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SMALL COOL 3RD PLACE: Balefire Goods / Arvada, CO

Sense of Discovery

Jamie Hollier brings a world of experience to the jewelry store concept.

OWNER: Jamie Hollier | URL: balefiregoods.com | FOUNDED: 2017 | OPENED FEATURED LOCATION: 2017 | EMPLOYEES: 3 | AREA: 1,188 square feet with 550 square-foot showroom | TOP DESIGNERS: Jamie Hollier, BoldB, Ash Hilton, Aimee Petkus, Yed Omi | ONLINE PRESENCE: 373 Facebook likes, 1,316 Instagram followers, 5 stars with 14 Google reviews


JAMIE HOLLIER’S earliest experience of retail jewelry involves cool characters, forbidden fruit and tantalizing tales.

Her great-aunt Tettie owned an antique store in Lake Charles, LA, that Hollier recalls as insanely surreal.

“She literally had five of those 6-by-2 or 6-by-3-foot tables so covered with costume jewelry that you couldn’t see the table tops. And she organized it all by color. It was a rainbow of glitter and weird shapes, like Carmen Miranda. It was just madness! And I was not supposed to touch it, so it was like forbidden fruit. But she would let me engage with it if she were there. I’d sit on her lap and I’d show her the pieces I wanted to know more about. She knew who made it, the materials, the story behind it. I had one-on-one time with this fascinating woman who I thought was cool.”

Almost everyone I’ve brought into the store for an event is someone I know, including musicians and flamenco instructors.

Artisan jewelry has deep roots in Hollier’s life. As a young child, she worked with her grandfather in his metal shop and visited art shows with her mom. Later, she earned degrees in art history and metalsmithing.

Hollier had been planning a jewelry store in her head for a long time without fully realizing that’s what she wanted to do. Circumstances in her adult life had led her in different directions, including library science and information technology. In late 2017, though, she took stock of her life as a successful technology entrepreneur and realized she was unfulfilled. She resolved to return to her background in metalsmithing and art history, which she had left almost 20 years before, and soon after, Balefire Goods was born.

She had come full circle. Although Balefire looks nothing like Aunt Tettie’s colorful hodgepodge, it does share a sense of discovery with that enterprise. And she does encourage charismatic personalities, storytelling and tactile encounters.

Hollier aims to build a true customer experience through education and community engagement, all with the arts at its core.

Offering jewelry-making classes to customers has opened their eyes to the fact that hand-making jewelry isn’t easy.

Visitors come by to learn about stones or a metalsmithing technique, make jewelry themselves, or meet an artist. Education is a core aspect of how Hollier approaches her work because the jewelry she carries represents a wide variety of materials and techniques. In addition to the organic, informal education that takes place in the gallery and in custom consultations, Hollier also offers slightly more formal options. Beyond the front showroom is a small kitchen, bar and a flex space used for events such as gallery openings, jewelry making class, and free lectures on gemstones hosted by a local AGTA Spectrum award-winning lapidary. It’s also used for pop-ups and trunk shows with artists and makers, including local clothing designers, artists, chocolatiers and more.

In-store events come naturally to her for a variety of reasons.

“When I was getting my undergraduate degree in art history and metalsmithing, I hung out with art students and I had space in a gallery where people lived,” Hollier says. “That was all about creating experiences and performance art. Then I ended up managing two public libraries and that was all about what programming you were going to run.”

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Along the way, she made a lot of connections. “Almost everyone I’ve brought into the store for an event is someone I know, including musicians and flamenco instructors,” she says.

Events at Balefire are designed to showcase local art in many formats, collaborate with local non-profits, promote a positive social and environmental impact and prioritize equality and inclusion.

For example, Hollier hosted an art show centered on tactile art featuring the work of blind artists in partnership with the Colorado Talking Book Library and the Blind Institute of Technology. “To me, jewelry is a tactile art,” Hollier says. She also hosted an in-store kitten adoption event with the Cat Care Society. “Each month we donate a portion of revenue to a different nonprofit, which not only brings funding to those organizations but also exposure.” She’s also donated regularly to silent auctions that benefit efforts on behalf of refugees and the hungry.

Balefire Goods is in a unique location at the intersection of the old and the new. The gallery is in the circa-1890 building that housed the first post office in Olde Town Arvada, a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This area is also a bustling modern shopping area with a commuter train stop in front of the store, easily connecting it to the entire Denver metro area.

