In the spirit of finding bright light during this dark time, we would like to introduce “Westport Whisperers,” a NEW initiative focused on featuring amazing humans in our community who are doing something special for our community or the world around them behind the scenes. We would love YOU as our community to help NOMINATE these people simply by emailing us anytime at [email protected] to let us know who you think is a Westport Whisperer, and why they should be featured! This month we would like to feature Annette Norton of Saavy + Grace Westport, owner of the cool, funky place with unique gift items at all prices points tucked under the old Tavern on Main on Main St. Thank you Annette for all you do for Westport! You can read a bit about her below, and watch a short, fun video of her store and all they offer HERE!
ABOUT ME: I grew up in Fairfield and spent much of my childhood in Westport. I love Westport! My heart gets happy thinking of Remarkable, Kleins, Onion Alley, Arnies or the Movie Theaters. I have loads of happy, heartwarming memories, which is what led me to opening downtown, in addition to the perk of not even having to get on a highway to get to work. I am a wife, friend and mother of two daughters, 15 and 16 years old plus our 2 loving rescue doggies. Prior to being a retailer, I was a road sales representative and sold to stores here in Westport such as Mitchells, BodyTalk, Henry Lehr and Silvers of Westport. My strengths are I am honest and loving, and my weaknesses are wine and carbs!
WHAT HAVE I DONE DURING THE PANDEMIC? I believe since we are all in this together, it brought us all even closer. The amount of Local Support and kindness that people have shown me is beyond heartwarming and I am so extremely thankful. When the store was closed for 4 months it forced me to get out of my comfort zone. I created an e-commerce website, started utilizing social media, face-timing in the store with customers and due to the timing of it, started by offering custom signature Easter Baskets. The Easter Baskets proved to be a major pivot in my business. I have always been creative. However, knowing so many were at a loss of how to deliver a special easter basket to their children while stores were closed and websites didn’t consider Easter baskets essential goods and therefore weren’t shipping those items. Seeing the photos customers sent me with their children and their baskets brought me so much joy, that I wanted to continue to offer amazing signature gift baskets customized to the individual, whether for a promotion, move, baby, Valentines Day, Easter or just because. For anything you need, we have it absolutely covered. We also offer Signature Gift Baskets such as “Welcome to Westport!”
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? In my four years Downtown with Saayy+Grace I started and executed the first Local Westport Outdoor Market. With the permission of my Landlord, I had carefully curated 24 local artisans and set them up on the private property behind Savvy+Grace. It was loads of fun. Author Jane Green parked her Remarkable Book Cycle outside and we even had a cool Coffee Truck. My intention was to have it every year, and then Covid hit. So I pivoted again. This time we had a Covid-Safe live Concert in front of Savvy+Grace. I partnered with Cythia Gibb of Triple Threat Academy. We took all safety precautions such as keeping singers over 13 feet away in a walled tent. In addition, singers sang behind a wall of acrylic. At Christmas time, I partnered with the Downtown Merchant Association and put up a Community Christmas Tree in front of the store plus had cafe lights put up. Lastly, I partnered with the Taylor Ralphola Center in Bridgeport and for anyone who donated, I put a personalized white dove ornament on the tree for all to enjoy.