Kathy and Stephen Weston fashioned the perfect marriage when they joined their artistic loves and launched their art and jewelry emporium 11 years ago.
“I’ve always been in the business,” says Kathy, a Toms River native. Continuously morphing her career to fit her lifestyle, she owned her first jewelry shop with a partner while still in college, later worked as a buyer and, when her two daughters were young, sold through home parties. Today, Weston Gallery’s hand-picked jewels represent a mix of little-known artisans, up-and-comers and well-known names at varying price points. “The staff participates in choosing what we offer,” she says. “Sometimes they see things I don’t. Everyone has different tastes.”
In 2007, Kathy designed one of the shop’s most popular lines: the Forever Beach Badge. “I wanted to create something uniquely Jersey.” A well-traveled friend mentioned that no other place he’d visited charged a beach fee. Turning a negative into a positive, she created a Manasquan beach tag in sterling silver. She made just a dozen and sold out the first day. The line is still going strong, with more than 54 Shore towns to choose from.
For his part, Stephen—a fine artist and fine-art restorer who hails from the U.K.—is, as wife Kathy puts it, “a Renaissance man.” He apprenticed with the British porcelain company Royal Worcester, painting porcelain, a rare trade that led him to the United States. From his in-gallery studio, he renders the vivid and diverse oil paintings displayed throughout the shop, as well as porcelain, oil and gilt restorations.
“Stephen and I could never do this without our staff,” Kathy says of the five employees who have been with the shop for a decade. “They treat our business like it is their business. People come in and say, ‘This is such a happy place.’ That’s because we are all happy to be here.”Click here to leave a comment