The front showroom is much like she always imagined it would be, halfway between a jewelry store and a gallery, but more approachable than what either of those customarily are, she says. It’s flooded with natural light from large south-facing windows. The historic brick storefront is offset with a contemporary yet comfortable interior with bamboo floors, white walls highlighting local art, and plenty of plants. The wood, metal and concrete furniture and fixtures contribute to the soft industrial aesthetic, while creating a neutral backdrop where jewelry and art become the focus. “I wanted it to be classy and clean and contemporary with a kind of softness, too. I wanted to walk in and feel inspired and relaxed at the same time.”

Hollier sourced display tables from all over — from Crate & Barrel, IKEA, Cost Plus World Market, American Furniture Warehouse, local places. “I knew what I was looking for size-wise, color-wise, material-wise. I was able to piece together all these things that worked. I wanted something that felt more like a home than a showplace.” Display pieces are made by a local woodworker.

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Balefire is staffed by a small group of independent contractors, who work part time at Balefire and bring with them a variety of experience, from art and bartending to custom design and jewelry repair.

Hollier is also a published author on the topic of company culture. She strives to support and empower her staff, a strategy that creates a rich service culture that resonates with customers.

“My goal is to make sure everyone is empowered, 100 percent,” she says. “When I hire, I ask myself, ‘Do they have empathy for other people? Are they committed to lifelong learning?’ I believe skills can be taught but those things are core. That they want to learn and have each others’ backs.”

Judges’ Comments

Julie Ettinger: Jamie does an amazing job of bringing her community in to her store and connecting people through both her charitable contributions and her ability to promote other artists.

Julie Gotz:  It’s very “cool” for the store to take a neutral approach to gender when presenting jewelry pieces. They have clearly etched out a niche client category and are fully embracing it within the store and community!

Joel Hassler: I like the open display concept with the jewelry. Allows for a more hands-on and welcoming atmosphere.

Barbara Ross-Innamorati: The originality and creativity of this store owner blows me away. From educational classes to partnerships with other organizations, to featuring the work of unique and smaller artists, Jamie has gone above and beyond to break the traditional mold of a retailer jeweler. Bravo, Jamie! I love how she has built so many unique parterships.

Hedda Schupak: I absolutely love her approach to community, giving, diversity, individuality, and everything she represents. I love the idea of “loaner” engagement rings to pop the question and then create a custom ring afterward. The exterior is a perfect fit with the surroundings and the kind of store it is.

Eric Zuckerman: What I loved about Balefire Goods is it is not just a place to go to buy jewelry, it is a place to go to fall in love with the art of making jewelry. This is a business that is continuously innovating what it means to be a jewelry retailer and how to connect with your customers. From ongoing educational programs, to providing “loaner” engagement rings, to removing gender labels from jewelry, to having a showcase dedicated to emerging local artists, Balefire Goods is not afraid to break molds and create their own path.

PHOTO GALLERY (36 IMAGES)

5 COOL THINGS ABOUT BALEFIRE GOODS

1 Rings on loan. Balefire provides “loaner” rings customers can use to pop the question, allowing them the surprise of that special moment, but also ensuring that everyone can take part in the design process for custom engagement rings. Loaner rings can be solitaire style or bands, reflecting the diversity of modern couples.

2 Windows that wow. Balefire window displays change every other month and are approached as installation art. Balefire has many customers that stop by regularly just to see the new windows. “It highlights the jewelry and stops you and makes you want to look in the windows,” Hollier says. “It brings beauty to your day or a smile. We use a lot of fluffy, fake clouds. Little kids love them, so when they’re walking by, they point and smile.”

3 Clicks and bricks. Many of Balefire’s customers want to browse online but still want to see jewelry in person, so Balefire provides the best of both worlds with the “buy online, pick up in store” option on the website.

4 Jewelry-making classes. The most important goal of the classes is that people begin to understand the amount of effort it takes to hand make jewelry. “The people who come to the classes tend to buy more from us because they understand the value,” Hollier says.

5 Diversity within product. “In the look book for our commitment line, Kindle, we use real couples who represent a diversity of ages, sizes and sexual orientation, which more closely represents our store and our customers than traditional models,” Hollier says. She also believes that the idea of certain jewelry being for a man or a woman might be misguided. “We believe everyone should be able to wear jewelry that brings them joy, regardless of how others may label it,” she says.

