Taking a look at the past as Ecolin Jewelers celebrates its 50th...

Taking a look at the past as Ecolin Jewelers celebrates its 50th anniversary

Photo by Kimberly Brown

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Ecolin Jewelers of Port Jefferson has maintained a loyal customer base while offering a wide variety of jewelry and services.

The owners, Linda and Russell Baker, began their business in 1971. The couple rented a small storefront in Stony Brook to get their footing as the new jewelers in town.

A few years later, the Bakers’ business became successful enough to enable them to purchase their current property, located across from the harbor in the heart of the village. In 1979, the store had finally finished being built.

The well-known Ecolin Jewelers is a unique name choice for a jewelry store. However, Ecolin was not the Bakers’ first choice when they first set up shop.

“When we were sending name ideas off to Albany to be approved, we had picked three pretty plain names like The Gem Shop, The Gem & Mineral Store and Stony Brook Gems,” Linda said. “But we were rejected on all of them because someone else was using a similar name.”

Thus, Ecolin was born. Linda’s father suggested she take the “Eco” from her passion for ecology and use the first three letters from her name. The title was immediately approved, and Ecolin Jewelers was open for business. 

Along with running the business, Linda also worked nights pursuing her other passion, music. As a musician, she played piano and sang at clubs, on cruise ships and the Three Village Inn. 

“When I was doing music I worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” she said. “The idea was to get the business on its feet, and it worked.” 

Growing up on Long Island, Linda and Russell have always found themselves staying close to Stony Brook and Port Jefferson. The couple pride themselves on using American products.

“I think what’s unique about our store is that we make and design a lot of the jewelry here. We don’t just buy from factories in China,” she said.

Linda truly believes in supporting local and national American businesses, so all of the brands she buys from reflect the integrity of her own shop. A few of the brands she displays are LAGOS of Philadelphia and William Henry of Oregon. 

During the pandemic, Ecolin shut down for a few months but reopened when curbside trade was permitted. Although operating business by curbside, which included repairs and cleanings, may have been completely out of the ordinary for a jewelry shop, Linda made do with the obstacles thrown her way.

“We had one or two customers during the pandemic who really wanted to get engaged, and we successfully pulled that off,” she said. “It was strange going outside and showing the jewelry in the parking lot, but you do what you have to do and adapt to whatever comes your way, just like the generations before us did.”

The growth of Port Jefferson over the years has benefited Ecolin in many ways, especially with the increase in tourists. When Linda and Russell first bought the property, few people resided in the community.

“It was sort of a ghost town,” she said. “We were part of that first wave of town improvement. There were only a few businesses surrounding us in the beginning.” 

With the major growth of the village came the major growth of Ecolin, keeping it successfully running for 50 years from its modest Stony Brook beginning. 

For more information about Ecolin Jewelers, visit ecolin.com or call 631-473-1117.