Socially Conscious Jeweler Finds Home in Harvard Square
With vivid colors and elaborate beading, Esmeralda, a new jewelry store in Harvard Square, offers handcrafted accessories and focuses on helping other small businesses with a social conscience.
Esmeralda Lambert, who opened the retail location last October at 54 Church St. in Harvard Square, said she knew when she was young growing up in the Dominican Republic that she wanted to run her own company.
“My dream was to have my own business, to be independent, to be a successful businesswoman,” Lambert said, adding that her family of entrepreneurs inspired her.
Lambert originally planned to launch a company in her home country, but her plans changed shortly after arriving in United States in 2010. Still, she wanted to start a company that would in some way tie back to her island. Today, Lambert said she works with a team of seven Dominican women who handcraft her designs.
“By doing my jewelry is how they support their families,” Lambert said. “All the women that work with me work from home so they can take care of their kids.”
After two and a half years of producing wholesale, Lambert decided to open her own retail location, taking over the space that formerly housed TistiK, a jewelry store that used to carry her designs.
“Her gifts and jewelry are unique and beautifully crafted,” Denise A. Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, said. “She’ll just add to the color and the variety of the options available in the Square.”
Esmeralda also features a variety of products from global artists, spanning places including Brazil, Mexico, and Nepal. Many of the businesses Lambert represents are small and family-run, much like how she started out.
“I got so excited every time I got a new store to carry my line,” Lambert said. “So I wanted to do the same thing for other small brands like myself.”
But Lambert said she is careful to choose brands that will help her store carry out its socially conscious mission. For example, a Nepalese brand, Aid Through Trade, trains women in Nepal to make jewelry.
“People that shop here truly care about the origin of the product they are buying,” Lambert said. “They understand that each one of us really does make an impact in the world.”
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