We talked to: Rebekah Brooks
We recently spoke to Rebekah Brooks of Rebekah Brooks jewelry store in Northampton. We were inspired by her passion for her business as well as her positivity about living, owning a business, and raising a family in Northampton.
How long has the store been open? What made you choose to open a retail shop in Northampton?
We lived and worked in New York City for many years before moving to Northampton and had a successful jewelry business selling wholesale for 25 years. We decided to move here when we were ready to start a family, as it’s a wonderful place to raise children, with great schools, close proximity to larger cities, and so many incredible cultural activities. We now have three retail shops--one in Harvard Square, one on Beacon Hill, and the one in Thornes here in Northampton. Our shop in Northampton was our first when we decided to pivot from wholesale to retail so we could have full creative control of our business. There’s a possibility of opening a fourth retail store in New York City in the future as well! We have really been able to make our retail shops what we imagined, with truly unique offerings and a personal touch you won't find at chain retailers.
What do you love/appreciate most about the business community in Northampton?
The business community here is so special because there is a rare and wonderful mix of things that are disappearing in other areas. It has bohemian-artist culture, an intellectual element due to the colleges, and also the farming community & the lifestyle that brings. There are so many different facets, with a downtown that feels like you’re going back in time to that homey, traditional New England setting. The Main St is really unique, and I find it incredible to see how much it continues to thrive and grow. You can count on one hand the cities/towns with such vibrancy and sense of progress. Downtown is consistently busy and buzzing with new shops and restaurants coming in. As a full-service jewelry business that offers repairs, remounts, and appraisals, Northampton understands that we’re old fashioned, have integrity, and are giving customers something you can’t get elsewhere. Our business is the local community, and we love being here.
What do you love/appreciate most about Northampton in general?
It’s relatively uncommon to be a woman jeweler, and Northampton has truly helped us in that way. I love the powerful atmosphere of strong women here, it's empowering. There are so many women-owned businesses, and as owners, we support each other and lift each other up. I really appreciate the diversity in Northampton--there are so many people of all types of backgrounds and we all embrace each other. Our store also reflects and embraces that diversity, as over 50% of our weddings are same sex couples and we love the element of progressiveness and vibrancy that our customers bring to our shop. My other mission is to hire women who will go on to be successful in this field. There’s a niche element to this business that I love and I feel fortunate to be able to pass on my knowledge and experience to other women.
What positive things do you see happening in Northampton?
There is a lot of change happening in Northampton, but I perceive it as positive. Though some businesses are leaving, so many new businesses and opportunities are coming in. I truly feel that the arrival of the dispensaries has been beneficial to Northampton, generating revenue for the city and attracting tourists from out of town. Again, I see a great deal of cultural diversity, both in town and at my kids’ school. Northampton truly accepts and celebrates that diversity, and it’s just part of the way of life here. I see Main Street bustling and humming--folks are shopping locally because they want to support their town, and people from out of town are drawn here because it is such a unique place to visit.
Are there any events you are particularly excited about, either in Northampton in general or at the store?
Our Christmas sale is held during the first week of December, then we’ll be in full-swing with holiday shoppers. People often request special orders at this time of the year, such as turning your grandmother’s diamond into a pendant for your daughter or special birthstone jewelry for your mom, aunt, or grandmother. Also, many people choose this time of year to propose, so we’ll have lots of customers looking for the perfect engagement ring. It’s just a very busy and special time, and we’ll be offering plenty of promotions as well. Also, we remind potential clients to keep checking online at Rebekahbrooks.com as we are putting a lot more emphasis in this area and running special promotions on select items all through the holiday season!