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ACS 2010: Fourth Place Big Cool, Jackie Abrahams

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I’m not afraid to put out into the world ideas or thoughts about business or life,” the fourth-generation jeweler says. “What I’ve learned is, when you put it out there, you’re one step closer to making things happen.” After years spent traveling around the world for his family’s jewelry and gem company, the New York native settled in Miami in 1993. A few years later, he took what he’d learned about estate jewelry and set up shop in a booth in nearby Aventura’s International Jewelers Exchange. He made his first mark on the city by mounting a major advertising campaign. “Everybody was saying, ‘Why are you spending all this money? You’re just bringing people to the exchange — they might not buy from you!’” Abraham says. “But I knew I was going to have my own store, so I wanted to be established within the community.” In 2007, he did move out, after securing space for a store in Bay Harbor Islands, the neighborhood where he lives with his wife and four children. The look he implemented there — edgy, clean and striking — came together just in time for Christmas 2008. Now, Abraham is focusing on improving the store’s marketing and looking for opportunities to promote his brand through public speaking. “I’ve never done it,” he says, “but I’m putting it out there. And that’ll take me one step closer to doing it.” 

Quick Facts

JACKIE ABRAHAM FINE AND ESTATE JEWELRY, Bay Harbor Islands, FL

URL: jackieabraham.com  |  Owner: Jackie Abraham  |  Founded: 1990  |  Opened Featured Location: 2008  |  Designer: Jackie Abraham and Briggs Solomon  |  Cases: Artco  |  Area: 1,300 square feet  |  Employees: 6  |  Top Brands: Jackie Abraham, estate, Dinh Van, ZDNY

Five Cool Things About This Store

Unfinished on the Outside

1“We went with an industrial exterior — unfinished concrete,” Abraham says. “All my neighbors were saying, ‘When are you going to paint that wall?’ And I said, ‘I’m just going to leave it. Don’t worry — it’s going to be great.’” The rough shell makes for a contrast with the neighboring storefronts.

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Refined on the Inside

2Within, the store’s grayscale palette gives it a crisp, modern ambience. A curtain separates a back room from the front, adding a touch of mystique. “People kind of get the feeling you have to be invited back there,” Abraham says. Showcases in the back room are wall-mounted so that they don’t come between staff and clients, and a comfortable, elegant couch invites guests to sit.

Commodious Commode

3“We can’t wait until a client has to go to the bathroom,” Abraham says. Dark brown velvet wallpaper with a floral paisley pattern covers the walls, highlighting an ultramodern sink with sharp lines. “When you give extra attention to a detail like the restroom, it has a compounding effect.

Coming Up Roses

4Every other week, top Miami florist Karla Conceptual Event Experiences delivers fresh flowers for the store to display. “It’s more of a nuance,” Abraham says. “It gives you an idea that we’re always looking for ‘fresh.’”

Pet Rings

5“We offer clients the opportunity to have a ring custom-created based on their own pet. They give us a picture, and we create the ring from carved agate,” Abraham says. The result is a bold piece of jewelry. “It’s really for very outspoken individuals, but it gets a lot of attention. And it gives people other ideas. They say, ‘If they can do that, I wonder if they can do this?’”

Exterior

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Interior

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Marketing

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         Shop Talk

mau domau DO noun. 1. A life philosophy.

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“The concept was introduced to me by one of my staff members. On the home page of our website, we have a message that encapsulates it: ‘Be yourself, be unique, be beautiful.’” — JACKIE ABRAHAM

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Full-Length Mirrors

“We didn’t go with the conventional jewelry store aesthetic, with wall cases behind the counters cluttered with items that clients couldn’t even touch,” Abraham says. “Instead, we put huge mirrors up to open up the space on each side of the store. We have three massive floor-to-ceiling mirrors so that clients can see themselves in the jewelry full-body, as opposed to countertop or hand mirrors that just show your face. We feel it opens up the shopping experience for them.”

What the Judges Said

Bess Anderson: I adore the large exterior windows to this petite storefront, allowing customers and passersby to admire the entire store from the outside. The store glows at night like a brilliant diamond ring!

Gurhan: Jackie Abraham Jewelers just speaks Miami. The cool, white interior, accented with touches of snakeskin, is just like the denizens of Miami: stylish with a touch of glam.

Wendy Furrer: The modern interior design of Jackie Abraham Jewelers caught my eye immediately. It’s chic, sophisticated and elegant, and it looks like a comfortable living area. I’d like to sit here and sip cocktails with my good friends while determining the next piece I’d like to add to my collection.

Jean Philippe Meunier: This store immediately conjures the elegant modern cool of Miami — both exterior and interiors are clean, sharp and cool, with a look of steel against whites and dark grays, with effective use of exotic plants and flowers for color make for an interior that speaks of modern, understated elegance. The effective use of mirrors further enhances a sensation of space — a space that really is modern “cool.”

Candy Udell: The interior design is the star of this store. They have converted a storefront with a clean, crisp, contemporary look that uses the white theme to make the store cool in several different ways. The hip styling of the store is carried through both their marketing and event promotions as a way to draw traffic to an emerging retail area. They are clearly following the celebrity market and want to keep the store looking like the cutting edge.

This story is from the August 2010 edition of INSTORE

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