About Retail: A Quiet Storm in Brooklyn

IndependentsJun 24, 2016

About Retail: A Quiet Storm in Brooklyn

Co-founder of Think PR Reshma Patel wants her newly opened fine and fashion jewelry boutique to be a respite from the chaos of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Quiet Storms was designed by an architect who primarily does residential properties, Elizabeth Roberts.

Brooklyn, New York--On a peaceful street in the heart of Williamsburg, where hipster-dom and a serious influx of money butt up against each other, a new jewelry store is sliding into a gap in the Brooklyn retail landscape.

Opened last month, Quiet Storms is the passion project of fashion PR veteran Reshma Patel, a longtime Williamsburg resident who, over the years, found continuously less reason to venture to Manhattan, except when shopping for sophisticated fine and fashion jewelry.

With careful attention to the retail and online experience she provides, Patel has rounded up a thoughtful roster of fashion and fine jewelers for Quiet Storms, including Uncommon Matters, Shihara, Delfina Delettrez, Sophie Bille Brahe and Azlee, a group that has the potential to appeal to the classic Williamsburg waif on a budget as well as her more moneyed and established counterpart.

Patel’s public relations background doesn’t include any jewelry experience; she approached the concept of a jewelry retail endeavor from the point of view of a shopper and connoisseur. “I wanted to build my own brand after helping so many creative visionaries articulate and build their own,” she explained of her industry switch.

National Jeweler spoke with the new retailer about the brick-and-mortar retail landscape in Brooklyn’s hippest, ever-changing neighborhood.

National Jeweler: What is your professional background?
Reshma Patel: I started my career as a publicist. In 2001 I co-founded my own PR agency called Think PR and I ran it for 14 years. We were working predominantly with fashion, hospitality and lifestyle brands. In 2014 I transitioned into more of a consulting partner role, took a few years off and then started to focus on building and creating something new, which is now Quiet Storms. 

NJ: Where did your interest in fine and fashion jewelry begin?
RP: I’m Indian so I think jewelry and gold is somewhat in my DNA. I can vividly remember watching my mother put out all of her Indian jewelry, getting ready for events, and I remember looking at it, feeling fascinated by it and accompanying her, whether it was in India or here in New York, to the jewelry store, to her jewelers and being really mesmerized, not only by the pieces but by the process of finding gemstones. I wasn’t doing PR for jewelry designers but I was in the fashion space, and I’m a shopper and an admirer, so I’ve always had an interest in

jewelry but mostly from a consumer stand-point.

NJ: What’s the significance behind the name Quiet Storms?
RP: I wanted the store to be a calmer and quieter retail experience than the retail experiences that I felt existed. The name also mirrors what I think of the pieces and designers themselves; they are all doing really interesting, dynamic things and doing them in a sophisticated and refined way. Quiet Storms also alludes to who I think we are as women: we are at times quiet and at times feel like storms. I wake up sometimes and feel soft and vulnerable and then other times feel entirely confident and sometimes edgy.
“I wanted the store to be a calmer and quieter retail experience than the retail experiences that I felt existed.”
NJ: Why did you choose Grand Street in Williamsburg for your location?
RP: I’ve lived in Williamsburg since 1999 and I was really excited to create something close to home; I live about nine blocks away from the boutique. It was exciting for me to essentially grow up in Brooklyn and I wanted to offer a different point-of-view in terms of jewelry. We have so many incredible retailers and now I wanted to add to the narrative.

Grand Street seemed like a really interesting place. There’s a lot of movement and traffic on Bedford Avenue but we wanted to create a calm, almost dreamy experience when you walk in off the street, a place of escape. I felt like Grand Street would provide that kind of experience as opposed to opening doors on Bedford, which is generally a little bit noisier as it’s a major thoroughfare.

Grand is also a thoroughfare between the north and the south and there’s a lot of exciting things that are continuing to happen on the south side of Williamsburg. Given that Grand Street feels like a connector between the two areas, I felt it was an ideal place for Quiet Storms to live.

