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Zadok family ensures supersized store still feels like home.

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Zadok Jewelers, Houston

OWNERS: : Dror and Helene Zadok and their three sons, Jonathan, Segev and Gilad; URL: zadok.com; ONLINE PRESENCE: 28,753 Facebook followers; FOUNDED: 1976; Opened featured location: 2021; AREA: : 28,000 square feet; 18,000 square-foot showroom; ARCHITECT AND DESIGN FIRMS: Michael Hsu Office of Architecture; Nina Magon Studio; SHOWCASES: Faubion Associates Inc.; Alliance;TOP BRANDS: Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, Roberto Coin, Zadok Collection, Mikimoto; EMPLOYEES: 48


Zadok family

Zadok family

MOVING INTO THE expansive new site of his family’s jewelry store in uptown Houston was bittersweet for Jonathan Zadok, who had collected a lifetime of memories at the former location. “That was where I grew up,” he says.

But nostalgia was trumped by excitement and the prospect of new memories, especially when his 5-year-old daughter walked into the new Zadok Jewelers, with its two-story foyer, artistic light fixture and rich, natural finishes, and said, “Daddy, this store is so much nicer than your old store!”

“You don’t realize how dated your old store was until you move into your new store,” Jonathan says. “Want the truth? Ask a 5-year-old. No one tells you the truth like a child.”

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Zadok’s clients seem to agree. “I think the customers really love it: a new and fresh look, a cool, fun place to go,” Jonathan says. “We opened in March of 2021 right when people were starting to come out of their COVID hibernations. Most of them say they’ve never seen anything like it.”

Post Oak Place, the mixed-use project owned and developed by the Zadok family, houses their new 28,000-square-foot retail operation, double the size of its previous location, as well as space for two restaurants and five stories of office space.

Houston Jewelry Store Expands into Its Own Opulent Space

Zadok Jewelers is owned by Helene and Dror Zadok and their three sons, Jonathan, Segev and Gilad. The entire family — parents, sons, daughters-in-law and children — were involved in store design discussions with Jay Colombo, partner at Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, which designed the entire project.

It was clear that the store’s design narrative would revolve around family.

Dror (a sixth-generation jeweler) and Helene Zadok came to Houston in 1976 from Jerusalem with two suitcases and a baby. Dror and Helene founded a small jewelry shop on prestigious Post Oak Boulevard and slowly built a business by embracing the community and taking a genuine interest in customers’ lives and milestones.

What began as a 1,200 square-foot storefront has grown slowly over time, expanding in its former location at least six times before the 2021 move.

Jonathan says the store has always been like an extension of their living room and no one wanted that to change, no matter the size. “We want people to feel like they are walking into our home,” he says.

They also didn’t want their customers to feel they had to dress up to visit. “We live in a Lululemon world,” Jonathan says. “We wanted the store to feel like you could walk in no matter how you were dressed. We spent many sleepless nights wondering how to achieve that.”

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It was imperative, Jonathan says, to configure the floorplan to include inviting, smaller spaces, such as boutiques and intimate seating areas, in multiple lounges and bars. Because the architect designed both the building and the exterior, the company was able to determine how tall or small different areas of the store would be and strategically position seating areas. Colombo says the goal was to create places where clients can feel like they are the only ones in the store and where sales associates can chat with a client and not have it be over a showcase.

On the grand end of the scale, they did punch a hole through the first-floor ceiling to the second floor to allow a large light fixture to be hung. The contemporary fixture by artist Tom Dixon is a centerpiece that unites both floors. “Then things compress down again,” Colombo says. “Nothing is uniformly the same across the space.”

The exterior of the building is pedestrian-friendly with limestone and lush greenery along walkways. The interior is notable for a calming palette of warm wood, Italian stone flooring, and velveteen wall coverings juxtaposed with brass ornamentation and rich detailing. These high-quality materials and design elements, often found in luxury residences, create a space that’s soft and inviting.

The two-story atrium space and light fixture creates a touch of grandeur.

The two-story atrium space and light fixture creates a touch of grandeur.

The beauty of the store can be felt as well as seen. “We wanted to make sure that things we selected were quite tactile,” says Colombo. “Brass, travertine, beautiful marble. They connect with people. There’s no laminate or fake material.”

Three sides of the building let natural light flood into the store as deeply as possible. “You don’t feel like you’re in a fluorescent box,” Colombo says. Windows line the branded boutiques, while another giant window illuminates the grand staircase with northern light, desirable for its consistency and evenness.

Zadok partnered with watchmakers and jewelers to create four in-store boutiques reflecting the look and feel of their respective flagship locations. On the first floor, boutiques dedicated to luxury watch brands include Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, A. Lange & Sohne, IWC and Cartier. The space is also home to 14 shop-in-shops.

