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Floor Plan: Kevin’s Fine Jewelry

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Floor Plan: 

KEVIN SEELE
Kevin’s Fine Jewelry, Totowa, NJ

Tuscany comes to New Jersey in a showroom featuring Venetian plaster, vaulted ceilings and a mural of the Ponte Vecchio.

BY THE INDESIGN TEAM
Published in the September-October 2013 issue

When Kevin Seele began designing a showroom to replace his previous store of 28 years, he did it with exotic locations in mind. “When people walk in, they feel like they’re in Italy or Las Vegas, not Totowa, NJ,” says Seele. In addition to a Tuscan feel — including Venetian plaster, vaulted ceilings, and a mural of the Ponte Vecchio — Kevin’s Fine Jewelry features a spacious environment designed to get salespeople and customers on the same side of the showcases. “I was very interested in having an environment where we would be standing next to the customer. Not only is it more comfortable — more like having someone in your home — but it makes better use of the linear footage in the store. It makes the store feel bigger and gives you the ability to have wider aisles.” With the help of Ruth Mellergaard of GRID/3 and RAD Construction, Seele’s concept was transformed into a store that ultimately surpassed the limits of his own imagination.

 

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FRONT LOUNGE: “It’s designed so that someone can sit down and read a magazine if they like. We have a big flat-screen TV there. It makes the store feel like home. And everything is movable, so when we have an event, we can set up tables for serving in that area.”

AQUARIUM: “We had a tropical fish tank in our previous location, and we have always gotten a lot of positive feedback from it. A couple of the fish are celebrities, like Schwartz, who’s been with us for 15 years. He reacts when people walk up. It gives people something to look at, especially kids. It’s a great distraction for them — they’ll stand in one spot rather than tearing around the store and interrupting mom and dad. The feng shui of having water in the store is positive as well.”

ROLLBACK WINDOW CASES:“According to our insurance regulations, if the glass in the showcases is within 18 inches of the glass of our front windows, you can’t leave product out overnight. So, we designed these four front window showcases on a little track. At night, we just slide them back so they’re farther than 18 inches away. They look beautiful, and we can leave them lit up at night to attract the interest of our fellow retailers’ customers as they leave the restaurant or bar. People come in and say, ‘My wife saw this in the window last night, and I’m here to buy it for her.’”

“When people walk in, they feel like they’re in Italy.”
MURAL: ““We had a short, wide space above the cash/wrap area. As we were building the store, it occurred to me it would be a great spot for a mural. A bridge came to mind because it’s long and skinny. The Ponte Vecchio came to mind because it’s Italian and most of the shops along the bridge are jewelry stores. I’ve had an Italian salesman come in from Florence and say, ‘See that storefront three from the end? That’s my grandfather’s jewelry store.’ We carry a brand of pens called Visconti that each have a piece of that bridge.”
 

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BRAND ZONES: “We carry probably 15 brands in the store, and each showcase features its own brand. I love the photographs with the light shining on them, versus a lightbox — I feel like the photos look more modern. The larger showcases can hold a brand in the center and a brand on each end. The branding tends to be very effective because each company has its own image, and the photograph helps bring the whole spirit of the line through. And again you’re looking at the brand with the customer, from the same side of the showcase, rather than taking something out and handing it across the counter.”

ISLAND OF DIAMONDS: “I think it was Ruth Mellergaard who called it ‘The Island of Diamonds.’ It doesn’t necessarily lend itself to Tuscany or Italy or anything, but it’s the only place in the store where the salesperson is behind the counter and the customer is on the other side. We’ve used it in a couple of ads, but it does buck that Italian theme a little bit. But I’m weird and critical about things like that. It has hand-painted clouds above it, which is really cool, and they stay lit up at night.”

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