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Established jewelry family ventures into retail in Beverly Hills.

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JustDesi, Beverly Hills

OWNERS: Desi Kraiem, Justin Kraiem; URL: justdesi.com; FOUNDED: 2021; AREA: 1,722 square-foot showroom; 2,900 square feet total; INTERIOR DESIGN: Adeet Madan; TOP BRANDS: JustDesi, MK Diamonds; EMPLOYEES: 9; ONLINE PRESENCE: 5 Stars on Google and Facebook


STYLISH JEWELRY SEEKERS in Beverly Hills are naturally drawn to JustDesi, a white, bright jewelry box of a store that shines like a beacon night or day.

Once inside, they’ll find the experience lives up to the promise of the facade.

Next Generation of MK Luxury Makes Big Move into Retail

Next Generation of MK Luxury Makes Big Move into RetailNext Generation of MK Luxury Makes Big Move into Retail
Next Generation of MK Luxury Makes Big Move into RetailNext Generation of MK Luxury Makes Big Move into Retail

Clients are greeted as if they are celebrities, family members, or ideally both, offered a glass of Champagne, a tour and a perch in a magically peaceful rooftop garden or the cushy customer lounge, where they can watch jewelry being made by artisans in the atelier workshop.

Siblings Desi and Justin Kraiem are partners.

Siblings Desi and Justin Kraiem are partners.

Desi Kraiem, a former celebrity stylist, treats all of her customers as if they are stars at the Beverly Hills retail jewelry boutique she opened with her brother, Justin Kraiem, last year. But she also wants every client who walks through the door to feel like family.

“I build very personal relationships with clients,” Desi says. “I text back and forth with them, I’m there for the entire journey. Whether they are in the store or not, we keep up with them. Whether they are buying a pair of studs or a gorgeous diamond piece for 150 grand, they are treated with the same respect and service.”

While their celebrity clients and placements are valuable and appreciated, they know that word-of-mouth accolades from everyday shoppers are essential. “Marketing is there for support, but that personal relationship is what drives the sales,” Desi says.

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Desi and Justin grew up in the jewelry business. Jewelry manufacturer MK Luxury Group is owned by their father, Moshe Kraiem, who counts 500 independent retail jewelers as clients. With the opening of JustDesi, the family ventured into retail for the first time and moved their main business offices to Beverly Hills, as well.

Desi is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Justin began his career at age 16 for MK Luxury, traveling back and forth to India to buy diamonds. “I learned from the best,” he says. “My father is like the godfather of the industry, well respected, well known. We have big shoes to fill.”

Every aspect of JustDesi is bright and welcoming, even its shop, visible through glass.

Every aspect of JustDesi is bright and welcoming, even its shop, visible through glass.

Desi says she had free rein to pave her own path and to do what she loved career-wise. “It was inevitable that we ended up in this situation, but it wasn’t that we didn’t have a choice,” she says.

Their retail operation combines the resources of a vast diamond inventory with an elevated fashion sensibility. Engagement rings are a major focal point. “It’s very unusual that we don’t have what the customer wants. It’s unique to have a loose diamond inventory and cater to all of these special requests,” Justin says.

“We have all of this diamond inventory that no retail store really has, from 10 points up to 20 carats. We cut and import our own diamonds. And since we have the atelier in the back of the store, they can see the process of CAD design, the 3-D wax printer, and gain an understanding of what goes into the smallest little ring.”

The extensive diamond inventory and deep industry knowledge, combined with Desi’s fashion sense, deliver both style and substance in spades.

A rooftop garden lounge is as welcoming to staff as it is to clients.

A rooftop garden lounge is as welcoming to staff as it is to clients.

“My style changes every single day,” Desi says. “Jewelry is an easy way to take risks with your fashion without having to change your whole outfit. With my styling background, I like to incorporate different looks, not a one-size-fits-all. To tap into someone’s personality and put them in the jewelry that meets their needs is what makes us special.”

The store itself stands out on its Beverly Hills block, with soaring ceilings, a dramatic facade, expansive windows and an overall effect that adds up to what Desi calls whimsical elegance. The space is defined by modern architectural details, organic textures and a neutral color palette with touches of gold. The design, open and engaging, invites shoppers to interact. Day or night, an oversize video wall beckons, adding drama and movement to the scene.

