If you’re searching for a not-so-typical holiday gift this season, Wiltonian Cynthia Grano’s bejeweled, lavender-filled silk pillows might be what you’re looking for.
Grano is hosting a holiday market at Old Town Hall, 69 Ridgefield Road, this weekend, Dec. 11-13, featuring her designs as well as those of three other local artisans.
While visiting Hong Kong in the late 1970s, Grano learned about the energies of stones and the symbolism of their carvings, and started collecting jade and semi-precious carved stones.
Sixteen years ago, Grano started designing pillows and launched her company, Cynthia Alexander Designs. She said the energies of the stones, as well as the meanings of their carvings, are “an integral part” of all her designs.
Grano’s handmade pillows and sachets are made of luxurious silks, which she fills with lavender and adorns with semi-precious stones.

According to her website, Grano works with lavender because of its many beneficial qualities.
“It is reviving, promotes restful sleep, soothes and helps maintain one’s sense of well-being,' said Grano, who also uses silk, lavender and stones to create personal accessories like shoe bags, shoe trees, pajama bags, and eye pillows.
Grano said she began selling her designs at small shows but has since expanded her business to include selling wholesale to stores across the country.
“One year, we were part of the Eileen Fisher holiday gift collection and were in all of her stores,” she said. “The pillows have earned their own copyright and trademark status.”

For the past 13 years, Grano has been designing precious and semi-precious jewelry, including earrings, necklaces and bracelets.
“We do our own castings for our earrings and toggle closure, which gives us an exclusive look,” she said. “We sell throughout Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.”
Joining Grano at the holiday market will be:


  • Anita Sobelson, owner of Anita Designs in Weston, who designs a line of natural linen napkins, fingertip towels, tissue box covers and more. Her zip code towels have been sold in the Betts Store at the Wilton Historical Society.

  • Jean Forte, owner of Jean Forte Vintage Gifts in Silvermine, who offers a selection of vintage home goods, including silver, glass, china and one-of-a-kind items.

  • Suzanne Saltzman, of New York City, who creates one-of-a-kind evening handbags and clutches adorned with semi-precious stones and crystals. She also embellishes silk shawls with semi-precious stones.


The holiday market will be open from 10 to 6 on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 11 and 12, and from noon to 5 on Sunday, Dec. 13.
Parking is located off Belden Hill Road, behind Old Town Hall.
For more information, call 203-834-2507.
To view Grano’s designs, visit cynthia-alexander.com.