NJ: Tell me about the brands you carry and how you selected them.
RP: First and foremost I’m just really drawn to these designers, to their narratives, their stories and point-of-views, to the pieces that they make, the materials they’re working with, to the finishes, the way that they design and the places that they’re coming from.

Creating another jewelry store in Williamsburg when we already have four or more, even beloved ones with very loyal customer followings, it created a really amazing and interesting challenge because I almost had to start backwards and go outside of Brooklyn to find and connect with the designers who I would want to bring in. I made a list of designers whom I felt really fit this narrative of modern, fine, fashion jewelry that’s unexpected, that’s artful, and then I just started reaching out to them. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to bring them all to the boutique and online.
“[Fine jewelry] is the opposite of fast fashion, which has become kind of a coffee fix.”
NJ: Was it important to you to carry both fashion and fine jewelry?
RP: Yes, I think that there’s really interesting and exciting things happening in both spaces so I didn’t want to limit myself in terms of price points on either side of the scale. It was really just looking at designers who I thought would work well together within our site and our space and then, of course, trying to create a good mix of price points so clients who are walking in could feel that this is a place of discovery … and also feel that there were multiple opportunities for them to connect with the jewelry from an accessibility standpoint.

NJ: What’s the approximate retail price range?
RP: Some of our studs are under $100 for 14-karat gold. (Los Angeles-based designer) Kathleen Whitaker--one of my favorites for her beautiful, simple geometric pieces--we sell her 14-karat diamond studs for $40. Then it goes all the way up to a white gold bangle by Lia di Gregorio with these incredible hidden pearls on the inside of the bangle ($6,550 retail).

NJ: Are you targeting a specific demographic?
RP: No, it’s interesting that it’s been such a broad range of people connecting with the jewelry. That’s generally what I was hoping for because I think fine jewelry is something that’s forever. And when you’re working with designers who are sourcing materials responsibly it becomes a responsible purchase; it’s the opposite of fast fashion, which has become kind of a coffee fix.

For some customers, pieces might be seen as investments or purchases made for occasions as opposed to everyday wear (and we’ve had both sets of customers). Regardless, these purchases have inherent value to them because of the materials, so we’re seeing women in their 20s come in and women in their 60s, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

NJ: What was behind your decision to launch e-commerce and a brick-and mortar-location concurrently?
RP: I wanted to do something local in my neighborhood, for Brooklyn and for anyone who comes to Williamsburg. But I also wanted to be able to take this idea of modern fine and fashion jewelry and this curation and have it live outside of Brooklyn. I think of jewelry as art, especially the pieces from the designers that I’m working with. At Quiet Storms I’m trying to create a highly curated environment, whether it’s in the store or online, where people are able to continuously discover these incredible talents from around the world and I felt like that experience could happen both in store and online so it was important for me to have both at the onset of our launch.

(For the store) I worked with a Brooklyn-based architect (named Elizabeth Roberts) whose work is renowned, she’s such a talent, and if you look at her portfolio it’s predominantly residential. That was definitely an intentional decision because I didn’t want to build a retail space through a typical retail lens. It was the same for the site; I worked with a design firm called Studio A-Ha and this was one of their first fashion projects. Again, I think the result is something unexpected.
Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

The Latest

CollectionsFeb 03, 2023
Chipotle Spices Up Valentine’s Day with Jewelry Collection

The fast-casual chain partnered with Anna Sheffield’s Bing Bang NYC brand on a capsule collection and it’s a little “extra.”

SourcingFeb 03, 2023
Greenland Ruby Names New CEO

Geologist Arnt-Eirik Rørnes has taken on the role.

EditorsFeb 03, 2023
Piece of the Week: Gismondi 1754’s ‘Marea’ Cuff

The diamond and tanzanite bracelet was inspired by the waves of the Italian gulf near Genoa.

Brought to you by
Bringing Over 130 Years of Diamond Expertise to Modern Grading

De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.

CollectionsFeb 02, 2023
Lowe’s Is Now Selling Jewelry

The home improvement store’s website features an “Empowerment Tools” demi-fine jewelry collection.

