My community spotlight series takes a look at some of the interesting businesses and establishments that give New Rochelle its unique character and about which many residents may be unaware.

No one who’s checked out my wardrobe will mistake me for a fashionista, and I don’t own any jewelry, but I like to think I am hip enough (barely) to recognize quality and originality when I see it. Which brings me to one of the latest additions to New Rochelle’s downtown: Just Funki.

Located on the Division Street side of Avalon-East, Just Funki features hand-crafted original jewelry from designer and founder Rhonda Hamilton. Silver, copper, brass, and a mix of semi-precious gemstones — “wearable art,” Ms. Hamilton calls it — all in striking forms.

We often bemoan the lack of chain stores in New Rochelle, and that’s a fair comment, because well-known national retailers can help anchor a business district, and we should try to attract more of them. But the truth is that unique establishments like Just Funki are even more valuable, because they give our City a distinct character, while setting a high-quality standard.

If you’re in the market for some original jewelry or are just a fan of hand-crafted art, then learn more at