State of Jewelry Design: New Retailers’ Biggest Successes and Mistakes

IndependentsJun 01, 2022

State of Jewelry Design: New Retailers’ Biggest Successes and Mistakes

Jewelry store owners reflect on what they’ve gotten right and wrong in their first years of business.

Katherine Jetter, owner of The Vault Nantucket, is pictured at the company’s Boston store.
Editor’s Note: This story first appeared in the print edition of the 2022 State of the Majors. Click here to see the full issue.
Operating a new jewelry store in the pandemic era has presented emerging retailers with unprecedented challenges and successes. 
National Jeweler asked the six fine jewelry retailers profiled in the State of the Majors magazine article “State of Jewelry Design: Meet the New American Jeweler” to share what they’ve gotten right, and wrong, since opening in recent years (or mere months ago).  
Here’s what they had to say. 

Pendleton Jewelry owner Michelle Pendleton, pictured with her husband
Pendleton Jewelry owner Michelle Pendleton, pictured with her husband

Michelle Pendleton, Pendleton Jewelry
Kansas City, Kansas
Success: Since the store’s entire existence has been during the pandemic, I feel like we have pivoted in ways we never thought were possible. Private in-store appointments along with video chats, on-demand text messaging, home try-on services and other concierge-like offerings grew exponentially the past year and now have become standard practices, which we are more than happy to accommodate and continue.
Mistake: See our answer about successes! It is hard to scale the business without losing a touch of the on-demand offerings, but we will continue to make the quality experience our first priority, even if that means pacing our growth.

Rachael Nov, Gin & The Banker
Bellevue, Washington
Success: We have curated our designer selection well, allowing each designer to stand out and not compete with the designers they sit next to. Not oversaturating our store and keeping our selection tight allows each designer to get the recognition and attention they deserve.
Mistake: Mistaking that I can’t be both kind and assertive.

Don Purcell spent years at boutique Jeffrey in both New York and Atlanta before opening his own fine jewelry store in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood in 2021.
Don Purcell spent years at boutique Jeffrey in both New York and Atlanta before opening his own fine jewelry store in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood in 2021.
Don Purcell, Don Purcell
Atlanta, Georgia
Success: We have consistently engaged the community with our trunk shows and events. We create an experience at our events, which are usually catered with a bar and DJ. 
Mistake: The only mistake was not opening my own store sooner.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Katherine Jetter, The Vault Nantucket
Boston and Nantucket, Massachusetts 
Success: I feel really proud of the community we have built with our vendors. There is no competition, no cattiness, just a wonderful group of designers who all love and support one another in the most beautiful way.
Mistake: I’ve made plenty of them and I probably still am. I wouldn’t call it a mistake, but I was very lucky to not sign a lease two weeks before the pandemic hit—that would have been a major mistake. As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that hiring people from a company culture perspective is more important than a conceptual hire. 
Mary Margaret Beaver is pictured in her jewelry store Tiny Gods in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Mary Margaret Beaver is pictured in her jewelry store Tiny Gods in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mary Margaret Beaver, Tiny Gods
Charlotte, North Carolina
Success: I have trusted my instincts and have made it a point to take chances. 
Mistake: I opened in such a whirlwind that, at times, I was so living and breathing and working in the moment that I didn’t allow for thoughtful far-future planning. This I know I can do better! 

Ryan Ryan, The Fine Jewelry Bar
Palm Desert, California
Success: Carrying out the high standards I set for myself from the beginning to make shopping at The Fine Jewelry Bar an experience the customer will not easily forget.
Mistake: Underestimating the complications and breadth of retail coming from being a designer/wholesaler.  

 Related stories will be right here … 

The Latest

Policies & IssuesJul 01, 2022
U.S. Expands Sanctions to Russian Gold

The U.K, Canada, and Japan have also banned the import of gold originating from Russia.

Recorded WebinarsJul 01, 2022
Watch: What to Know About Livestream Shopping

Jewelry marketing expert Laryssa Wirstiuk shares her tips and tricks for hosting a livestream shopping session.

SourcingJul 01, 2022
De Beers, Botswana Extend Sales Agreement for Third Time

The current agreement, originally set to expire in 2020, will now go through June 2023.

Brought to you by
Preparing for Proposal Season with High-Quality, A.I.-Graded Natural Diamonds

Rare & Forever is helping to create an enjoyable diamond buying experience for the millions of newly-engaged couples.

