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15 Spaces That Elevate The Ring-Shopping Experience

Selling bridal today requires more than just a dedicated showcase.

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IT WASN’T THAT long ago when a private consultation room in a jewelry store had about as much personality as a cubicle in any office, and bridal showcases didn’t look much different from their neighbor displays. Now, with an increasing emphasis on ensuring a comfortable and customized experience for engagement-ring shoppers, creativity abounds. Recognizing the importance of the engagement-ring shopper, retailers have raised the experience to a high art, whether it’s in a private enclave or comfortably seated at a bridal bar or in a booth. These spaces are also enriched by an emphasis on luxe or forward-leaning furniture and inspired interior design. In 2020, when by-appointment visits continue to be a priority, the right setting can make the private shopping experience even more comfortable.

Christopher’s Fine Jewelry & Rare Coins, West Des Moines, IA

Client Comfort

At Christopher’s Fine Jewelry & Rare Coins in West Des Moines, IA, which debuted in 2019, the bridal area is a curved bar-style station with comfortable counter height seating, which allows a close look at each specific designer’s collection as well as the loose diamond selection. The wedding band area (pictured at left) is private, cozy and luxe, with benches for two and privacy. “We were intentional regarding the client experience in their engagement and diamond purchasing,” says general manager Christine Osborne. “We have always wanted people to feel at home with us, and we kept that in mind with every aspect of the design.”

Diamond Room, Austin, Texas

Fast Forward

With the Diamond Room in Austin, owner Matthew O’Desky created an appointment-only private jeweler in 2009. With a makeover in 2018, the space became ultra-modern. In addition to comfortable space-age seating, the frosted front doors have high-polished bar handles, and there’s a 6-foot glass bar suspended from the ceiling. A flat-screen TV looks like it’s a painting until renderings of rings magically appear on the screen.

Tapper’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, Troy, MI U-shaped bridal bar

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Bridal Bar

Family-owned Tapper’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry in Troy, MI, blends modern and mid-century design, and features customer facing showcases and a U-shaped bridal bar, developed to offer Tapper’s guests a relaxing, luxury shopping experience in a welcoming environment.

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Erickson Jewelers, Iron Mountain, MI

Splash of Color

Erickson Jewelers, owned by Sherri and Randy Erickson, is housed in a century-old building in Iron Mountain, MI, which they renovated in 2018. The blue benches pop in an otherwise neutral color scheme. Throughout the store, they use showcases that open from the front for side-by-side selling without barriers. “Diamonds and custom design are where we shine!” Sherri says.

Vardy’s, Cupertino, CA

Cool Comfort

Vardy’s, a family-owned design/craft workshop in the Silicon Valley, Cupertino, CA, made serious lemonades out of lemons in 2019, when someone accidentally crashed their car into the store’s exterior wall. They seized that opportunity to renovate, updating the interior in cool grays and blues. Comfy, cool-toned seating is a priority. “From complimentary wine and champagne or dispensing hot drinks in chill weather, we view the showroom as our home away from home,” says Fanya Hull, who owns Vardy’s with Vardy Shtein, Misha Shtein and Alice Shtein.

Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers, Metairie, LA

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Bridal Booth

Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers in Metairie, LA, owned by Robert Ramsey, features private consultation booths in the sprawling store, which opened in 2018. The booths add cozy, personal space to a 6,000-square-foot showroom. Another strategy they’ve employed to make the space manageable is to divide the floor with a main path, bordered by two different carpet patterns. This creates a different feel that separates the bridal area from the space where other types of diamond jewelry are offered.

Perry’s Emporium, Wilmington, NC

Residential Vibe

In a 2019 reinvention of Perry’s Emporium in Wilmington, NC, owned by Alan Perry and his sons, Josh and Jordan Perry, interior designer Danielle Saintard Valiente of Port City Design Group transformed the interior from a traditional palette of jewel tones to a new look that mirrors the coastal North Carolina setting, creating an elegant residential-style vibe. The store’s original carved mahogany doors were used in the design consultation bistro to divide booth seating.

Julz Couple In Cube

In the Cube

Over the years, as the owner of two stores in Ohio, Alan Rodriguez would often hear from customers that, “Jewelry ALWAYS looks better under the fancy lighting in jewelry stores.” At the new Julz by Alan Rodriguez store in downtown Canton, OH, which debuted in 2019, a large glass cube containing a single jewelry case, allows the Julz team to show the beauty of their diamond jewelry in natural daylight. The unique space fosters a sense of intimacy between staff and customers, with privacy from other interactions going on in the store behind them.

Perry’s Diamond & Estate Jewelry, Charlotte, NC

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Pull Up a Chair

Perry’s Diamond & Estate Jewelry in Charlotte, NC, boasts 12 private buying offices, an on-site custom design and repair studio and a showroom with a mix of sit-down and walk-up showcases. The showroom was designed like a home with comfortable chairs for clients to view jewelry and meet with associates, a beverage center stocked with beer, wine, soda and water, and even a sitting area with a television playing local sporting events and news.

Reis-Nichols’ Indiana store

Diamonds in the Round

Reis-Nichols’ Indiana store has multiple features catering specifically to client experience, says owner William P. “BJ” Nichols. A custom hospitality bar greets customers with coffee, daily fresh-baked cookies, and a small refreshment refrigerator including milk and juice boxes for kids. During private events, it turns into an actual bar. The space also includes several seating areas: from a comfortable waiting space, a unique round semi-private diamond showroom on the middle of the sales floor, and the luxurious watch lounge. There is even a round jewelry showcase that can convert into a serpentine showcase for special events.

Malka Diamonds, Portland, OR

Custom Convo Area

Malka Diamonds, owned by David and Ronnie Malka, sits in the historic Hamilton Building in downtown Portland, Oregon. During a 2018 renovation a modern round table and gray leather chairs were added to the center of the store, which has become a focal point for convening custom-bridal conversations.

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Adornment + Theory, Chicago

Embracing Hospitality

At Adornment + Theory in Chicago, individuals or couples pull up stools at the jewelry bar as owner Viviana Langhoff serves drinks and discusses creating the piece of their dreams. “As a designer, custom design is my passion, so having an experience that embraces hospitality is very important to me,” Langhoff says. “The goal is for them to walk away with an heirloom piece that they will wear for a lifetime.”

YLANG YLANG, St. Louis

Something Blue

At the French-inspired YLANG YLANG in St. Louis, one of owner Julie Ettinger’s favorite spaces is the “blue room,” separated from the main showroom by French doors. Here she can offer guests a private luxury design experience, a place to pop the question, or a private spot for celebrations with champagne toasts.

Fakier Jewelers meeting room

Culture Club

Family-owned Fakier Jewelers’ interior design, evoking elements of New Orleans, Montreal and Paris, elevates the shopping experience in Houma, LA. Manon Fakier worked with The French Mix interior design firm of Covington, LA, to pull it together in the store that opened in 2017. “We wanted to bring a little bit of that French culture in the store,” she says, as well as to blend antiques with comfortable seating for everyday function.

Day's Jewelers, Nashua, NH

Custom-Built

Day’s Jewelers’ Forevermark bridal enclave is considered the crown jewel of the Nashua, NH, store, owners Jeff and Kathy Corey say, with its custom-built benches and furniture, as well as the story of Forevermark playing on a continuous loop.

Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

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Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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