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See How This Pennsylvania Store Makes the Most of Its Floor Space

Learn how to create your own jewelry store floor plan through the example of this elite store.

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The Vault at Kolman & Co.

Monroeville, PA

After running Kolman Jewelers for 20 years, Michael Vesely gave himself a retirement gift: The VAULT. The building is a free-standing, two-story, 4,700 square-foot former bank building built in the late 1960s featuring poured concrete walls inside and out, curved glass skylights and plenty of natural light with 13-foot ceilings. After closing Kolman Jewelers in 2007, Vesely began a two-year journey to build out a location that would allow him to operate without employees and opened in 2009. “My biggest pet peeve in the old store was having to set up and tear down the cases every day,” Vesely says. “And once you locked everything up, you couldn’t work after hours. In the new building, I can work with people at 2 a.m. if I want to.”

Vesely figures that the money saved on his own time and that of a staff paid for his “vault” within two years. “Payroll in 2007 was about $65,000 a year just for the hours it took to tear down and set up,” he says. Today, Vesely and a contract goldsmith work from a fully equipped studio and casting room, and The VAULT is open seven days a week by appointment. — STORY BY TRACE SHELTON

ENTRYWAY

“As you walk through a door, there is a service counter immediately to your right that was converted from the old bank teller counter. To add to the ambience is a totally restored crystal chandelier in the double glass entry. Outside the vault, I have a line of silver jewelry and a collection of avant-garde jewelry. We also have some crystal and Mont Blanc accessories.”


THE VAULT

“I wanted a diamond room like a lot of jewelers have to give their clients privacy, but we built a full-scale vault instead, including a vault door. The vault has display cases built in and storage units, including two presentation tables in the middle. I have as much display space in this vault as the 1,000-square-foot showroom I had before, and I never have to take them out or put them away. The vault is 20 feet by 14 feet with 12-foot ceilings so people don’t get claustrophobic. It’s separately air-conditioned for the clients’ comfort. We have a breathing apparatus in here and an anti-locking mechanism inside so no one can lock us in. I put stainless steel in to act as a heat sink because the panels get warm.”


THE LOUNGE

“There’s a fully stocked bar set up and we used all the old lockboxes from the bank because they stay at a constant 50 degrees. We keep wine cool. We left the bullet-glass window from the bank as well for ambience. The room features a curved leather couch in front of an electric fireplace and TV. We also have a kids area with video games.”


THE NIGHTCLUB

“There is a nightclub for entertaining 20 or so people. The club, called ‘V,’ is available for clients’ use. It’s a 20-by-25-foot room with black and red leather seating and includes a TV, lighting system and sound system. There’s a painting of Marilyn Monroe wearing diamonds with actual melee diamonds in it. The club has been used for several music videos.”


WALLS AND FLOORS

“The walls are a combination of hand-poured concrete and hand-painted steel by a local artist to match the granite and travertine floors. We were told that the hand-built oak walls in the conference room could never be duplicated. They are very typical to Frank Lloyd Wright style construction. There are also arch windows that were part of the original construction that could never be replaced. The store and vault are decorated with sketches and lithographs by Dali, Picasso and Chagall.”



Kitchen at The Vault
 

THE KITCHEN

“The basement is fitted with a commercial-style kitchen for entertaining.”

Restroom at The Vault
 

THE RESTROOM

“The restroom is decorated with a gold-plated brass sink and stamped concrete counter inlaid with watch and clock parts as a tribute to my father, who was a master watchmaker.”

 


Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].

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