Weekly QuizFeb 02, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Events & AwardsFeb 02, 2023
Registration is Now Open for JIS Spring 2023

The show will feature a new pavilion of 30 jewelry designers and manufacturers from Surat, India.

Policies & IssuesFeb 02, 2023
Tiny Radioactive Capsule Lost in Australian Outback Found

A government official said search crews “found the needle in the haystack” when they located the capsule belonging to Rio Tinto along an 870-mile stretch of road.

Brought to you by
De Beers Institute of Diamonds Expands to Offer Education

De Beers is sharing over 130 years of experience and expertise through the De Beers Institute of Diamonds with a selection of courses.

TrendsFeb 02, 2023
Amanda’s Style File: Purple and Playful

Amanda Gizzi welcomes February with a selection of amethyst jewelry, a birthstone that “deserves its own time to shine.”

EditorsFeb 01, 2023
Designers to Watch in 2023: Boochier

Behind the playful and nostalgic brand lies deeper meaning.

Events & AwardsFeb 01, 2023
New Miami Jewelry Center Slated to Open in Q1

The Time Century Jewelry Center is located in downtown Miami’s jewelry district.

SurveysFeb 01, 2023
Consumer Confidence Falls in January

Wariness about the year ahead offset a more positive view of the current economic situation.

MajorsFeb 01, 2023
Six New Retailers Appointed to IJO’s Board of Directors

The IJO also welcomed one new vendor member to its 13-member board, Brecken Farnsworth of Parlé Jewelry Designs.

ColumnistsJan 31, 2023
Squirrel Spotting: How About a Word for the New Year?

It begins with a “t” and ends with a “c” and is imbued with warmth and positivity, Peter Smith writes.

Policies & IssuesJan 31, 2023
Rio Tinto Issues Apology After Radioactive Capsule Goes Missing

The tiny capsule, which is believed to have fallen out of a truck, was lost somewhere along an 870-mile stretch of desert road.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Indian Jewelry Brand Tanishq Opens First U.S. Store, More on the Way

The jeweler’s expansion plans include 20 to 30 more stores in North America and the Middle East over the next two to three years.

Events & AwardsJan 31, 2023
Gucci Is Getting a Gem Award

The Italian luxury brand will receive the first Gem Award for High Jewelry Excellence.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Martin Flyer Names New VP of Business Development

Industry veteran Kevin Lane has stepped into the role.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
Researchers Uncover Bejeweled ‘Golden Boy’ Mummy

The ancient Egyptian teenager was buried 2,300 years ago with 49 amulets to guide him through the afterlife.

SurveysJan 30, 2023
Consumers Embracing Non-Traditional Ways to Mark Valentine’s Day

The NRF’s annual survey shows that consumer attitudes about how, or even whether, to celebrate Feb. 14 continue to evolve.

Events & AwardsJan 30, 2023
JA Is Searching for the Next Retail ’20 Under 40’

Nominations are open now through March 24.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
10 Jewelry News Stories You Might Have Missed

A column detailing how independent jewelers did last year and the top watch brands of 2022 were among the most-read stories last week.

FinancialsJan 27, 2023
Tiffany & Co. Shines for LVMH in 2022

Acquired in 2021, the brand’s high jewelry sales have doubled and its new “Lock” collection was an instant hit.

MajorsJan 27, 2023
Diamond Council of America Appoints Treasurer, Board Member

Executives from Fred Meyer Jewelers and Riddles Jewelers have filled the roles.

CollectionsJan 27, 2023
Piece of the Week: Heavenly Vices’ Lock Necklace

The Victorian-inspired design is a functional lock and key.

Supplier BulletinJan 26, 2023
JA New York Spring Brings the Industry Together

For over 100 years, JA New York has played an integral role in facilitating the evolution of our industry, while also honoring past traditions.

TrendsJan 26, 2023
At Vicenzaoro, Paola De Luca Gazes Into Jewelry’s Future

The trend forecaster and her guests explored unconventional jewelry designs, NFTs, AI art, and more during her Trendvision presentation.


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