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Here Are This Year’s America’s Coolest Store Honorable Mentions




Big Cool Honorable Mentions

Carter’s Jewel Chest, Mountain Home, AR

Carter’s Jewel Chest

Mountain Home, AR

Second-generation owner Chris Carter oversaw the renovation of Carter’s Jewel Chest in 2018 to create a bright and modern aesthetic with a Hearts On Fire boutique and a diamond island. The remodel also greatly expanded the space from 2,000 to 6,200 square feet. Chris joined the family business in 2003 and works with his mom, Beth, who founded the business over 40 years ago with her husband, T.C. Carter. Judges describe the store as inviting, cozy and a comfortable place to visit. It’s a modern design with a neutral palette for a timeless appeal.

Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers, Metairie, LA

Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers

Metairie, LA

In 2018, second-generation jeweler Robert Ramsey transformed a shadowy, cavernous former restaurant into the bright and airy “Largest Diamond Store in Louisiana,” Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers. Due to the expansive square footage, the sales floor is divided by a main path bordered by two different carpet patterns. This visual cue separates the bridal area from the space where other types of diamond jewelry are offered. Judges say Ramsey’s strong ties to the community are woven throughout the company’s brand message. Love, resilience, and community commitment are not marketing slogans but expressions from the heart. Their social media strategy reflects their core community beliefs.


Spicer Greene Jewelers Asheville, NC

Spicer Greene Jewelers

Asheville, NC

In 2014, Elliott and Eva-Michelle Spicer purchased Wick and Greene Jewelers from Eva-Michelle’s parents and embarked on a renovation of the art deco building that was once a gas station. The business is known for having the Carolinas’ largest selection of loose diamonds on display in the showroom, which are displayed in a grid format, similar to how shoppers would view diamonds on popular online platforms. Judges describe the store as contemporary and inviting, and beautiful inside and out.

andenberg’s Jewelers Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Vandenbergs Jewelers

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ralph and Lori Vandenberg grew Vandenberg’s from a 500-square-foot fashion-jewelry store to a full-service 3,300 square foot showplace that debuted in 2019. The design incorporates industrial features with lush carpeted areas and a glass wall separating showroom from workshop. The common comment from clients is, “I don’t want to leave; everywhere I look, there’s something I want to look closer at.” Judges agree that everything about this store makes visitors take notice, from the walls of glass and the copper fan hoods, to the casting room on display at the front of the store.

ack Lewis Jewelers Bloomington, IL

Jack Lewis Jewelers

Bloomington, IL

John Carter first worked at Jack Lewis Jewelers when he was in high school. Nineteen years later, Carter bought the store. Judges love the experiential nature of John Carter’s business, from the engagement ring photo shoots to the Ring Playground and a Blingfest event, and say the creativity and fun atmosphere of this business stands out. Client interaction is smart, imaginative and engaging and sets the stage to earn their clients’ trust. Carter credits his team, whom he describes as “amazing human beings,” for the success of the business.

Small Cool Honorable Mentions

Amor Fine Jewelry Brooklyn, NY

Amor Fine Jewelry

Brooklyn, NY

When Zalman and Simcha Minkowitz opened their own store, they had no idea how to use Instagram. Now, with some help from their teenagers, who advise them on marketing, they have 4,000-plus followers. Clients drive from out of town to meet them or shop directly from Instagram. They’re also treated like they’re famous in local restaurants or out on the street, due to their Instagram stories. “It blows us away every time,” they say. Judges say Amor Fine Jewelry is luxurious and inviting, a beautiful mix of elegant materials, tones, textures and design sophistication. The brand voice and imagery is inviting, authentic, understated, and respectful.

Brax Jewelers, Newport Beach, CA

Brax Jewelers

Newport Beach, CA

Owner Amy Astaraee’s interests in art, design and fashion inspired her to launch a career in jewelry and to open a store inspired by Parisian boutiques. Marketing is focused on the idea of bringing women together to empower one another. In addition to featuring the work of other designers, Astaraee also has her own jewelry line called Amy A. Designs, focusing on custom engagement rings. Judges say Brax Jewelers offers a creative and exciting shopping experience that celebrates women and gift-giving and specializes in extravagant events. The Brax brand expresses an inviting, trustworthy, and sophisticated high-fashion luxe image.

Make Made Jewelry, Greenville, SC

Make Made Jewelry

Greenville, SC

Make Made is an artisan-driven studio offering one-of-a-kind pieces and distinctive limited edition jewelry. Owned by Katie Poterala and Danielle Miller Giliam, Make Made hosts a wide range of metalworking courses for students at all levels, from first timers to the jewelry-making obsessed. They’re committed to supporting sustainable practices and material choices, both in jewelry and in the store itself. Judges say Make Made offers a hip immersive artisan experience in a chic, modern and fun environment.


Jacob Raymond Custom Jewelry Greensboro, NC

Jacob Raymond Custom Jewelry

Greensboro, NC

Jacob and Liz Wosinski own Jacob Raymond Custom Jewelry, where everything in the store is handmade in house. Jacob was a bench jeweler and designer for 25 years before he opened his own store in 2017. The workshop is incorporated into the showroom with casting equipment on the sales floor and in the front window. Judges describe the store as an eclectic studio boutique, and Jacob as an authentic and passionate representative of the brand. Classic touches, such as the store sign and logo, portray a brand of integrity with a nod to the past that is at the same time current and cool.

Lane & Kate / Cincinnati

Lane & Kate

Cincinnati, OH

Owned by Rachel Pfeiffer, Lane & Kate is a custom jewelry and botanical boutique specializing in delicate jewelry designed by women. Within the modern surroundings and the locally grown flower bar, there is a feminine energy that is inviting to both bridal couples and female-self purchasers. Pfeiffer partners with a local flower farm for a DIY flower bar. Every weekend, customers can create arrangements using fresh locally grown blooms. Judges describe the space as contemporary with understated elegance and an organic vibe.

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When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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