GEM CRAFT BOUTIQUE- A SOHO-STYLE SHOP WITH A CIVIC CONSCIENCE
Driving along Glen Head Road eastward from four corners its tough to miss this jewel with its bright warm window displays inviting passersby to stop on in. Gem Craft Boutique, open since June 2012, was inspired by similar shops in Soho and represents the fruition of owner Deborah Orgel-Gordon's life's work experiences, from helping out her mother as a young girl in a Ridgewood jewelry shop to her 16 years as a travel consultant that gave her the opportunity to "discover fabulous finds to share with customers and friends." It is that enjoyment of sharing new discoveries that has given rise to the boutique's eclectic mix of offerings.
Although a relatively small shop, its easy to lose one's sense of time perusing the wide assortment of crafts, jewelry, and accessories. It is the perfect place to go when you're looking for that perfect, but don't quite know what it is, gift for mom or your teenager daughter or even your spouse, as well as the co-worker whose name you've drawn for the office secret Santa. It's unlikely that after browsing Gem Craft Boutique you will not have found it.
Ms. Gordon enthusiastically promotes local and Long Island artists and artisans, offering their hand-crafted creations for sale on consignment. These items include, among many other gems, hand-painted martini glasses, jewelry, hand-made soap, pens whittled from wood, and stationery adorned with photographs, as well as wallets and crafted I-pad cases and other accessories. 75% of her product she says, is "made in the USA."
Ms. Gordon not only champions local artisans but also local businesses in general, and has done so by organizing many cash mob events for restaurants and shops both in Glen Head and in Sea Cliff. “When you shop locally, your money is pumped back into the local economy creating more tax revenue, and a thriving business district helps boost residential property values," Ms. Gordon said this past September. "Shopping locally also creates local jobs. And, many of our local businesses give back to the community through donations to our schools and civic organizations.”
As corresponding secretary of the Glen Head Glenwood Business Association for a little more than year now, she has worked with the other GHGWBA leaders to revitalize the organization, with the group growing three-fold since her coming on board - from about 35 members to more than 100. Ms. Gordon was a driving force behind this past September's Glen Head Farmers Market, and has helped bring in speakers and organize association events at local restaurants.
The business association role she seems to embrace most, however, is in assisting members who are looking to promote their businesses using social media, in particular Facebook and Twitter. "You might say I'm a social media 'geek'," Ms. Gordon, who manages at least a dozen Facebook pages and five twitter accounts, explained.
Business Association President Tucker Tongue said "Deb is completely involved in both the community and the Business Association, taking the organization to a whole new level not only in terms of increasing membership, but also in embracing 21st century technology. She is a valuable asset through her dedication to keeping business local and supporting the community in which she lives and works."
Ms. Gordon's civic mindedness also extends to how she operates Gem Craft. A supporter of many local charities and civic groups, such as Relay for Life and the Glenwood Woman's Club, Ms. Gordon often hosts special shopping days at her store, from which 20% of proceeds are donated to various groups. Playing down her altruism, she explains, "I try to give back whenever I can."
Gemcraft Boutique is located at 58 Glen Head Road, one block west of the Railroad station. Click here for a link to Gemcraft's website.