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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America's Coolest Stores

Portland, OR, Couple Fine-Tunes the No-Pressure Engagement Ring Sale

Website and window displays create perfect curb appeal.

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Malka Diamonds & Jewelry, Portland, OR

OWNERS: David and Ronnie Malka; URL: malkadiamonds.com ; FOUNDED: 2010; ARCHITECT AND DESIGN: One Hundred Agency and Bedford Brown Store; EMPLOYEES: 3 ; AREA: 1,000 square feet total; 700 square foot showroom; TOP BRANDS: Custom, vintage, Point No Point Studios, Vatche, Jolie Design; ONLINE PRESENCE: 1,645 Instagram followers, 957 Facebook followers, 4.9 Stars with 62 Google reviews; RENOVATED: 2018; BUILDOUT COST: $75,000; SHOWCASES:KDM


Ronnie and David Malka

VINTAGE RINGS DISPLAYED in authentic, retro jewelry boxes share space with newly minted engagement rings in the front window of Malka Diamonds & Jewelry, a boutique shop in the historic Hamilton building in the heart of downtown Portland.

Passersby enchanted by that tempting array are welcomed inside by owners David and Ronnie Malka, who offer guests a warm greeting and refreshments from the coffee shop across the hall.

Adding to the relaxed environment, they rarely ask for the prospective customer’s information right away. “Our customer is our friend. Just like you don’t ask someone you just met for all of their information, you really should try to take the same approach with your customers,” David says.

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Once guests have a chance to settle in and look around, graduate gemologist David loves to share what he knows by comparing loose diamonds at his desk. What makes the Malka experience distinctive is that David includes tricks of the trade in his consumer education, such as explaining what kind of diamonds people in the jewelry business might select for themselves.

“A lot of people who are thinking about buying diamonds online have done some research, and I like to educate them on the stuff you can see in a diamond that you should pay for,” David says. “The stuff you can’t see, why pay for it? Common sense goes a long way when you’re spending thousands of dollars. Great, if you want to buy a VVS stone, we have it, but most of the people who see the difference, or don’t see the difference, between D and F color are making a much more informed purchase, and they feel good about it.”

Large windows allow passersby to glimpse a mix of vintage and new rings on display while flooding the space with natural light.

They’re also adept at explaining the difference between the diamonds and their paperwork. “The cert says XYZ, but if you lined it up with five others, you might see why that stone was priced so low in its bracket,” Ronnie says.

They think it’s just fine if their customers walk out without buying anything on their first or second visit — even if they’re headed to the competition.

“We keep it really simple in here,” says Ronnie. “A lot of the guys who come in are buying something they don’t know anything about. We don’t bombard them with phone calls or emails; we just offer education. They continue to explore and research, and most of those people we see back here.”

The Malkas are taking the long view. “We want to be like their grandparents’ jewelers with a state-of-the-art shop so we can create things that are going to last,” Ronnie says. “Like the 1920s-era jewelers you trusted but still current and evolving with time.” Although engagement and wedding rings dominate their business now, with as much as 85 percent of sales, they believe that as their original customers continue to mature, they’ll eventually diversify into jewelry for other occasions.

By the time the customer does make a purchase or put a deposit down on a custom ring, David and Ronnie have developed a relationship with them. They give their customers a Malka hat, pin or T-shirt. They also give them a pamphlet detailing the history of their three-generation tradition of diamond dealers, and paperwork that includes an appraisal. There’s no paperwork involved with the guarantee; that is automatic for the life of the ring.

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As for that history, David’s father, Yossi Malka, who still has an office across the street from his son’s store, began his career as an apprentice under his great uncle in Israel, studied diamond cutting and later became a wholesale dealer in Portland.

David studied at the GIA, earned a graduate gemologist degree, and worked in a retail store for several years. David also ran his own jewelry appraisal lab, Independent Gemological Services, for the trade and private clients. “That’s a tough gig to be looking through the scope all day,” he says. “I was getting a little bit bored.”

Still, everyone thought he was crazy, he says, when he decided to open his own store. “It was the recession. It was a tough time.” Three major Portland jewelry stores had closed. “I figured if we took this plunge and we could stay afloat for two years, we should be able to weather anything,” he says. They’d been considering a variety of different names for the business when a friend offered this advice: “When you put your name on the door, you’re putting your name behind the business.”

