Sugarbeads rebrands, plans Main Street relocation
There’s a renaissance happening on Main Street, and Andie Schoellkopf wants in.
Schoellkopf, owner of Sugarbeads located at 113 Danbury Road, is moving her jewelry gift shop to 393 Main Street at summer’s end and rebranding it as Zoe & Co.
The new business will be located in a portion of the space that once housed the liquor store Cheers Ridgefield.
“We’re going to be on the right side next to Neumann Real Estate, I’m not sure what’s going in on the left side,” said Schoellkopf, who lives in Weston. “I don’t know if we have neighbors yet on the other side.”
Schoellkopf, who took over Sugarbeads two years ago, said she always wanted to be on Main Street and was emboldened to make the move after watching so many new businesses open this spring.
“There’s an energy there right now, and it’s very exciting,” she said. “A lot of places have changed hands and turned over into incredible new business ventures — it’s really revitalized.”
Longtime Main Street jeweler Wayne Addessi helped with the sales pitch earlier this year.
“We looked at a lot of places in town and when Wayne came in and told us this spot was opening up, we knew we had to come take a look,” Schoellkopf said. “And sure enough, we fell in love with it. ... It’s such a charming location. Right next to Deborah Ann’s, too, with all the kids going in and out of that store so there’s a lot of foot traffic.”
She’s excited to be a few doors down from Addessi on Main Street.
“We’re going to have our own little jewelry district,” she said. “He does very fine jewelry — diamonds, sapphires — and we do very nice jewelry.”
The new space will allow the business to expand and also gain visibility in town.
“This is a place where we can showcase our curated merchandise list,” she said. “We have such a range, and I don’t think people realize that. We have everything from stuff kids like to garnet necklaces for adults ...
“We have finished pieces, we’re not just about the beads,” she added, “and I think that’s a misconception we’re going to be able to solve in our new location. We are a jewelry gift shop.”
Schoellkopf said price wise Zoe & Co will be affordable for shoppers of all ages.
“We have a price range that will accommodate a lot of different people — there’s nothing like that in Ridgefield,” she said.
Who is Zoe?
Although her name is birth name is Andrea and she goes by Andie, Schoellkopf is the “Zoe” in Zoe & Co.
“It’s my husband’s nickname for me,” she said. “It’s a long story but we played on that when rebranding.”
Schoellkopf’s husband, Peter, helps with the creative side of the business while her daughter, Julie, works in the store on jewelry.
“She’s incredibly talented and skilled,” Schoellkopf said. “The engine of our business.”
Like Sugarbeads, Zoe & Co will do design work, repair work and makeover work on items. It will host birthday parties and classes.
The new space will allow the owners to separate the party and work space from the shopping space — a problem they’ve run into at their current location at 113 Danbury Road.
“The layout is going to be a lot more user-friendly,” she said
“Our current space limited us in a sense,” she added. “Some people would come in and say they had no idea we were here — hidden away in this location. Others would come in and be confused by the layout. They’d think they’d have to make something and then buy it. We don’t want that to be case.”
Schoellkopf said the space on Main Street is currently in the “dry wall stage.”
“We’re down to the studs right now,” she laughed. “It’s going to be a whole big build out. We’re up to our ear lobes with stuff going on at both places ... We’re also changing our website.”
That’s because the lease for Sugarbeads concludes Aug. 31 and the new space may not be open in time.
“August 31 is the official date we have to be over there,” she said. “Right now, we’re in the process of trying to make that a reality.”
For those loyal Sugarbeads customers, Schoellkopf has some good news: that part of the business is also moving.
“We’re keeping Sugarbeads, it’ll be inside the new shop on Main Street,” she said. “We have a lot of people who like to make jewelry with the stones and and we want to make sure we still have them for our loyal customers.”
Schoellkopf made that decision because she knows what it’s like to be a loyal customer of the business.
“I started shopping at the store when it first opened 12 years — I started as a customer,” she said. “Then it was volunteering one day a week, then I started working more and more and before I knew it I was manager.”
She bought Sugarbeads in late 2017 and put the idea of rebranding the store on the back burner.
“I made some changes to our present location but in the back of my mind I knew that this move would be inevitable,” she said. “And now that we’re actually going for it, I couldn’t be more excited...
“I’ve always wanted to be on Main Street and to be able to move here and put something together from the ground up is all the more special.”