Zeste finds a home in Greenwich

Stephanie Finkelstein dedicates her Greenwich store to the art of gift giving — particularly unusual items for a dinner party host, colleague or acquaintance.

“A lot of people get nervous when they’re giving a gift,” Finkelstein says, “because they may not know (the recipient’s) taste. They may not know their décor.”

Finkelstein opened her 300-square-foot gift and home décor shop, Zeste, in November. The space is reminiscent of the beach — influenced by the Hamptons, Finkelstein’s longtime home — with sisal carpets and coral accents throughout. The store’s white walls offer a high contrast to the colorful products, which include stationery, picture frames, lotions, pet treats and pantry items.

If you’re overwhelmed by giving gifts, Finkelstein suggests starting with her paper products, such as stationery or note cards, “because everyone still needs to jot something down.”

Nearly all of Zeste’s products are made by small businesses. And Finkelstein knows who made her products, where and how they were made and the stories behind their creation.

“People like interesting things that are high quality at a good price,” she says. “They want to purchase gifts that are appropriate in price range, and they want to be sensitive to the price range of others.”

Finkelstein is not new to retail. For almost 10 years, the former social worker owned Elegant Setting, a gift and home décor store in the Hamptons that was both larger and pricier, featuring collectibles such as china and crystal. But when Finkelstein learned that she was pregnant with her now 4-year-old daughter, traveling between the couple’s homes in the Hamptons and New York City became problematic, prompting their move to Greenwich.

In this store, however, she’s offering a service that wasn’t available in the Hamptons’ shop — gift wrapping. Following the holidays, she built a gift—wrapping station, where customers can choose to have their gifts wrapped in tissue paper, encased in plastic wrap and finished with a beautiful bow. The station also allows Finkelstein to wrap together complementary products for a concept similar to gift baskets.

“What I found is that people are in a rush and they’re a little bit uncertain sometimes how to put things together,” she says. “So my job is to put it together.”

Zeste is at 58A William St. in Greenwich. For more, call 917-626-4611 or visit zeste203.com.

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