Saying Goodbye To A Westport Gem

In 2009, Sarah Kennedy moved her Cellar Workshop from downtown to Saugatuck.

The old spot — across from Christ & Holy Trinity Church — was easy to miss. Her new location — on Railroad Place, across from the train station — was warm and welcoming. It was the perfect location for the gem-maker to show off her unique, eclectic collection of rings, bracelets, pendants and pins.

It was a great move. She kept all her former customers, and added many more. They learned that Sarah is herself is a gem.

Sarah Kennedy wears one of her own handblown pieces.

Sarah Kennedy wears one of her own handblown pieces.

Now Sarah is moving again. This time, it’s a bit farther.

Tucson, Arizona.

She’s been in business here for 44 years — and in Westport far longer. Sarah is a 1960 Staples grad. Her father was the longtime owner of Compo Acres Pharmacy.

She knows Tucson almost as well as she knows Westport. Every year she attends the Gem and Mineral Show there, and stays with friends. Recently, she bought a house in the arts-minded city. “I think I know what I’m getting into,” she said.

For 5 years, Sarah has enjoyed being on Railroad Place.

For 5 years, Sarah has enjoyed being on Railroad Place.

In 2009, “06880” visited Sarah. A customer raved that Sarah’s work was “exquisite, beautiful, a museum of fine jewels.”

The woman also described Sarah’s generosity — like polishing jewelry and rings without charging. As if on cue, in the middle of our conversation, the local FedEx guy walked in. His necklace had broken. Sarah said she’d solder it, while he made other deliveries.

Yesterday, the store was packed with Sarah’s fans. They too could not stop talking about her.

Steve Halstead said, “It’s such a pleasure to have a true professional and craftsman as part of this community, for so long.”

Sarah Kennedy (2nd from left) with assistant Eduardo Ewerton and admiring customers Rosemary and Steve Halstead, and Jim Stoner.

Sarah Kennedy (2nd from left) with assistant Eduardo Ewerton and admiring customers Rosemary and Steve Halstead, and Jim Stoner.

“I’m excited and sad” to be moving, Sarah said.

“We’re all sad,” Steve noted.

Sarah asked just one thing: That “06880” make sure readers know how much she’s loved being here.

“Please tell everyone thanks, and goodbye,” she said.

All good things must end. Fortunately, the lucky owners of Sarah’s creations will have them forever.

(Sarah Kennedy’s Cellar Workshop closes on January 14. Until then, everything is 50% off. The address is 44 Railroad Place.)

6 responses to “Saying Goodbye To A Westport Gem

  1. When Suzanne Sheridan and I were planning our Civil Union ceremony/wedding, we had an idea that only Sarah could execute. We brought my father’s Texas A&M gold graduation ring to her and from that heirloom ring, she created two gold wedding bands. So Suzanne and I have identical rings, made from my father’s 1933 class ring, created with love by Sarah. We will miss you Sarah. So will Jeri Kelley Johnson.

  2. Ann Bacharach

    Sarah made our wedding rings in 1979 from a simple design supplied by my husband. She’s polished mine and re-sized it twice without a charge, pleased that we are still together. She will be missed as a local crafts person. Good luck!

  3. Marcy Anson Fralick

    Westport’s loss is our gain!! The Gem and Mineral Show is in February at the Tucson Convention Center, and draws gemologists, mineralologists and artisans from all over the world. It’s a magnificent exhibition and show. I can’t wait to see Sarah’s exhibition this year, as I go every year! Welcome to Tucson, Sarah!! Lots of Westporters and Stapelites in the Old Pueblo.

  4. Welcome to Tucson! Come by the Rodeway and say hi! (NOW the Luxe Resort)

  5. Jeri Kelley-Johnson

    Yes, I will miss Sarah. After my husband died, I took my wedding rings into to her and she sculpted a beautiful ring that I wear on my right hand.. What a artist and talent. Tucson will be very lucky.

  6. Sarah has been making one of a kind jewelry for my family since I can remember. She was the only artist my mother trusted to create for her, and when my husband and I became engaged in 1988, my parents brought us to Sarah to design the ring. I had a vision of a very sculptural man and a women coming together to hold a diamond in the center. As an artist myself, I had complete faith that Sarah would do me proud. I am still completely in love with my ring!! She created something totally unique for my husband as well which he still covets. To this day my ring receives many compliments from strangers who think it is one of the most beautiful and interesting rings they have seen. I now own several of Sarah’s creations…some my own, and some that I have inherited from my mother. All of them are spectacular! I live closer now to Tucson than to Westport, so if you know her new location please let me know!!