Edgeville Buzz

Anticipating Problematic Red Line Construction, Bryn Mawr Jewelry Moves To Andersonville

The ambitious CTA Red Purple Modernization Project (RPM) has started the initial phase of construction and will continue for the next several years. With businesses starting to get nervous over the work and what it means for their profits, one retail store that’s been on Bryn Mawr for a century has made the decision to move to Andersonville.

Bryn Mawr Jewelry Company has been located right next to the red line station at 1125 W. Bryn Mawr for just over 100 years, but the looming closure of both the train stop and use of the sidewalk in front of the business from days to weeks on end was just too great a risk. Instead, the jewelry store’s owner Scott Freeman is taking a leap of faith by packing up shop and heading to Andersonville.

Freeman took over the store about 15 years ago from the previous jeweler. In that time he has witnessed the transformation of the area into a more vibrant place with a diverse collection of businesses.

“I’ve watched the street slowly get cleaned up over the years and move in the right direction,” said Freeman. “I honestly wouldn’t have moved if they were not remodeling this train station. It truly forced my hand because you can’t do business if people cannot walk through your door. However, I’ve always wanted to expand and was unable to in our current 750 sq. ft. of space. This gave me the push needed and I am grateful in a way.”

In the craft for 25 years now he specializes in making his own custom creations as well as offering fine retail brands. What has made the store unique though is the relaxed atmosphere and jewelry priced for everyone, from $5 pieces to ones as expensive as $20K.

The new store will be located just south of Foster Ave. at 5139 N. Clark. and will give the jeweler the bigger showroom he has desired with 1150 sq. ft of space and a full basement area. He has already moved the business into the new location and is just finishing the $50k build-out in time for a grand opening celebration this Saturday.

“I was able to create a space that I always envisioned my jewelry store to look like,” Freeman explained. “This store is more of a reflection of my personality such as decor and layout. I am also planning on starting a line of my own and hired some new people that can sit at the bench and do repairs so I can free up my time to create.”

The new Bryn Mawr Jewelry Company store will be divided by a large glass partition where people can watch the jewelers at work from the retail showroom. Though Freeman loves to talk and get to know his customers, this will give him the opportunity to still oversee the showroom while still providing a quieter space in order to concentrate on his work. They will also be expanding their showcases from 10 to 16 and introduce additional products.

“I am so excited to be a part of the Andersonville neighborhood,” Freeman added. “It’s just such a vibrant community of small business owners. It’s a bunch of mom and pop shops and people who really care about their businesses. I’m looking forward to showing the neighborhood what I can do.”

The grand opening celebration will be all day long on Feb. 29 with give-aways, raffles, a ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m. and Drag Queen Story Time with Muffy Fishbasket at 10:30. Around Noon a local teacher will be helping kids make their own jewelry and other art projects. Then at 7 p.m. the adults can play with live music, hors d’eouvres¬† and cocktails.

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