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Meet Jena Sujat, owner of Pinch in downtown Northampton.
When did you start your business and why do you do what you do?
When I purchased Pinch ten years ago, I wanted to continue its tradition of carrying local and national artisans. I also hoped it would fulfill my hope to have a career uniting my analytical ability and love for the arts – that I could make a living doing something I love.
In my first year, I received a note from a new artist I had started ordering from, thanking me for my support of her business. That's when I realized that not only was I fortunate to have succeeded in finding work I love, but that I was doubly fortunate by helping others do what they love, too.
What is your very favorite part of your job?
Displaying new pottery when it comes in, and doing new window displays. It’s important to me to display each artisan’s work as best as possible and to show our customers the array of each artisan’s work. I have a talent at making pleasing compositions, and really enjoy going back into the shop the next day to look at the new displays again.
What do you want couples to know about your business?
I’d like clients to feel excited about what they’re purchasing from us, and by only two degrees of separation from the person who made it. I hope people leave Pinch feeling we’ve been friendly, kind, helpful and knowledgeable. Having a registry with us is a personal experience and we love discussing with each couple’s friends and family the pieces they’ve chosen, so when someone makes a purchase off their registry, they also feel excited about it.
Actually, that’s another favorite part of my work at Pinch – showing a couple’s friends and family the pieces that couple chose. I’m able to say things like, “They really liked the robin’s egg blue glaze Tiffany Hilton works with,” and, “They know they might not get everything they registered for, but I know this Judy Jackson set of ramekins was one of their favorites.”
What would make you feel great knowing you had accomplished for your client?
The best compliment I could hear is that the couple and their friends and family had a good time shopping at Pinch – that they felt taken care of and proud of the choices they had made.
What's something every couple needs to know about putting together a wedding registry?
What comes to mind is that the wedding registry experience can feel like a loving one. It has often felt that way for us at Pinch, and I think for the couples and their families, too. That might sound funny, but I’ve heard couples talk after the wedding about how happy it makes them every time they use Lucy Fagella’s mugs for their morning coffee or how much they enjoy serving salad in a Spencer Peterman wooden bowl.
They talk about feeling connected not only to the small, local business of Pinch, but also to the person who made each piece. On the one hand, they might have to wait longer for their custom dinnerware to be made, but on the other hand, it was made especially for them! Couples feel proud and happy about the pieces they received from their registry, and good knowing their friends and family also felt proud about their gifts. All of this makes it feel very loving.
Share two things you are proud of…professionally and personally.
I'm really proud of having great relationships with both customers and staff.
Personally, I'm proud of my new kitchen; of creating a space for all the pottery and pieces from various artists I've collected over the years. When I look around my house, I see a lot of friends!
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