New Connellsville business is truly a family affair
A new Connellsville business, Jessica Roi's Gems, is truly a family affair.
The name is a combination of mother Roianne Gailey and daughters Jessica Gailey and Gemma Galley. The business was started as a result of cousin Terri Molinaro's concern for Roianne, who has multiple sclerosis.
Located at 426 N. Pittsburgh St., any number of family members can be found there helping out. Lorraine Molinaro Guynn, Roianne's mother, does the store decor and reminisces about the years gone by.
"My fondest memory is Christmas shopping in downtown Connellsville with my mom when Roianne was just a baby. She was in a stroller and we would take her to my Uncle Amedeo's tailor shop right behind G.C. Murphy's while we shopped. At that time there were five tailors in town. We would visit Howard's Outlet, McCrory's, Fisher's and of course, Troutman's with Santa in the window. Music would be playing throughout town, snowflakes were coming down, Connellsville was a booming little town. Everyone knew everyone. I can remember Dougie and Melvin Smith helping us carry our packages because we had so many. The movie, 'A Christmas Story' always reminds me of how Connellsville was back then," said Lorraine.
The beading began when Roianne needed therapy on her hand due to the Multiple Sclerosis.
"My cousin Terri said she had lots of beads and she would bring them over to my house and I could get my hand moving that way. Pretty soon I was creating all kinds of jewelry and calling my mom, who lives behind us, asking her to come over time after time to see what I had made. Then I started going to fall festivals and my creations sold," said Roianne.
By then she had beads all throughout her house and her husband Frank suggested she needed to take them somewhere. She has always gone to Val Rumbaugh for massages so when a space became available in Rumbaugh's it was perfect. With family members' help, Jessica Roi's Gems became a part of Connellsville's revitalization. It is located in the same building as Bull Of The Woods where unique T-shirts, hoodies and sweats are sold. The two businesses help promote each other.
"We work together to get people through the door, we want to keep customers here in town, we want to see more people walking around the city," said Roianne.
"I have been in a wheelchair, had a walker and a cane for 20 years. I've been very, very sick many times. I've had seizures and both hips replaced. I have pain everyday. This business gets me up and going. Everyone in my family is a part of this. My husband now beads. He's the most artistic. He makes the classic pieces that sell out fast.
My son-in-law, Eric Galley, who is 6-foot, 4-inches and works on gas wells, creates the children's section. No two pieces are alike, they are all original. My daughters help me order the beads because we all have different tastes. We name the sets. Some examples are 'I'm Yours' and 'I'm Dreaming Of You.' None of them cost more than $25 and they all have easy closures, either toggles or magnets. Each now includes a little tag that says 'made for you.' Customers currently range in age from 1 to 81 years old.
My nieces and nephews like to come in the shop and bead. My 6-year-old niece has cerebral palsy and it's good therapy for her too. We are turtle fanatics so we order things like big rings with owls, flowers and butterflies. We have some sterling silver things, purses and scarves. When we order we usually have five people's opinions," said Roianne.
Now Roianne and her daughters have gotten into another project. "When my first grandson, Graysen Galley, was born he was a preemie at only 3 pounds. He was at Magee Hospital and then in Westmoreland neo-natal intensive care unit for 40 days. He is now 3-1⁄2 and has a 3-month-old brother, Jasper, who was born early too. They each were given the cutest little hats at the hospitals so we decided to make cupcake hats and donate them for the preemies at both places. Five of my mom's great-grandchildren have been in those units," said Roianne.
Roianne said the hats are being made by the family for older kids too and they can't make them fast enough. They are on the Jessica Roi's Gems Facebook page and have already made their way as far as Scottsdale, Ariz. The twist on the cupcake hat is the beads are added as "sprinkles" and each one is original, there are no duplicates.
"People are ordering them and want them before Christmas, so we now have my son Anthony and my cousin Paul Bennett looming hats. He is always helping out with something. Jessica is a student at California University of Pennsylvania and works at Bud Murphy's and is taking orders for cupcake hats for 20-year- olds," said Roianne.
Since the business opened, it has participated in Connellsville's geranium and mum festivals. Owners have also done home shows. "We are all animal lovers. We have a tree in the shop with boxed bracelets for $1 each and the proceeds all go to Fayette Friends of Animals. We adopted a cat there a few weeks ago and they do good work helping homeless animals," said Roianne.
Other store features include free gift wrapping with their signature bright pink paper.
The business accepts credit cards.
It plans on joining the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce soon.
The business will be participating in Downtown Connellsville's It's A Connellsville Christmas event to be held Dec. 4 and 5.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Jobs are focus in 52nd District House race in Westmoreland, Fayette
- Connellsville honors the late Ralph Wombacker
- Connellsville council expected to set budget meetings
- Lower Tyrone fall cleanup scheduled for Thursday
- Fall Foliage Ride/Walk scheduled for Sunday
- Poverty issues facing Fayette topic of conference
- Ambrosini won’t give up on new prison for Fayette County
- Bedford woman’s works on display at Fayette law library
- Refurbishing Uniontown church’s grotto is Eagle Scout project
- New consignment store specializes in dance, formal wear
- South Connellsville residents on edge