FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Sometimes, the biggest surprises are right in front of you; it just may take a while to find them.
Such was the case for Jessica Sokol and Sarah McBrair, the owners behind Fairfield's newest store, Saltwater . The two "met" on Instagram. At the time Sokol ran an online boutique called Burrow and came across McBrair's beachy jewelry line, Love of Pretty.
She reached out in hopes of doing some sort of collaboration when, in the midst of talking, they discovered they lived two minutes away from one another -- Sokol in Black Rock and McBrair in Fairfield's beach neighborhood.
The rest is more or less history. "We hosted a holiday pop-up together and noticed then just how well our businesses complimented one another," said Sokol. Which led to a conversation about the kind of retail options for babies and kids that they felt Fairfield was lacking.
Together, they formed a new brand and signed their lease. Because the two have coastal upbringings and a deep love for the ocean, they settled on the name Saltwater, which embodies the innocence of children and families spending days on the beach.
The store, on Unquowa Road, opened in January and is already drawing crowds for its unique gifts and highly curated inventory.
"At the heart of Saltwater are the independent and inspiring brands we carry, most of which are difficult to find elsewhere," said McBrair,.
"We pour so much energy into sourcing those special brands that we feel strongly about as moms ourselves. If it's not something we absolutely love for ourselves, we don't put it in the store."
"In a world where you can click a few times and have something delivered to your doorstep the next day, we provide the opportunity to shop for that very unique piece or gift, whether it be for a new baby, birthday, or for yourself," added Sokol.
"As busy overextended moms, we know it's important to treat yourself too, so we carry effortless yet stylish women's apparel pieces and our own jewelry line --designed by Sarah right here in Fairfield-- that you can dress up or down at the perfect price point. We also offer monogramming to add that personalized touch. We love gift giving!"
They also love supporting local mom artists and business owners and have already lined up a list of events to promote them. On Saturday, April 8 for example, they'll feature Jen Scully from Mack + Ro who will be painting custom family portraits in the store.
Saltwater also carries Gells, a line of preppy belts designed by a Fairfield husband and wife team (see previous Daily Voice story HERE ). And on Sunday, May 7, the store will host a Mother's Day event in partnership with The Cancer Couch, a local breast cancer charity.
Visit the Saltwater website for more up to date information. The store is at 45 Unquowa Rd., 203-254-1432.
There will be a ribbon cutting/grand opening ceremony Saturday, March 25 at 11 a.m. with mimosas, gifts and giveaways throughout the day. The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.