chat with a local :: Casey Gallant

casey

With the reach of big-box stores extending past clothing and home goods into high-quality jewelry, we wanted to highlight a hometown jeweler known for providing unique collections and major designers alike, personal, year-round service, and fair prices {plus, we were really impressed by a friend’s recent custom engagement ring and wanted to know more}. Stephen Gallant Jewelers is a family business that has served our community for forty years, so we thought we would help them celebrate their Ruby Anniversary by chatting with Casey Gallant, the second generation proudly making a difference by “shaping the Cape” of the future and putting down roots here.

Tell us about how your family’s business got started.
My dad started Stephen Gallant Jewelers on the Cape 40 years ago this year!  After learning to make a silver ring from a Native American jewelry artist he quit his job as an accountant and started making jewelry on a picnic table in the back yard, and then toured the country with my Mom doing craft shows. When they decided to settle on Cape Cod, Dad opened his store in Orleans, just down the street from where we are now. About 20 years ago we moved to the center of town.

Did you know you would end up in the family business?
I wanted to be Indiana Jones when I grew up. This wasn’t the dream of a four-year-old; I actually went to college to be an archaeologist. I studied Pre-Columbian Latin American History. But partway through school, I decided it wasn’t for me. I kept up with my Spanish studies and focused on film. Since my summers and winter breaks were spent working for Dad, after graduation I went back to school at the Gemological Institute of America in California and earned my Graduate Gemologist Degree. I considered staying out west but I was an East Coast girl at heart so I moved back to the Cape 15 years ago and have been working with Dad since.  There’s also no other store where I would get to do ALL the jobs in jewelry that I love; I get to buy, do display design, create our ads, work with customers, identify gems, and even make a little jewelry.  

What made you settle back on Cape Cod?
I was lucky to have a lot of opportunities to travel and live in some great places: Northern Virginia, Southern California, Spain, Hawaii, New Zealand. I think it made all the difference in deciding to return to Cape Cod. I have gotten to see a lot of what’s out there and choose to come back home.  Now I’m in Chatham, a walk away from downtown and it has been my favorite spot I’ve ever lived. I have two brothers that I am super proud of. Mac is the owner of Local Break in Eastham.{editors’ note: this is one of our favorite spots for elevated pub food and a great beer} He opened four years ago and stays open year round, a feat way out there on the Outer Cape, and a testament to the amazing food and fun atmosphere. My brother Jamie is a globetrotting documentary filmmaker. He and his business partner recently premiered a film they made at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris about the effect of climate change on low-lying islands in the South Pacific. And his other film “The Fox of Bloody Women Island” is touring with the Ocean Film Festival. He will marry his fiancée in Wellfleet this fall.

What’s the difference between going to a local jeweler and a chain store (no pun intended!)?
There is a huge difference when you shop with a local jeweler.  We have a little sign up that says, “The bitterness of poor craftsmanship lingers, long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” It comes down to this: our name is on the box, so when we send something home with the customer, our reputation goes with it. And the thing is, we’re not usually more expensive if you compare us to the same quality of jewelry. Also, I love not having the pressure of working on commission like chain stores do. It’s not important to me how much someone spends, it’s that they leave happy and want to come back again. 

Describe your ideal Cape Cod day off.
My ideal Cape Cod day off usually involves a lighthouse.  I love hiking the breakwater to Wood End in P-town, or paddling the Oyster River out to Stage Harbor Light.  One of my favorite day trips is to take my bike to the Shining Sea Bike Path and ride to the Woods Hole Ferry. It’s a surprisingly inexpensive round trip to Vineyard Haven and then I hit up East Chop and Edgartown Lighthouses and the State Park Beach on Cow Bay is gorgeous.   

What’s coming up next at Stephen Gallant Jewelers?
Come visit us in Orleans May 5th through 7th! We’re having a Trunk Show featuring Rarest Rainbow. It’s a line of Natural Fancy Colored Diamonds in silver with yellow and rose gold accents. The designs are super pretty and the company is based in the US.  I like that it’s a family business just like ours; Jeff, Audrey and their son Kyle. The timing is perfect for Mother’s Day and graduation too!

Follow Stephen Gallant Jewelers on Facebook and Instagram, and stop in to see Casey to learn more about this special small business!

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