ANNA MARIA – Island Charms is celebrating its five-year anniversary in February.
Located at 218-C Pine Ave., Island Charms is owned by Lauren Collins, who is assisted in her business operations by her husband, Jim, and their children Meghan, Claire and Patrick.
Island Charms opened in February 2017 at a different Pine Avenue location.
“We consider ourselves a jewelry boutique,” Collins said. “We have fashion jewelry, handmade jewelry and fine jewelry. We also sell local art and home décor, as well as glassware. This past year we moved to a bigger location on Pine Avenue, next to Pink & Navy, and we expanded our inventory. That has been a really good move for us.”
“We started out with less jewelry and more home décor, but we’ve really blossomed into a jewelry store,” she added. “That’s really where my passion is. In the past year, I launched my own CFJ (Collins Fine Jewelry) jewelry brand. It’s an ethical and sustainable line of fine jewelry made with recycled gold and lab-grown diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are created the same way Mother Nature creates them, but it’s done in a lab so there’s no mining involved. I design them and they are manufactured for me in New York City.”
To celebrate Island Charms’ five-year anniversary, a special event will take place at the store each Thursday in February.
On Thursday, Feb. 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Island Charms will host a trunk show featuring, for one day only, the selected works of local jewelry artist Sally Rocks.
On Thursday, Feb. 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Island Charms will host a meet-the-artists event featuring local painter Sandy VanZant and local jewelry artist Debbie Pigman.
The weekly anniversary celebrations will conclude on Thursday, Feb. 24 again from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a trunk show featuring items from the renowned Frieda Rothman line of jewelry and accessories.
Depending on the season, Island Charms has two to four employees.
“My first employee, Janette Tast, helped me set up the store and she’s been with me all five years,” Collins said.
Collins explained why she chose Anna Maria and Pine Avenue as the location for her business.
“My family lives on Pine Avenue. We’ve lived here for almost seven years,” she said. “We wanted to start a business here and the opportunity presented itself. I learned on the job because I had never owned a business before.
“We’re so appreciative to be here in this community. I love that it still has that small-town feel. We’ve got some wonderful local customers and we get a lot of the same visitors every year. We appreciate them and we want to maintain those relationships for many more years. We would not be in business without a wonderful staff, our local artists who help to make our store unique and a loyal customer base. For that we are thankful every day,” Collins said.
Like many businesses, Island Charms had to navigate the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been challenging. We closed for a while and things were slow for the second half of 2020, but we survived and 2021 was much better, with retail having a nice turnaround. We’re thankful for that and we’re hoping 2022 will be good and people won’t be skeptical about traveling again,” Collins said.
Island Charms is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Many of Island Charm’s jewelry offerings can also be purchased online.