Perfect. They had a name.

Ronnie Malka collects retro jewelry boxes to display vintage engagement rings.

They leased a prime 1,000-square-foot spot within a vacant 10,000 square-foot space. It was bare bones, with not much beyond walls and floors.

“Welcome to the world of retail,” David says he remembered thinking. Traffic was thin at first, and David continued to operate the appraisal lab, taking it month by month. Although changing shopping habits of American consumers had seemed to be a bad omen, it turned out that Portland shoppers who did spend money on jewelry wanted to make sure they were investing in local, independent businesses. Within a couple of years, they’d won Oregon Bride Magazine’s “Best Rings of 2012” award.

In 2013 Malka became the official fine jewelers of the University of Oregon and their shop got very busy. Ronnie left her teaching job to join Malka full time after it became clear David needed help with marketing and events.

In 2018, they expanded the shop and fine-tuned their interior design, adding metallic cork wallpaper, a custom woven rug, a gathering area with a modern, round table and gray leather chairs, and custom-built display cases. The counter now boasts a marble top and black paint. Other additions include a gold light fixture and a trio of geometric mirrors. The look is upscale without feeling stuffy. The decor is also a personal reflection of what makes David and Ronnie comfortable, complete with a prominently displayed black and white wedding photo of the couple.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time, you meet a Malka,” Ronnie says. “We want them to know us as we want to know them.”

PHOTO GALLERY (30 IMAGES)

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Five Cool Things About Malka Diamonds & Jewelry

1. Salt-and-pepper diamonds. A year ago, Malka started showcasing the work of a Seattle designer, Point No Point Studios, which has a strong Instagram presence and specializes in salt-and-pepper diamond rings. “We knew that going out-of-the-box and trying something new would potentially bring new traffic,” says Ronnie, who gets several inquiries about them every week. David, as the son of a diamond dealer, admits he was reluctant at first to move in that direction. “My dad says, ‘How much is that per carat?!’ Ten years ago, it would have been used for drill bits, but now there’s an actual marketplace for it. I don’t think it’s a fad, either,” David says.

2. Collaborative environment. “We all know the projects, what’s going on, and what’s coming up,” Ronnie says. “It doesn’t feel compartmentalized.” That approach also creates opportunity for growth. Chloe, who works in the showroom, says Malka has the friendliest atmosphere of anywhere she has worked, as well as enormous growth potential and pride in values. “It gives me satisfaction learning-wise and experience-wise, knowing what the jewelers have to do to have a certain outcome for whatever kind of piece we’re making,” she says.

3. Custom connection. A 2018 expansion made room for two full-time master jewelers and more equipment in the shop. “We wanted everything done under our roof,” David says, from design to manufacture. Sometimes they are simply consultants: “An architect is doing his own CAD design for us to look at and make sure it’s going to translate into a ring and not a building,” Ronnie says.

4. Website curb appeal. Ronnie considers Malka’s digital presence, including its website, to be online curb appeal. “People want to engage online first,” Ronnie says. “Maybe 10 or 15 years ago, your website was a placeholder for your contact info, but now it tells your story.” People know what to expect.

5. Digital marketing ROI. Digital marketing has for the most part replaced traditional radio and TV, because as Ronnie says, “Our customer is online and if they’re seriously looking for a ring, they are seriously looking — not seeing it on TV. Many jewelers will say this is a waste of time, but in the last six months when our followers have doubled, we have noticed customers referring to an image they saw on Instagram or Facebook. It is a real relief to see the return on investment on the time spent taking photos and creating tag lines.” Even shop dog Toby has his own Instagram handle!

JUDGES’ COMMENTS
  • Julie Ettinger: This store is a real gem! I love the shop-local feel and that it can all be done in house. I also appreciate the mix of vintage and new.
  • Julie Gotz: I love that the owners are so invested in the customer and their life cycle. Many stores are too focused on the sale and not enough on the relationship. It is great to hear that a store is using social media in such a successful way.
  • Joel Hassler: I like the approach to gathering customer information. Building a relationship is more important than data-mining.
  • Barbara Ross-Innamorati: : The store interior is exquisite and feels upscale but also warm and inviting. The website is quite informative and I love their blog, “Stories,” as it features a lot of interesting topics with gorgeous photography.
  • Hedda Schupak: I like the laser focus on diamond rings, and I love the impressive depth of selection they have, especially nontraditional styles. The store itself is very hip and welcoming. Their online presence is very strong; they’re using all social media quite well.
  • Eric Zimmerman: Malka Diamonds has done a wonderful job of creating a modern elegant boutique while still highlighting the building’s historic features. Their store’s design tells a story that complements the products they showcase: modern and antique.
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America's Coolest Stores

America’s Coolest Stores 2019 – Winners Revealed!

