Why Small Businesses Matter
Shop small, do big things for your community
Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!
You're IT Alex Karenin!
Four questions with Anna Lemin, founder of her own Antique & Vintage Estate Jewelry business.
Why did you start your business?
I started my business in 2011 when I was laid off from my IT Project Manager position. It was the middle of an economic recession and I decided that I would start something that I would absolutely enjoy every day. I like to bring old things, particularly jewelry, back to life; return their old glamor and sparkle.
I started by restoring old and neglected jewelry pieces that I found at the flea markets and local garage sales. Then, I thought of a name.
Alexey Karenin, in whose name I started my business, is a literary hero in Leo Tolstoy's famous novel - Anna Karenina. His education and aristocratic upbringing gave him a profound appreciation for the art and jewelry of the Belle Epoch era. Centuries later, I too became fascinated with Art Deco jewelry for its beautiful designs and the stately luxury that it embodies.
Alex Karenin Estate Jewelry has always adhered to one mission: “To preserve, restore, and provide the finest pieces of jewelry from the last two centuries for our customers.”
What is your best-selling product/service?
My best selling product is the necklaces that I create myself using the old books and images as an inspiration to stimulate my creativity. I love to create historical reproductions and revivals using antique designs and materials.
For many years I've been obsessed with the 19th century - early 20th-century art, jewelry, and fashion. I am inspired by the form, designs, colors, and materials of that time. I am thrilled that I can re-create jewelry and accessories of the past.
How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?
One of the small businesses that I use very regularly is “Toby’s Jewelry” on Central Avenue in Hartsdale. I use them for many years! I became friends with Toby and Moishe who own and run this small business together with their son. They help me and I try to help them whenever I can.
Have you "reimagined" your small business?
Absolutely. As I started my business in 2011, I only used eBay as a selling platform for my jewelry and creations. Before the pandemic, I tried to explore new venues where I could demonstrate my creations.
I found support at the local libraries in Greenburgh and Ossining - places where I have had several jewelry exhibitions. Now, I’m trying to use Facebook more. The most significant change came when I finally launched my own business website under my name!
This website gives you a brief history of my business and it demonstrates what kind of jewelry I specialize in.
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!