CollectionsJul 01, 2022
Piece of the Week: Brent Neale x Edie Parker Pendant

The brands have collaborated on a fine jewelry ode to cannabis.

Weekly QuizJun 30, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
Supplier BulletinJun 30, 2022
Here’s Where You’ll Find The Best Online Jewelry Auctions

Sponsored by HiBid

CrimeJun 30, 2022
What JSA’s Annual Report Tells Us About Jewelry Crime in 2021

Plus, JSA President John Kennedy talks about the trajectory of industry crime over the last 20 years.

Brought to you by
Discover The Extraordinary Italian Jewelry In Las Vegas!

Experience all the Italian Jewelry market has to offer in Las Vegas.

CrimeJun 30, 2022
Smash-and-Grab Robbers Hit Booth at TEFAF: Watch the Video

The fair was evacuated temporarily Tuesday after four suspects smashed a showcase and stole jewelry from British jeweler Symbolic & Chase.

Events & AwardsJun 30, 2022
Nominations Are Open for Gem Awards 2023

The 21st annual awards show and gala will take place in New York City next March.

Events & AwardsJun 30, 2022
Registration Open for JIS Fall in Miami

The jewelry trade show is scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

AuctionsJun 29, 2022
Bonhams Expands Again with Purchase of Paris Auction House

It is the fifth acquisition under the ownership of private equity firm Epiris, which bought Bonhams in 2018.

MajorsJun 29, 2022
Zales Has a New Diamond Cut

The “Celebration Infinite” diamond has more than three times the number of facets in a traditional brilliant-cut diamond, the retailer said.

WatchesJun 29, 2022
Bulova Introduces New Frank Sinatra Watches

The brand again partnered with the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School to celebrate the launch of the “Summer Wind” watches.

SurveysJun 29, 2022
U.S. Platinum Jewelry Demand Starts 2022 on a Strong Note

Retail ounce sales were up 23 percent year-over-year in Q1, according to the recent Platinum Jewellery Business Review.

Events & AwardsJun 29, 2022
Registration Is Now Open for the HardRock Summit 2022

Scheduled for Sept. 8-11, the event will comprise more than 310,000 square feet of show floor, exhibits, and education space.

ColumnistsJun 28, 2022
The PR Adviser: Why Should Someone Buy From You?

If you’re having trouble answering this question, columnist Lilian Raji can help you get a started with a few fill-in-the-blank statements.

CollectionsJun 28, 2022
Melissa Kaye’s New Collection Doubles the Color

“Lenox” marks the designer’s foray into bespoke jewels and large colored gemstones.

Events & AwardsJun 28, 2022
Second AGS Virtual Education Conference Is All About Negotiation Skills

“Confluence” is happening in August.

MajorsJun 27, 2022
George Holmes, Longtime Head Editor of JCK Magazine, Dies at 93

He first took a job at then Philadelphia-based Jewelers’ Circular-Keystone in 1963 and retired in 1996.

MajorsJun 27, 2022
Mayors, Analog:Shift Team Up With Goop

The lifestyle platform will stock fine jewelry and watches from the retailers on its website and in store.

CrimeJun 27, 2022
JSA Warns of ‘Pandemic’ of Distraction Thefts Nationwide

It cited two recent cases in California, plus incidents in Florida, Kansas, and Illinois.

CollectionsJun 27, 2022
This Designer Has Found a New Way to Bring Gemstones to Life

Svetlana Lazar’s “Wishing Well” collection utilizes an innovative component to mimic the movement of water beneath them.

Supplier BulletinJun 24, 2022
AGTA GemFair™ Denver is the Place to Be in September!

Sponsored by AGTA

Recorded WebinarsJun 24, 2022
Vegas Jewelry Recap: The Editors Weigh In

Watch the webinar in which National Jeweler’s editors talk about jewelry market week trends and their predictions for the rest of 2022.

MajorsJun 24, 2022
Banter by Piercing Pagoda Celebrates Pride with ‘SayGay’ Necklace

All proceeds up to $25,000 will benefit the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ+ youth.

CollectionsJun 24, 2022
Piece of the Week: Marie Lichtenberg’s Hidden Message Locket

It’s a reminder that life is best lived with discretion.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy