June 2, 2010
All text and photos by: Jennifer Cowart
LET THE BUSINESS BEGIN: Prima Donna owner Stephanie Rossi and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung cut the ribbon, officially marking the store’s grand re-opening.
When March floods destroyed Stephanie Rossi’s Warwick jewelry store, Prima Donna, things looked grim. But as she cut the ribbon on her new Cranston location, Rossi’s outlook was sparkling.
Finishing Touches: Prima Donna jewelry store owner, Stephanie Rossi gets ready for the grand re-opening of her store in its new Cranston location.
“My store was so cute, it really was, but everything happens for a reason,” Rossi said while preparing for the opening of the new store, which is located on Park Avenue.
Rossi had only been in her previous location in Warwick for five months when the floods ravaged the building in which her store had been located, near Bed Bath & Beyond on Bald Hill Road.
Rossi considers herself lucky, though, because she did not lose any merchandise in the floods.
“I got there on that Tuesday and lifted everything up. I only lost two stools and the money I’d put into the place,” she said.
When the rains ceased, the owner of the building where Rossi had been renting came in to assess the damage. The water had filled the entire basement as well as a few inches on the main floor of the store.
“They couldn’t give me an answer either way as to whether or not the building could be saved or whether it would be demolished,” Rossi said. “I gave the owner a week, but he still had no answer. It was coming up to my busy season, so I started looking for another location.”
Rossi said she spent a day driving through several locations including Warwick, East Greenwich and even the Garden City shopping center.
“I made my way down Park Avenue and the owner of this building happened to be outside. I asked him if there was a basement in this building and he said no. I asked him if this was in a flood zone, and he said no,” she recalled.
That was all she needed to hear.
“I was there on a Tuesday and signed the lease on Friday,” said Rossi, who is a lifelong Cranston resident.
Rossi went in to her new location and began painting and preparing for a spring re-opening. Her store specializes in affordable costume jewelry and accessories. The prices range from $3 to $100. She has jewelry for every taste and style, including jewelry for proms, brides and wedding parties.
Mayor Allan Fung was at the re-opening celebration and told Rossi how glad he was to welcome her business to the city of Cranston.
“I know you had to go through some tough times to get here, but we’re glad to have you in the city,” he said.
The Prima Donna store is open Tuesday through Saturday and is located at 1458 Park Avenue, in the plaza across from Antonio’s Restaurant.