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Cool Store: Girardin Jewelers

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Girardin Jewelers: If purple is the color of royalty, then the Girardins have created a regal setting for selling jewelry in their palatial store

Girardin Jewelers, Inc.

Girardin Jewelers, Inc.

Address: 3321 North Valdosta Road, Valdosta, GA 31602
Phone: (229) 242-8546
URL: girardinjewelers.com


If purple is the color of royalty, then the Girardins have created a regal setting for selling jewelry in their palatial store. After more than 75 years at the same downtown location in Valdosta, GA,  third-generation jewelers Emil and William Girardin, outgrew the original family jewelry store.

They decided to build a new store in the fast-growing northern part of the city. After extensive scouting trips across the country to look at jewelry stores, the brothers decided to build a European-style structure featuring a two-story façade. Mix in some striking color combinations from Emil’s wife, Patti, and you’ve got the ingredients of a royally cool store.

STORE INTERVIEW

What would you say is the most unique feature of the store?

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It’s unusual for a jewelry store to done up in pinks, purples and oranges, but Patti managed to tone these vibrant colors down with a neutral color on the walls. Interestingly, the strong colors do not compete with the jewelry for attention.    

Describe the interior of the store.

The entrance to the store features custom wrought iron doors that open to an imposing 22- foot tall vestibule featuring a coffered ceiling and 5-foot tall chandelier, which can be seen from the outside through a large window above the door. The floor in the vestibule is French limestone and there are two large custom designed wrought iron consoles with honed limestone tops. There is a large mirror over each of the consoles which visually make the space feel even larger.

The showroom is entered through a second set of wrought iron doors. The interior of the store has neutral walls and a lively patterned carpet done in pink, orange and purple, the purple being the predominate color in our newly designed logo. The showroom features showcases along the perimeter of the showroom with additional showcases in the center of the store in an hour glass design. The soffit over the center is similar to the hour glass shape. The velvet covered panels on the walls serve to repeat the colors of the carpet.

To the right of the entrance is our customer lounge. It features two chairs, and a granite-topped refreshment area with iridescent mosaic tiles on the backsplash. We have a cappuccino machine, a refrigerator with water and soft drinks, and a television. This is a comfortable spot for husbands to rest while their wives shop, or the children can watch a movie while their mom’s shop. The walls in the lounge are purple which creates a cozy atmosphere. And, the tray ceiling is accented with metallic paint in a soft silver color.

To the left of the entrance is our boutique named “Chez Fun Fun” and it is just what the name implies. The hand-painted pink glittery wall-covering sets the tone. This is definitely a place for women to play. They love this room!  There is nothing in the boutique over $300 and it offers lots of fashion jewelry including beaded jewelry and sterling silver.  It’s easy for women to make an impulse purchase without feeling guilty about spending too much money. Even the customer restroom has its own vibrant personality — with a marble topped vanity, chandelier and elegant wall-coverings.

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Who did your design? And how closely did you work with them?

Patti did the outside design and the architect put it on paper.  The inside of the store was her idea and design. And, the showcases were built by Grice Showcase of Charlotte, NC.

Any specific requirements when it came to building or designing the jewelry store?

One key change is that we doubled the amount of lighting from the original plans, using halogen spotlights every 10 inches instead of every 20 inches to better illuminate 165 liner feet of display cases and to give the jewelry more sparkle. Another challenge for us was getting just the right color for our carpet. Our carpeting was custom-made and -dyed to match the purple in our new logo, which also appears on all of our bags. We worked directly with the carpet mill to get the purple to closely match our signature color. 

How much did it cost to adapt the building? Was it worth it?

Just over six figures. Yes, it was worth it.

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How do people usually react to the store?

The European styled exterior captures the essence of an Italian villa and has created quite a stir in our community. People are drawn to it out of curiosity. For those that watched the store being built, many have come in to the store and said, “I knew a store that was as pretty on the outside had to be as pretty on the inside”.

Most of these people are now good customers of ours. Our store gives customers a feeling of confidence when they shop here. They recognize we are solidly established in this community and intend to be here for many years to come. Sales are up and we ‘ll have the biggest year in our history.

What do you like most about the store?

I like the colors most of all. They give the store a youthful exuberance.

STORE IMAGES

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This story is from the April 2004 edition of INSTORE

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