PSA: Thea Grant

Last week I had a work event in Dumbo and decided to stroll the area afterwards because it was a Friday, the weather was lovely, I had zero other plans, and I’m never in that adorable area. Along my stroll, I stumbled upon what looked to be an adorable vintage jewelry shop but turned out to be so much more.

I walked inside Thea Grant because the cat on the stoop was just so inviting. Once in the store, I realized that not only did they have some lovely estate pieces (some of which they’ve reset), but they also had a wide selection of basics (mostly brass but also gold- and silver-filled) that could be hand stamped/engraved on-site.

I thought the engraved pieces were beautiful and as I perused the selection noticed a money clip engraved SCAD. I immediately asked if anyone in the store happened to be a SCAD grad and why, as a native Savannahian, I cared so much. It turns out, Nico, one of the store owners, is a graduate. After we made the connection, I got into a really nice conversation with both him and his wife, co-owner and designer, Thea. An amazing couple with adorable kids and a jewelry line I’m low-key obsessed with.

I couldn’t help myself from getting something engraved. I chose a thick diamond-shaped charm on a brass chain because I liked the weathered look. When it came to engraving, there was no limit so I chose my initials on one side and wedding date on the other. I loved being able to watch the stamping process go down right then and there.

While my piece was being stamped, I walked around the store and discovered a bracelet made from a subway token. I thought there was no way the token was real – so tiny and lightweight! But Thea explained to me how the piece was from the 1950s. In 1953, the price of a subway fare was raised from $0.10 to $0.15 and people were not happy about it – a hike like that destroys the working class. The MTA didn’t want to replace the turnstiles so they made the tokens the same size (a light-as-a-feather dime) but changed the cut-out so they couldn’t be counterfeited. I said I would be terrified of losing something so light, especially with it costing so much for the time so Thea showed me the cool token holders people used to have, reminiscent of the ice cream man’s coin belt from back in the day. Yikes, I’m showing my age that I can even recognize a reference like that. I had to have a piece of history like that on my arm!

…and then on my way out, I grabbed a stamped “T” brass bookmark because, why not?

There are so many amazing finds at this store. There are some great vintage finds but also so many simple pieces with just the slightest twist to make them unique. So many necklaces, rings, and bracelets that would be great for layering.