’s favorite designers.
Jarvis hopes to grow their wedding collection and custom offerings in the future, which is more than bright for MUSE.
“Our customers love to repurpose their jewelry and have an artist make them something new out of something old.”
MUSE is located at 279 Water Street in Warren. The store is open every day from 11am – 5pm. You can call 401-289-2150 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org. MUSE can be found on Facebook and Instagram. Their website is musehandcrafted.com.