Alexis Kletjian Forges Personal Connection with First Store

IndependentsJan 09, 2018

Alexis Kletjian Forges Personal Connection with First Store

The designer is empowering herself and her business by taking retail into her own hands.

Alexis Kletjian got her start as a fashion designer and in 2011 turned to fine jewelry. Now, she is tackling retail on her own terms. (Image courtesy of Alessandra Manzotti of

Kennett Square, Pa.--For jewelry designers, many aspects of their career rest in the hands of others. Designers are dependent on the approval of buyers and retailers, and don’t always have much of a say in how their work is presented.

Alexis Kletjian wasn’t satisfied with this model, or with simply selling her pieces online. She wanted to take the full experience of her fine jewelry into her own hands, and did so by opening her first brick-and-mortar store last September.

“I needed to take a risk and make a change,” Kletjian told National Jeweler. “I just felt like every time I turned around there was somebody else launching something or doing something and I felt like this is my true passion. I needed to invest in myself and do something meaningful for me that fed my soul.”

Here, an assortment of Alexis Kletjian jewelry. Kletjian is inspired by antique and vintage styles, which she carries in addition to her own jewelry at her new store in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

That investment is Alexis Kletjian Fine Jewelry, an approximately 500- to 600-square-foot “charming” storefront in the historic town of Kennett Square in Pennsylvania, home to about 6,000 people.

Kletjian and her family moved to the area a year before she opened the store.

“When we moved here, I said to my husband, ‘I want to open a store,’ and he jokingly said, ‘Please don’t,’” Kletjian recalled.

But with her two children in school full-time Kletjian was determined to make it happen. “I said I would give myself exactly a year to learn everything about the area.”

Kletjian wanted to jump into retail, because, despite having found success with her namesake fine jewelry that she launched in 2011, she was dissatisfied with the passiveness of participating in the traditional retail model, instead desiring the autonomy inherent in selling her own line in her own physical space.

“What was I going to do?” Kletjian asked, “Work on my jewelry and hoard it all in the safe, or go to trade shows and try to get people to look at me? That’s not who I am.”

Kletjian stocks her store with her own designs and those of a few of her contemporaries, as well as vintage and antique jewels and trinkets, candles, oils and jewelry boxes.

When an ideal location popped up on the town’s main retail street three weeks prior to
the annual Kennett Square Mushroom Festival, which sees the population balloon to 300,000, Kletjian didn’t hesitate.

“I didn’t have any furniture, nothing,” she said. “I woke up at 4 a.m. and went to all of the vintage flea markets down in Amish country (to source antiques). My husband built me a case for my antique jewelry. He hand-fabricated it out of steel--it was a massive effort in the middle of the summer.”

Kletjian managed to open in time for the festival. Besides stocking her own jewelry, which she’s always in the process of making, she now sources antique and vintage jewelry and trinkets, as well as luxury candles, oils and jewelry boxes. Prices at her store range from $40 for a vintage bangle to $30,000 for a custom engagement ring.

She also carries other contemporary jewelry designers such as Rachael Sarc, Emilie Shapiro, The Eden Collective, Judi Powers, Estyn Hulbert and Anne Sportun. “I only choose designers who I feel complement my own aesthetic and (people) who I know have incredible work and work ethic,” Kletjian said.

“Dreaming up and imagining something has never been an issue for me,” said Kletjian. “Opening the store is just really full circle.”

She describes her gallery as “very comfortable, with layers of different eras, textures, flowers and plants—it’s like a home. It’s upscale but very cozy.”

But her favorite thing about the store is that it’s all hers.

“If there’s anything I don’t like that’s in here, it goes,” she explained. “I don’t have to have any designer in here I don’t want, or sell any item I don’t want. Every single thing in here I truly love. That’s pretty freeing.”

So far, having a physical selling point has bolstered Kletjian’s brand. The designer has been surprised by the number of her social media followers who are seeking out her new store, and she’s relishing in the personal connections she’s making.

“People who I didn’t even know were following me are coming in. And the thing that they always say is, ‘Now you’re like a real person,’” she said. “I was always a real person. I had had success even before I opened (the gallery) but it didn’t matter, nobody cared. Now they can come in and touch and see and feel, and that’s what matters to people.

“It gave people more trust; it’s just strange. I had to take this investment in myself. I needed a game-changer and for me this was a game-changer.”
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