Tonight’s Meet a Mom, Erica Juneja, brought gorgeous Jewelry and style to Greenwich when she opened Gas Bijoux on Greenwich Avenue in December 2022. Mom of 3 girls, Erica was inspired by the Gas Bijoux brand during a difficult time as the beautiful jewelry and environment of the store lifted her spirits and she knew she must bring it the Greenwich.
Erica shares with us what brought her family to the area, some of her favorite gift ideas (Hint: Mother’s Day is right around the corner!), how she loves to style the mix of Bohemia, St Tropez ease, and intricate details you can discover in every Gas Bijoux piece, and her advice for being an entrepreneur and a Mom!
Can you please tell us a bit about yourself personally? Where do you live, and names/ages of kids, etc.?
In 2017, after 22 years in New York City I moved with my family to New Canaan. We have three daughters, Mia, 19, Lila, 16, and Willa, 9. While we live in New Canaan, our girls attend Greenwich Academy, We are in Greenwich daily and enjoy the communities in both towns. My husband, Bob has his office in Greenwich and I opened GAS Bijoux on Greenwich Avenue in December 2022. One of my absolute favorite parts of Greenwich is the walkable nature of Greenwich Avenue, all of the amazing retail and the fantastic restaurants. I love to start my day with an early workout at Forme Barre Greenwich, getting breakfast at Granola Bar, followed by a relaxing walk on the Avenue from top to bottom perusing the stores as they open. In NYC we lived nearby Madison Avenue in Carnegie Hill for 15 years, and Greenwich Avenue reminds me so much of that special neighborhood.
Can you please share about your professional background and career highlights?
I started my career in fashion 25 years ago in New York City. I was in the Buyer Training program at Saks Fifth Avenue, thereafter continuing my career in the Buying department at Saks, I also worked in Merchandising for Donna Karan, Prada, and Tory Burch. When my children were born, I decided to take a bit of time off to focus on my family but returned to my career when my middle daughter began Kindergarten, I then took one more pause when we moved to Connecticut to get my family situated in their new surroundings.
For those of us who aren’t familiar, how would you describe Gas Bijoux and what makes it unique?
15 years ago I discovered GAS Bijoux on Mott Street in NY. I loved the jewel box feel of the store, the original designs, and joy it gave me as I discovered new pieces and were able to add them to my collection. This affordable luxury felt chic and always added a little edge and sophistication to my style. Pascal and Marnie Legrand, the owners shared the heritage of GAS Bijoux with me and their customers. Pascal’s uncle, Andre Gas started the brand in 1969 in Marseille. His family had joined his team along with 80 local artisans that hand made everything in Marseille.
What led you to open Gas Bijoux in Greenwich?
In 2020, right before Covid began I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. While I received my treatments in NYC on the Upper East Side, I became familiar with the GAS Bijoux on Madison Avenue in Carnegie Hill. After my treatments, I would take long walks on Madison Avenue in my old neighborhood and always visit GAS Bijoux. The beautiful jewelry and environment of the store lifted my spirits. As the pandemic continued, and I became a regular at Gas Bijoux, I began to develop a wonderful rapport with Pascal discussing how many people were moving out of NYC to Greenwich and its surrounding towns. The answer was clear: Greenwich Avenue needed a GAS Bijoux!
What are some of your favorite jewelry pieces and how do you like to style them?
GAS Bijoux offers a range of Jewelry and Accessories spanning from everyday wear to Black Tie. The best part is the pieces are all originals. A mix of Bohemia, St Tropez ease, and intricate details you can discover in every piece. In addition, Gas Bijoux Greenwich offers a curated assortment of other small European brands. Some of my favorite pieces include the Cobra bracelet and Zanzibar bracelets. I love to layer these with my own gold bracelets. The Zanzibar offers a great pop of color. Feathers are also an important component of the our collections. The feathers are offered in a variety of colors and sizes – they make a great gift or a treat for yourself! Their playful nature make you feel as if you are on vacation no matter where you are. We also offer a great array of necklaces. From small jewel drops for layering to chunky chains and long necklaces with an array of stones and acetate details.
Mother’s Day is approaching and lots of Spring birthdays – what are some of your favorite gifts in the current Gas Bijoux collection?
Top picks for Mother’s Day include our stackable bracelets and charm necklaces- the more stacked, the more fun! We also are carrying a wonderful assortment of Mare La Rosa woven handbags that have been a huge hit with our clients for everyday or resort.
What do you find the most challenging and most rewarding part of opening Gas Bijoux?
GAS Bijoux Greenwich is my first store I have opened and managed independently. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of navigating the store build out and set up. I have been fortunate to find wonderful staff and great support with Marnie and Pascal. One of the most rewarding parts of my day is when new customers find our store, and feel the same joy in the jewelry that I do. Making people happy makes me happy. We are partnering with organizations in Greenwich and other nearby towns to give back locally for philanthropic causes. We have so much to be grateful for and giving back is a priority to me.
What are some of your favorite styles/ clothing brands that you like to accessorize with Gas Bijoux jewelry?
GAS Bijoux works well with clothing options from The Westside and La Ligne (two of my favorite local Greenwich Avenue boutiques). From pick up, to lunch, to a night out with our accessories it is easy to feel cool, unique and stylish.
How do you find a balance with motherhood and your beautiful new store? Any tips for the rest of the Moms out there?
Being a mom to a college freshman, high school student, and 3rd grader, as well as a wife, daughter, a volunteer, a friend, and a business owner has it challenges and keeps me on my toes, making the rewards even more gracious and impactful. I keep a daily to do- list and redo it every night trying to keep up. My priority is my family at the top of the list, while always remembering that we are all human and I cannot get everything completed every day. My mantras are: keep smiling, have fun, stay positive, and look at a challenge an an opportunity not a road block. And most importantly it all takes a village, When friends offers to help, take it. Whether it is driving your child, feeding them, or helping you ticket several hundred jewelry pieces on your dining room table, say YES!
We love to support local businesses. What are your fave places when you are in Greenwich to:
Grab coffee – CFCF
Workout – Forme Barre
Go on a date night – The Cottage
Go out for a girls night – Le Penguin
Go out to dinner as a family – Bianca
Get your hair done – Jafar Tazi
Get your nails done – Empy’s
Have fun as a family – Hiking locally. Dog walks at Waveny Park.