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Check out America’s Coolest Jewelry Stores of 2019!

Congratulations to the winners of the 18th annual America’s Coolest Stores Contest! In the following pages — and in the months ahead — discover why these stores earned the stamp of approval from our judges. As in past years, we divided the entries into two categories — Big Cool (six or more full-time employees) and Small Cool (five or fewer). We asked two six-member teams of judges to evaluate stores based on their back story, interior, exterior, marketing, online presence and what we here at INSTORE believe is the most important intangible: individuality.

Our six America’s Coolest and additional 10 Cool Stores — each of which will be featured in INSTORE issues through June 2019 — represent creative approaches to doing business as well as aesthetically pleasing retail environments. Each of the six winning stores also offers an omni-channel shopping experience, with merchandise available for purchase online.

If you haven’t taken the time to enter yet, why not give it a shot in January 2020? Retailers have told us that the entry process alone can be inspiring and motivating because it requires them to assess all aspects of their businesses. And if you entered and weren’t chosen this time, fine-tune your entry and try again. That’s proven to be a winning strategy.

Check out America’s Coolest
Jewelry Stores of 2019!

Congratulations to the winners of the 18th annual America’s Coolest Stores Contest! In the following pages — and in the months ahead — discover why these stores earned the stamp of approval from our judges. As in past years, we divided the entries into two categories — Big Cool (six or more full-time employees) and Small Cool (five or fewer). We asked two six-member teams of judges to evaluate stores based on their back story, interior, exterior, marketing, online presence and what we here at INSTORE believe is the most important intangible: individuality.

Our six America’s Coolest and additional 10 Cool Stores — each of which will be featured in INSTORE issues through June 2019 — represent creative approaches to doing business as well as aesthetically pleasing retail environments. Each of the six winning stores also offers an omni-channel shopping experience, with merchandise available for purchase online.

If you haven’t taken the time to enter yet, why not give it a shot in January 2020? Retailers have told us that the entry process alone can be inspiring and motivating because it requires them to assess all aspects of their businesses. And if you entered and weren’t chosen this time, fine-tune your entry and try again. That’s proven to be a winning strategy.

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America's Coolest Stores

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

These 10 stores will be featured over the next year in INSTORE.

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Big Cool Honorable Mentions

Day’s Jewelers

Nashua, NH

The Coreys

Jeff and Kathy Corey opened a 5,000-square-foot destination store, their eighth location, in 2018. With updated branding and imagery, the store design grabs millennials’ attention while maintaining a reputation for representing fine jewelry. A two-story vestibule creates a transparent glass wall along its curved exterior, establishing a theme that carries throughout the casework and ceiling. The curves create a free-flowing traffic pattern that leads patrons throughout the interior while also maximizing linear-display space.

John Atencio

Lone Tree, CO

John Atencio

Jewelry designer John Atencio’s sixth store was designed to create a visually compelling and luxurious experience while maximizing display space within a 600-square-foot footprint. The most striking aspect of the location is the large, transparent facade crafted from oversize panes of tempered glass. From the outside, the store looks sleek and inviting, and inside, the space is flooded with natural light.

Provident Jewelry

Jupiter, FL

Geoff Fear, Rob Samuels, Nick Linca, Seth Berman, Scott Diament

Owners Seth Berman, Scott Diament, Nick Linca and Robert Samuels teamed up to create a Dream Factory luxury lounge inside their flagship location. Clients can mingle, relax and enjoy a cocktail for a memorable in-store experience. Custom experiences for clients extend far beyond the store’s walls and have included test driving one-of-a-kind cars, meeting the CEOs behind watch brands, racing a car at YAS Marina Circuit, golfing with pro golfers, sailing on the America’s Cup committee boat in Bermuda and flying to Switzerland to tour a watch factory.

