A former Wall Street professional, Susan Pomerance decided to parlay her passion for beautiful Judaica jewelry and giftware into a full-time retail business.
"I left to pursue a much more meaningful passion of mine," explained Pomerance, a resident of Weston.
In 2005, she launched an online company, called the Yofi Collection. "In Hebrew, `yofi' means `excellent', `wonderful,' and `beautiful,' which is what I hope to convey through the things I offer," Pomerance said.
She expanded her company this fall to include a retail business located at The Marketplace in Westport.
"The Marketplace is based on a great business model which is done throughout the country," Pomerance explained. She liked that The Marketplace's Post Road location, across from the Post Office and neighboring Sconset Square, fit nicely with the other retail operations that are part of Westport's design district.
"The Marketplace is going to expand upon the availability of artsy, unique, handcrafted treasures that people like to shop for at their leisure," she said. "We like to say that coming to The Marketplace is a shopping experience."
For several years, Pomerance has worked closely with local synagogues and is responsible for maintaining the quality inventory found in their gift shops. However, aside from these venues, beautiful Judaica items were not readily available throughout Fairfield County. "This is the first retail store in the Westport, Norwalk and Wilton area where you could go to find museum quality Judaica jewelry and home furnishings," she said. "We specialize in providing the community with fun and interesting holiday and b'nai Mitzvah gifts, too."
There are glass-beaded bracelets with glass charms, sports and music-themed mazzuzah, fun note cards which read `To Life,' and Star of David soap found at Yofi Collection. For the younger set, Jewish holiday building blocks are also available for purchase.
"We have everything from costume jewelry to 14 karat gold diamond pieces," Pomerance added. "Everything is imported from Israel or made in Israel, with some things being made domestically, too."
The Kabbalah jewelry line is increasingly popular, perhaps because of its association with singer and celebrity Madonna. An amulet worn around the neck of Kabbalah followers will supposedly protect you from harm, Pomerance explained. "It's become a cross cultural jewelry piece and is now worn by everybody, though," she noted.
Pomerance also carries a Mah-Jongg line of tableware, books and jewelry. "It's very collectible," Pomerance said. "People wear the jewelry even if they don't play the game."
A more spiritual item sold at Yofi Collection is the tallit. These beautiful prayer shawls are available for both men and women.
Pomerance will also special order religious and specialty items for clients. And, it's not all Judaica. The Yofi Collection also includes some necklaces with Christian crosses.
"We all really want the Marketplace to be a success and we think it's a great opportunity for a small business," Pomerance said.
For more information about Yofi Collection at 153 Post Road E., visit www.yoficollection.com or call (203) 615-3686.