CHESHIRE — Although Achiq Designs has been in town since 2016, the Peruvian jewelry store in a small plaza off South Main Street can be easy to miss.
“It’s a hidden gem,” said Fabiola Giguere, owner and founder of Achiq Designs.
Giguere came to the United States from Lima, Peru, 31 years ago at age 21 with a lot of ambition to achieve her full potential in the United States of America.
Two years after moving to Connecticut, she opened her first business, Limpiex Cleaning in Hamden, providing commercial cleaning for places like office buildings, hospitals and other medical facilities. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in business management at Albertus Magnus College.
Giguere still had dreams of opening a jewelry store. She started traveling to jewelry conventions, such as Jewelers of America in New York and Jewelers International Showcase in Miami, to show and sell her pieces.
After a couple years, Giguere was tired of traveling to jewelry shows and wanted to settle down and find a place where she could showcase her work.
In December 2016, she opened Achiq Designs, where she incorporates her culture from Peru into her jewelry, often using Peruvian silver. Achiq means “bright” in Quechua, which is the Incan language.
Her son, Francisco Pierre, started helping her run the business after he graduated from Albertus Magnus College in 2016 with a degree in Information Technology.
“...I dove into the business head first,” said Pierre. “It’s been great seeing her create pieces and I’m always impressed with her designs.”
Once Giguere finishes a design, she sends it to artisans in Peru where the product is finished. She also works with U.S. suppliers of diamonds, ruby’s, emeralds, and sapphires.
“I love it because I feel like I’m giving back to my community back home in Peru by collaborating with them on these pieces,” said Giguere.
Each Peruvian stone has a different meaning and story behind it. Pink Opal is a soothing light pink and signifies love. The Indian Opal is named after the Andes Mountain and signifies prosperity. Chrysocolla is a deep green gem that signifies empowerment.
“Many women love to buy Chrysocolla because they want to feel empowered,” said Giguere.
Jennifer Cutrali has been a client since the store opened.
“I wear something from Achiq Designs everyday,” she said. “Every time I go, Fabi has a story to tell about how she designed the piece and how they handcrafted it in Peru.”
Cutrali has also recommended the store to family and friends.
Giguere says her mission is to create a beautiful experience for each client, whether in person or online.
“When clients order online, I make sure the packaging is beautiful so that when they open it, they are satisfied with their purchase,” said Giguere.
Giguere encourages individuals to never give up on their dreams because with persistence it can become a reality.
“Everything takes time and having a business is hard but never impossible,” said Giguere.
Achiq Designs is located at 1081 S Main St. in the Country Plaza. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, check out their website www.achiqdesigns.com.