Nagi Osta sells jewelry. So why are all those teddy bears on display in his Stamford store?
"These teddy bears go to the Red Cross. The whole store has teddy bears throughout," said Osta, who amassed the stuffed animals this holiday season. He also spearheaded a Toys for Tots collection and is asking customers to donate bicycles, which will be repaired and given to needy youngsters through the Domus center, which works with needy children.
"I'm giving a $30 coupon for every bike in any condition," said Osta.
So far, the response has been heartwarming, he said. "One guy came in with a brand-new bike. He did not take a coupon." Osta said he might raffle off that bike, bringing even more fund to support needy residents.
Osta owns Nagi Jewelers , at 828 High Ridge Road, with wife Liz. This is the 30th anniversary for the family business. It's done well in Stamford, and it is not unusual for Osta to show his thanks by conducting supportive endeavors for local nonprofits. In fact, his 30th anniversary celebration in October doubled as a fundraiser for Stamford first lady Maureen Pavia's Stamford Gives Back Association. The event took in $8,000 for the arts-oriented nonprofit.
Osta attributes his desire to give back to "a lot of love and affection for customers. You get so much good energy from good people." His business success and community involvement were recognized earlier this year by the University of Connecticut, which honored him with its Family Business of the Year Award.
This Christmas season, Osta's philosophy is the same as it is the rest of the year, he said. "Treat people right and give back as much as possible."
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