Annette Norton comes from a long line of retailers.
A long line.
In the early 1900s her great-grandmother opened a store — the Dorothy Stein Shop — in Scarsdale, New York.
Annette’s grandfather took over, and ran it all his life. It was passed on to her mother, who eventually sold it and moved to Fairfield, with Annette and her sister.
The man who bought it just retired. After more than a century, the store is now closed.
But Annette has opened a new one.
It’s on Main Street — the same downtown area she remembers spending days in with her mother, as a girl.
Savvy + Grace is that rarity: a new family-owned shop. It’s underneath Tavern on Main. And though it’s been open only a few days, it’s already drawing raves.
Part of the reason is the merchandise (“attainable luxuries handpicked by you”).
Part too is Annette’s passion for local retailing. “For me, the feeling of a living downtown center is wonderful. It’s even more special in this day and age of the internet,” she says.
As she travels, Annette notices busy shopping areas. But, she notes, “having true, viable shopping downtown in your hometown is really something.”
She feels a strong sense of community — and of wanting to shop local — in Westport.
“People need people,” Annette says. “I felt the time was right to bring not a chain store, but a store you might see on vacation — with unique, cool items for everyone.”
Just as she felt part of a retail family growing up, Annette was to share that experience with her daughters, now 13 and 11.
They helped her get started. On weekends, they greet customers. They’re doing what Annette herself did, years ago.
So what about the store name?
Annette chose it because “savvy” shoppers quickly realize they’re getting a good deal. Her prices are the same as online (that is, if you could even find some of her items on the internet).
And, she adds, “I would like grace to my place.”
Annette Norton now graces Main Street. Her great-grandfather would be proud.