“This space allows us to showcase the brands in a much better way,” says Jonathan. “We thought long and hard about how to not let the store look like a bazaar, with brand colors fighting each other.” They chose an overall color scheme that could wrap around and separate the brands without clashing with some of the brands’ brighter colors.

The second floor, branded as Upstairs at Zadok, starts with a bridal shop, a Champagne lounge and a design room equipped with a 3-D wax printer. The team collaborated with Nina Magon Studio to create an upstairs lounge that serves as an event space.

There’s also a pop-up store area where complementary designers can showcase their luxury products, such as sunglasses or handbags. “When you go to a store like Zadok, you know what to expect, but with the pop-up shop there’s always something new, something unique,” Colombo says. “They’re selling a lifestyle.”

Colombo says he believes the project was successful based on the family’s continuing feedback. “I’m happy to see the smiles on their faces,” he says. “It’s our job to take someone’s hopes and dreams and turn them into something that they can look back at and say, ‘Yeah, you guys nailed it.’”

The showroom is home to the latest design concept for Italian luxury watchmaker Panerai that includes the brand’s very first full bar.

The showroom is home to the latest design concept for Italian luxury watchmaker Panerai that includes the brand’s very first full bar.

Jonathan believes the goal of hospitality has been achieved. “It comes down to our people. It’s rare that you come to the store and don’t find a family member here. A concierge meets clients at the door, and if you’re a regular, someone always remembers your name, remembers what you like to drink and who your salesperson is. We want them to feel special and important.”

Dror and Helene have come a long way since they opened their first Houston store. “I think my parents feel it’s bittersweet, too, but they’re ecstatic to see their dream come true, building a store that has received national accolades and local customer raves,” Jonathan says. “My dad had dreamed about owning his own building for decades. We made it a goal and we’re very thankful we reached it.”

Five Cool Things About Zadok Jewelers

1. UPSTAIRS AT ZADOK. The second floor, a destination in itself, was designed to appeal to the bridal crowd, with hardwood floors and cooler, hipper furniture. The second floor is also the site of design stations, big events, piercing parties and trunk shows.

2. WORKING WITH FAMILY. “The best part is you get to see them every day. And the worst part is you get to see them every day,” Jonathan jokes. “We all get along with each other pretty well. We tend to agree on most things. We take the time to think through ideas and find common ground.”

3. LEGACY. The Zadok family were royal court jewelers in Yemen. They started out as silversmiths, but also made gold jewelry, Judaic objects and objects for
the home. “My grandfather immigrated to Israel in the 1930s,” Jonathan says. “He opened a store in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1950, and my parents came to open a store in Houston after my dad worked in the Jerusalem store.”

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4. GRAND OPENING. Gary P. Nunn headlined the grand opening bash at Zadok Jewelers, where 700 people stopped in over the course of the evening. Top executives from most of the watch and jewelry brands they represent attended. Attractions included multiple bars, a cigar bar, and a cupcake raffle for hidden gems.

5. BACK OF HOUSE. The new building has windows in the offices, which is much appreciated by 40 back-office staffers, from customer service reps and bookkeepers to watchmakers and jewelers. They also enjoy an upgraded kitchen and an open workspace. Before the move, it was a struggle to find a spot to put new hires. “The new store is conducive to collaboration, to creating a better environment,” says Jonathan.

PHOTO GALLERY (11 IMAGES)

JUDGES’ COMMENTS
  • Mitchell Clark:As one of the largest independent jewelry stores in the country, Zadok Jewelers has expertly blended multiple branded shop-in-shops and boutiques into an inviting and cohesive overall store layout. The multi-level space is impressive, and the Nina Magon Lounge is incredible.
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  • Lyn Falk:Impressive magazine they have created, as is the number of Facebook followers. Interior is full of beautiful aesthetic surprises. Plenty of things to keep the customer occupied for a while.
  • Bruce Freshley: Zadok lives on the extreme high end of fine jewelry retailers, rarified air where only few can seriously play. This new store exceeds expectations with two entire floors and elite brand suites from the greatest names in jewelry and fine timepieces everywhere you look. Man, do they roll big in Texas! As for the Zadok website, it is among the cleanest and best I’ve seen.
  • jacqueline johnson:Wow! What an incredible store that offers a high-end experience in several categories.

 

Try This: Make A Difference In The Community

One example of community engagement is Zadok’s ongoing partnership with local nonprofit Trees For Houston, for which the company has agreed to plant a tree in underserved neighborhoods in Houston for every diamond engagement ring sold.

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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