Chrystéle Zawislack grew up in Westchester County and moved to Greenwich, CT with her husband. I first met Chrystéle when we were volunteering at the Junior League of Greenwich. When she told me she is launching a luxury goods company, I knew I had to interview her. I caught up with Chrystéle, who is juggling a lot these days- raising 2 teenage boys and launching her new company, North Street Watch Co. She took time off her busy schedule to talk to Suburbs 101 about her move to Greenwich and to give us a peek into her life in Greenwich, CT.
When Did You Move to Greenwich, CT?
We moved to Greenwich 13 years ago. My husband and I moved here to start a family.
Why Did You Choose to Move to Greenwich, CT?
I grew up in Larchmont, New York. I attended graduate school at Villanova University for my Masters in Engineering where I met my future husband, Tim Zawislack. We lived in Phoenixville, PA for a few years but decided to move closer to my family.
We instantly fell in love with Greenwich. We live in Cos Cob, which is a neighborhood within Greenwich. I love that Cos Cob is a close-knit community and everything is within walking distance. When my children were in elementary school we enjoyed our walks to school. We loved going to the Cos Cob library, which is conveniently located right next to the elementary school. Cos Cob library has incredible programs for children- from arts and crafts to computer coding. I also love that Cos Cob is thriving with new family owned shops.
Why Do You like Living in Greenwich?
I have always felt right at home in Cos Cob, CT. The people I’ve met in Greenwich are warm and welcoming. There are a lot of community service organizations around town so it was easy to get involved and to meet new people. I joined the Junior League of Greenwich and was an active member for ten years. Giving back to the community has always been a passion of mine. It’s a wonderful way to meet like-minded people if you are new in town.
Did You Know Anyone When You Moved to Greenwich? Any Advice for Newcomers on the Best Way to Meet People?
When I moved to Greenwich, I didn’t know anyone. My first born son was only 2 years old and I was pregnant with my second. I met a lot of people through my involvement in the community.
I first joined Mothers and Munchkins, that was a great way to meet other Greenwich moms. I was also active in the school PTA. I volunteered as the class parent and ran several fundraisers at Cos Cob elementary school. I love to cook and bake so I ran What’s Cooking and helped spearhead Fall Festival at Cos Cob School. I also joined the Junior League of Greenwich and had leadership roles in numerous committees such as Communications, The Enchanted Forest, Kids in the Kitchen, Positively Me, Nominating, New Membership, Boys Achieving More (BAM) and Children’s Concert Committee. This prepared me for my next adventure, starting my own company.
Tell Me More About the New Company You Just Started- North Street Watch
During the pandemic, I found myself driving around Greenwich and having a deeper appreciation for its beauty. Beauty in its architecture, seascape and landscape. I’ve always loved collecting watches, but wasn’t impressed with the staple black strap that came with the watch. I thought how nice it would be to tie in all the beauty and textures of Greenwich into luxurious leather watch straps.
The watch straps are designed with a story behind each piece. For example, I found a brown that’s close to the shade and texture of a wooded lane in Greenwich, a few hours before dusk in the middle of spring. That brown. There’s an inspiration behind each piece. After a year and half of planning, designing, creating prototypes and learning my way around the camera, North Street Watch Co. was launched.
I personally selected each skin, from artisanal tanneries in France, Italy, and Germany. They are hand-crafted in our factory here in the United States by a team of six craftspeople with a collective 110 years of experience in hand sewn leather goods. Each strap is painted by hand, with individually matched paint and special brushes to ensure long-lasting, even coverage. There are quick-release spring bars for easy functionality paired with the classic yet graceful “H” design buckle in polished or brushed steel. We pay a lot of attention to details- each handmade strap is alive in its balance, perfect in its imperfections.
I thought how nice it would be to tie in all the beauty and textures of Greenwich into luxurious leather watch straps.Chrystéle Zawislack, Founder of North Street Watch Co.
Is North Street Watch named after North Street in Greenwich?
Yes! My parents lived on North Street in Greenwich for many years. We named the company, North Street Watch after their street. In fact, there are 11 Greenwich inspired watch straps in our Collection which I’m sure you’ll recognize by their names.
Any Go-To Spots in Greenwich that You Can Recommend to Our Readers?
There are a lot of new coffee shops popping up in town. We were very excited to learn that Gregory’s Coffee opened on Greenwich Avenue. We used to frequent Gregory’s Coffee when my husband worked in NYC. Their coffee is the best and their treats are homemade with clean ingredients!
What Do You Like to Do with Your Kids in Greenwich?
I have two teenage boys (and one fur baby). My 13 year old son, Anthony, is in 8th grade and attends Central Middle School. He plays soccer for Greenwich United Premier. Having been a soccer player in college, I love watching him play. My 15 year old son Christian is a sophomore at Greenwich High School. He is a long distance runner and competes on the Varsity Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field. This fall, he qualified for the FCIA and State Open. I am very proud of him and his accomplishments. When my children aren’t competing, we love to bake together. Gracie, my English golden retriever, is three years old. Everyone LOVES her in town. Many have nicknamed her the Mayor of Cos Cob. She is also my company’s mascot and has her own IG page @northstreetwatchdog
Are you a Member of a Country Club?
We do not belong to any country clubs. This town has given our family many recreational activities from Tod’s Point to Byram Pool.
I was so proud when Byram Pool was completed. The fundraising journey through the Junior League was monumental. When they opened their doors I was the Junior League of Greenwich Communications co-chair. They needed someone to photograph the event and I volunteered to help. I didn’t know how to operate the camera, but have an eye for design.
Fortunately, photography came easy to me. When it was time to photograph the watch straps for North Street Watch’s website and social media, I did a lot of research and learned how to properly use the camera. I am very proud of the quality of my work.
Do You or Your Husband Take the Metro North to NYC?
Pre-pandemic, Tim used to take the Metro North to NYC from the Cos Cob Metro North train station everyday. He would park in the commuter lot at the Cos Cob train station. It took him a year to get the parking permit (there is a waitlist). The train heading into the city ran on time, which was important since he had to transfer to make it to his office at Secaucus, NJ. Now with the pandemic, he prefers to drive to work rather than to take public transportation. Since he’s no longer taking the train into the city, he decided to forgo his parking permit (which was a tough decision).
Have You Read Any Good Books Lately?
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover was my latest read. It deals with domestic abuse which is rising in our country. It has really opened my eyes to the pain, denial and strength the main character endured during her life journey. We are incredibly fortunate to have support programs in our town and awareness on domestic abuse. The YWCA Greenwich has done an incredible job supporting this cause.
Follow Chrystéle Zawislack and North Street Watch Co. on Social Media
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