Silver Touch started off as a home business and has grown into a successful independent gift and jewelry store. It is a leading retailer in downtown Bethel, CT, and as many other stores have come and gone, Silver Touch remains. The retail store has been open for almost 20 years and Lorraine Schramek, the owner and founder, has lived in Bethel for 30 years. She says it’s “nice to do business in a small town.” She began her at-home business while being a stay at home mom for her three sons. She would host jewelry events, similar to trunk shows, and attend house parties to sell jewelry before opening Silver Touch in 1999.
Primarily a silver jewelry store, Silver Touch has expanded throughout the years to include more gifts ranging from home décor to fashion accessories. Lorraine listens to what customers want and says that she, “mostly focuses on the store.” She also gets involved in the town by supporting local community organizations such as the St. Mary’s Church Christmas Gala and often donates gift cards for various fundraisers. One of her biggest in-store events is her anniversary party. She hosts it every year in October and offers discounts, raffles, and, most importantly, wine and cheese. Special occasions and donations to the locale have built a wide range of customers for Silver Touch.
When asked how Lorraine gained success as a retailer she replied by, “focusing on customer service.” Silver Touch does little things for their customers, such as complimentary gift wrapping and offering a loyalty program, that have kept customers coming back and new ones coming in. The loyalty program gives shoppers gift cards for their birth month and adds them to the store’s e-mail marketing list. In addition to customer perks, Silver Touch tries to “gear merchandise toward trends with classic styles” in order to “appeal to all age groups.” Make sure you are offering a variety of products that multiple generations will enjoy. Lorraine’s final piece of advice for other retailers is to make sure your store “revolves around the customer.”