Signature Style is a homegrown Wilton success story. Owners Mary Logan and Ann Nash opened the custom gift store in 2010, in a tiny studio space on the lower level of the Barringer Building on Old Ridgefield Rd.. Over the last seven years, the duo grew the business exponentially, expanding the brick and mortar location not only three times to become one of the pillars of Wilton Center’s retail scene, but also establishing a significant online personalized gift business. Now, after seven years, they’ve decided it’s time to pass the baton, and have sold the business to Cara Calabrese and Janet Siegel, two Wilton residents and longtime friends.

The store is a hugely popular Wilton resource for gifts, home decor, accessories and apparel, with many items customizable through embroidery, embossing, engraving and printing. The team that Logan and Nash assembled work with customers to design custom monograms and personalized embellishments for all of the items they sell, doing almost all of the work in-house while accommodating large and small orders alike. They’ve become a go-to source for local club, team and organizational gifts and prizes as well as one of a kind gifts for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, weddings and religious holidays, and they’ve also established a foothold with corporate clients.

Their secret has been in their focus on connecting with customers and employees alike.

“The best thing about owning Signature Style has been the people we interact with every day. We have met so many interesting people and consider many customers our friends,” says Logan. “I will really miss the people we work with. Our SigStyle family is a very tight knit group and it will be strange not to come in every day and discuss the events in our lives and just laugh. We are usually super busy and work long days, but we always have a lot of fun together.”

Working well together was a critical element to getting the business started in the first place. Logan and Nash first recognized how well they clicked as co-chairs of a Post Graduation Party Class Project. Their chemistry set them up to grow their successful venture all the while raising families in town (in addition to Nash’s own roots growing up in Wilton herself).

“It has been really exciting to create and grow our business, having had so little experience before opening in 2010,” reflects Logan. “We have done much of it through trial and error that our successes have been that much more rewarding.”

But now that the two friends and partners are empty nesters, Nash and her husband are moving out of state. Logan says she’s been thinking for a while about exploring other career opportunities, so it seemed like the perfect time to sell the business. But to whom? They would need to find just the right person or persons.

“The potential buyer needed to be someone who is organized, detail oriented and has a sense of design. The person needed to be willing to put in the time necessary to run the business. Very few people realize how many hours we work here,” Logan explains.

Enter Siegel and Calabrese, and a bit of good timing, thanks to a chance conversation between Siegel and Nash while sitting on the sidelines watching their daughters compete on the Wilton High School gymnastics team this past season.

“Ann mentioned that she and Mary were selling Signature Style. I ran the idea past Cara and we both agreed this was a fantastic opportunity at a perfect time in our lives,” says Siegel. Like so many stay-at-home moms, we had talked about doing ‘something’ for a long time. Being involved with Signature Style would provide us with the opportunity to not just work close to home, but also be part of the community we love, while continuing to remain involved in our kids activities.”

Like the original founders, Calabrese and Siegel have found through their friendship that what they each bring separately to the partnership will make the business teaming greater than the sum of the parts.

“Cara was a teacher and had her own online retail business years ago; I have a background in accounting and marketing. We have been friends for a few years now–we work out together and find we are always pushing one another to lift more weight, go faster, keep going and are so thrilled when either one of us conquers a goal. Our personalities as well as skill sets compliment each other. We are active moms with seven children between us, ranging in age from 3rd grade through juniors in high school. We know many of our customers are busy Wilton residents on the run looking for hostess gifts, birthday gifts, etc., and keeping products in store with a staff that is knowledgeable and customer service-driven can make that one extra stop easy and enjoyable,” Siegel explains.

It helped that both women were long-time customers and fans of Signature Style.

“This is our go to place for a unique gift. It’s just easy because we can run in, always find something that fits for whatever we may need, touch the product to see the quality and talk to an actual person so we know how the final product will turn out–and we always manage to grab a little treat for ourselves as well,” Siegel says, adding, “In addition to the convenience it was always nice knowing we were supporting local residents.”

The store is also a mainstay in Wilton Center now, and a very visible member of the retail community. It’s something that Siegel and Calabrese recognize and want to keep strong.

“Having a shop in Wilton that draws customers from not just this town but other surrounding towns as well is a plus for the town. In addition, we are a town that whole-heartedly supports our Wilton Warriors. Having a go-to place to for unique Warrior items ranging from kids birthday gifts to graduation gifts to gifts for dads to personalized home décor is a real convenience in our busy world,” Siegel says.

She acknowledges that they’re a little nervous and excited at the same time. They’ll stick to what works–but also look to add their own touches.

“We want to continue to build on the strong foundation Ann and Mary have built. Knowing we have big shoes to fill in delivering top-notch service to our friends and neighbors is a little nerve wracking. We are going to continue carrying the Signature Style staples as well as continue in Ann and Mary’s footsteps to constantly vary the inventory and keep the store new and fresh with the latest in home décor, baby items, jewelry, clothing, bags and of course coolers. Ann and Mary have done a tremendous job focusing on women and girls. Because six of our seven children are boys, it’s a natural fit for us to now carry items that appeal to the men and boys in our lives. Providing more sports items and school specific items is another change you will see in the store.  There are a bunch of exciting things to come and we are so thrilled to be even more a part of a Wilton,” says Calabrese.

Signature Style is located at 72 Old Ridgefield Rd..