Kryston's Hardware Owner Takes Over as SDI Chair
Nanette Kryston has owned Springfield Avenue hardware store with husband since 1996.
Tony Melchionna, owner of Salon 44, served as chair for the last two years with Kryston as his vice chair.
"He was a great mentor because he kept me right there," Kryston said, "He kept me abreast of everything."
This close relationship is important, she said, because the transition to become chair is a smooth one.
Kryston has had many roles in her six years with Summit Downtown Inc. including trustee and secretary. And while it is not required that one serve in these various capacities before becoming chair, Kryston said it just made sense for her.
"I feel that SDI has an extremely important role in the downtown, and we've been doing great things all along and I feel like I can continue them," Kryston said.
But being involved isn't new to Kryston. A retired school teacher, she and her husband Steve, also retired, bought what is now Kryston's Hardware in 1996.
Living in Bedminister, Kryston said she always served in the Parent Teacher Association at the local schools and served in the local Homeowner's Association.
But Summit is home.
Kryston's mother lives in Summit, husband Steve grew up in neighboring New Providence and both Kryston and her son were born at Overlook Hospital.
"It all fell into place," she said of the family buying the hardware store. "It just felt right."
In addition to working seven days a week at the store, Kryston hopes to continue the work that's been started the past two years by past chair Melchionna. Her goals for this year: host the second annual Girls Night Out, work with the city to get more parking downtown, and continue to team up with other city organizations to host events, such as Taste of Summit which benefits the Historical Society.
While parking is often a controversial issue, Kryston said the time to invest in parking is now because construction costs are so low.
"The SDI board now–so many of us have a vision of what the downtown could be and can see through and past the recession to what it can be one day," she said.
However, Kryston said SDI will be working on creating more events that bring customers into the stores themselves, such as Girls Night Out, instead of just into the city, like the Street Fair.
"Hopefully people will see our wonderful city and our downtown and come back," she said. "But to judge whether you got additional customers from the street fair is hard to judge" unlike Girls Night Out where it's easy to quantify how many additional customers downtown stores see that night.