Anna Pearl’s: a Beloved Vintage Boutique in Downtown Niantic

Jennifer Wallace

With sparkling displays and drawers spilling with jewelry, a true gem sits in downtown Niantic. Anna Pearl’s is a family-owned store passed through generations. It all started with Sharon Egan. Egan grew up hearing stories of her grandparents’ old jewelry store from her mother. Egan owned her own preschool for 32 years before closing due to her partner retiring. While she was working with kids, she would wear large costume jewelry pins from her
grandmother’s collection. “I found that the children, who didn’t have great language skills, would want to touch [the pins] and talk about them, so I got the idea that I should wear pins every day,” Egan said. With the inspiration from her grandmother and kids she worked with, Egan began to collect jewelry. “It became my passion to learn about
how [the pieces] were made, when they were made, the time frame, so it was like a history lesson and I became obsessed with it,” Egan said. After her daycare closed, Egan began to sell some of her jewelry at
her hairdresser’s. Her display at the salon sold out quickly and the place across the hall opened up for rent. Though it was only 300 square feet, she enjoyed every moment of running her new business. While driving through
downtown Niantic, she saw a “for rent” sign go up and immediately jumped at the small building tucked next to
the movie theater. Egan has now passed her shop to her daughter Annie. Annie is continuing this legacy by selling vintage diamonds at Anna Pearls. “She’s very observant of what’s trending and what people are buying,” Ruby McMahon, a senior and employee of Anna Pearl’s said. McMahon first walked in the store when she was 9 and fell in love with the atmosphere of the store. McMahon was a customer when the switch between Sharon and Annie
occurred. She points out that they both have their strengths in running the store but Annie is truly taking Anna Pearls to the next level. “Whenever [Annie] puts out a new diamond it sells within the first week,” McMahon said. Besides diamonds, Annie is beginning to cater the store toward the younger people, moving away from costume jewelry and towards simpler antique pieces.