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Cool Store’s Summer Soiree Was a Hit With Customers

Party celebrates Sofia Kaman’s year of highlights, including top honors in INSTORE contest.



Cool Store’s Summer Soiree Was a Hit With Customers

Sofia Kaman had a lot to celebrate when she threw a party at her jewelry boutique in August. For one thing, her Venice, CA, store had been named INSTORE’s coolest store in America in the “Small Cool” division in 2017.

The store has become a destination for those seeking alternative custom bridal engagement and wedding rings, boho-chic signature collections, or a one of a kind curated piece of antique jewelry. Kaman is a two-time winner of the Couture Jewelry Awards for her innovation and bridal designs.

She was also celebrating nine years in her location on the popular shopping street, Abbot Kinney Boulevard, and launching a new, Victorian-inspired collection, The Language of Flowers.

The goal was to celebrate with her loyal clients, who have helped make the business what it is today, as well as to encourage new visitors who wanted to come discover a “cool” place to shop for fine jewelry.

“It was really fun,” Kaman says. “It was a hit, I’d say.”



A Floral Theme

Floral designer Amy Nicole embellished the exterior window of the boutique with a floral installation. Because it included both real and silk flowers, the decoration continued to frame the front window for months after the event.

During the party it also served as a photo backdrop. Guests and window shoppers who were photographed in front of the window display and posted their image to Instagram using the hashtag #coolestjewel while following and tagging @sofiakaman were automatically entered to win a pair of Shooting Star 14K yellow gold and diamond pavé stud earrings valued at $1,285. 

The new collection is inspired by the Victorian use of floral symbolism in jewelry and represents the fusion she strives for in every collection — a balancing act between detail and simplicity. She also was able to incorporate enameling into her work by introducing engraveable signet rings. “They are ornate, with a modern touch,” she says.

During the party, cocktails with a floral motif and edible floating flowers were served.



Throwing a Party 101

They invited clients by email, announced the party on social media and invited passersby to stop in as well.

“Like any other event, the more organized you are, the more seamless the day goes,” she says. Kaman schedules events every season, but the reasons for them always change. She’s collaborated with an antiques dealer, held a wreath-making workshop and for 2018 is planning a collaboration with an illustrator who works with wedding industry businesses that use sketch work for marketing materials. The theme will be jewelry sketching.

“Events are important,” Kaman says. “When people are thinking about you more often and associating you with fun and creative things, it keeps them wondering what’s going to happen next season.”


Rewards of Cool Store Status


Kaman says while it’s been exciting to show off the top Cool Store award, the application process was beneficial, too.

“Any time you do a contest, you have to organize your assets. It makes you think about things you don’t think about all the time, like ‘is our marketing all in line?’ and ‘are we sending out newsletters?’ It’s a way to look at all your systems. It was a good reflection into things, without being too much work.”

As for the party, Kaman invited everyone who had worked with her over the years, part-time or as consultants in graphics, marketing or photography to celebrate the store’s success.

“Our clients were all like, `Well, I already knew that you were cool!’

“We have the trophy in front of the store. It reinforces people’s confidence in us. It’s been nothing but a positive experience.”

Photo Gallery (7 Images) 

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



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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