H1912

Princeton, NJ

Hamilton owners

Under the leadership of owner Martin Siegel and store manager Lea D’Onofrio, H1912 is part of the Hamilton Jewelers family of brands. It’s on the same street in the same small town as one of its parent locations of Hamilton Jewelers, but since its 2015 inception, it’s carved out a niche for itself that it backs up with a cutting-edge website, charity partnerships and a digital-first marketing plan. The 1912 in its name references the year Hamilton was founded and plays up the vintage angle of its inventory. H1912 buyers travel to estate shows, antique shows and auctions to handpick one-of-a-kind vintage pieces. Every vintage item at H1912 is refinished, refurbished, polished, or overhauled in-house before hitting the showcase.

Mitchum Jewelers

Ozark, MO

Mitchum jewelers

Mitchum Jewelers, owned by Randy Mitchum, doubled its size in 2018 in an upscale renovation orchestrated by store designer Jesse Balaity of Balaity Property Enhancement. One eye-catching element of the new building is the illuminated diamond prominently displayed on the building’s exterior. Mitchum has also set itself apart marketing-wise with a hugely successful TV commercial campaign that features customer testimonials. Use of the slogan “Your Jeweler For Life” in all of Mitchum’s ads has added to the branding surge, as has a related jingle that customers love to sing whenever they happen to run into Randy.


Small Cool Honorable Mentions

Yaf Sparkle

New York, NY

Yaf Boye-Flaegel

This is the second Lower East Side location and second America’s Coolest Stores Award for Yaf Sparkle, owned by Yaf Boye-Flaegel and Torsten Flaegel. When the couple moved into the new spot and peeled off layers of cement, they were excited to find old bricks in good condition crowned by an arched brick ceiling. They added a wooden floor and brought in furniture made of reclaimed wood for a vintage rustic look. The neighborhood is full of life and excitement, to which Yaf Sparkle contributes by spreading glitter across the sidewalk outside the store. Marketing benefits from an in-house photo studio. Customers have voted Yaf Sparkle as among the top three shopping experiences in New York City on Trip Advisor.

JC Jewelers

Jackson Hole, WY

Jan and Jeter Case

Jan and Jeter Case greet visitors from all over the world in their 240-square-foot log-cabin showroom in a gateway town to the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Three to 4 million people visit the area every year, and of those, about 1 million are from China. They’ve gone to great lengths to be hospitable, learning Mandarin phrases and labeling gemstones with translations. They also use Google Translate to communicate with non-English speakers. These efforts have gone a long way, they say, toward making international guests feel comfortable.

Malka Diamonds & Jewelry

Portland, OR

David and Ronnie Malka

Malka Diamonds & Jewelry, owned by David and Ronnie Malka, is a 1,000-square-foot boutique shop in downtown Portland that specializes in engagement and wedding jewelry. David is a graduate gemologist, who enjoys educating clients in a no-pressure atmosphere. The shop also highlights the work of two master jewelers on site. The store houses a collection of modern designs, antique and vintage jewelry and unconventional options, such as salt-and-pepper, rose-cut and unique-shaped diamonds. The store is bolstered by a cheerful staff and robust digital presence.

Talisman Collection

El Dorado Hills, CA

Andrea Riso

With a 3,300-square-foot showroom, this Small Cool store lives large! Owner Andrea Riso designed the floor plan to accommodate wide-open spaces, plenty of seating and a meandering river-style path that creates a sense of discovery. Décor is surrealistic and includes massive blown-glass fixtures, a library-lounge man cave, a tech oasis for kids, a bar and interactive areas that engage and enchant people of all ages. They’re known for designing and rendering original custom pieces for clients within 48 hours, as well as offering the custom-design services of 78 independent designer brands represented in the store.

Welling & Co. Jewelers

West Chester, OH

Bill and Daniel Welling

Father and son owners Bill and Daniel Welling built a modern, industrial-style jewelry store on a well-traveled road between Cincinnati and Dayton, in Ohio’s booming Butler County. The family-owned store, founded in 1920, makes its most recent home in a hangar built in the 1940s by a pilot to house a folding-wing airplane. Interior designer Leslie McGwire retained original interior brick from the building to set the tone for the renovation, which is complemented by an open slate-gray painted ceiling and a textured wood plank floor. A wide range of merchandise and price points adds to the welcoming ambience.

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