JustDesi is the first retail project for residential interior designer Adeet Madan of Beverly Hills, who, inspired by wedding gowns and lace, came up with the concept for the distinctive, handcrafted scalloped-edge showcases. She added sparkle to the ceiling for romantic effect.

Interior designer Adeet Madan

Interior designer Adeet Madan

The store’s crowning glory is a rooftop garden with a full kitchen, which has been used to host everything from a grand opening and sip-and-shop events to morning yoga sessions. It’s as important to the team as it is to their clients. Justin says it’s an ideal place to take a break, have lunch or work on his laptop. “Little bits of
R&R are great throughout the day to keep energy up,” he says. “It boosts morale within the office and the store.”

Desi says she hires people who demonstrate positive energy, hustle and drive and a sense that their priorities are in the right place. “The team is trained to remember that customers are meant to feel they are in a luxury space, getting a VIP experience,” she says. “We hire that way, people who are very much invested in this.

Everyone we hire has to treat the customer like their own family.”

JustDesi is a feast for the eyes, from its unique showcases to its jewelry imagery.

JustDesi is a feast for the eyes, from its unique showcases to its jewelry imagery.

The staff is also trained to help clients build personal jewelry wardrobes.

“What makes our staff exceptionally cool is their focus on fashion and style,” she says. “Their focus is not on selling jewelry, but instead on helping each guest develop or support their own personal style. So, our clients find that they are asked different questions than they would be at another store. For example, ‘Can you tell us how you want to feel wearing your piece of JustDesi jewelry’ and ‘Can you tell me about your lifestyle and how you spend your free time?’”

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Desi and Justin both appreciate the opportunity they have to take a branch of the family business in a new direction.

“I see it as an opportunity to take everything our father worked so hard to build and nurture it because it’s so special,” Desi says. “It’s about the preservation and expansion of a family legacy. Him trusting us with his vision and believing in ours.”

“It’s nice to be able to pave the way in the market with so much credibility behind us.”

Next Generation of MK Luxury Makes Big Move into Retail

Five Cool Things About JustDesi

1. FUN WEBSITE. The website is rich in modeling images, many of Desi herself, wearing jewelry that is immediately shoppable. An on-site photography and video studio enables JustDesi to create its own images. Jewelry can also be easily curated and filtered by “mood” on the website, including casual, playful, sexy, sophisticated, glamorous, edgy , sentimental, spiritual and unique. “Some days I feel glamorous, and some days more laid back,” says Desi.

2. LIKE A FAIRY TALE. The grand-opening celebration was an invitation-only event with a fairytale theme. Guests were greeted at the door with a red carpet and spotlight and then entertained with live music as models dressed as royal attendants offered appetizers, Champagne and wine.

3. TEXTURAL INTEREST. A dried flower wall adds organic texture while serving as a favorite spot for visitors to take a selfie. A proposal box with a dried centerpiece creates an everlasting memory for the customer and serves as a reminder, too, of where they bought the ring and when.

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4. STYLE CONSCIOUS. JustDesi is launching a series of informational videos that will address many of the questions consumers have outside of the standard “How do I care for my jewelry?” For example, “How to best stack jewelry?” or “What is the hottest seasonal trend?”

5. CELEB CONNECTION. Jewelry from JustDesi collections is often featured on celebrities during events, on the covers of magazines and on the web.

PHOTO GALLERY (19 IMAGES)

JUDGES’ COMMENTS
  • bruce freshley:JustDesi succeeds at being exactly what it is. A fresh, youthful take on the Beverly Hills jeweler. The exterior design is bold and exciting while the interior lives up to the exterior’s promise … youthful, clean and dramatic. One of JustDesi’s great strengths is its website, the most engaging and captivating jewelry site of this year’s Cool Stores.
  • mitchell clark:This store oozes with chic Hollywood whimsy inside and out. The light color palette, natural light, and high ceiling give it an airy elegance while still putting the focus on the jewelry. I am confident JustDesi would make anyone, celebrity or not, feel like a star.
  • lyn falk: Unique exterior with faceted upper windows. Tastefully designed interior with nice focal points and overall aesthetic.
  • jacqueline johnson:What a beautiful showroom and exterior! JustDesi’s rooftop garden for customer parties is an extra bonus. Their vibe is very clean and inviting.

 

Try This: Create a Brand Persona

The goal of JustDesi marketing is to create a brand that consumers want to join and identify with. “The JustDesi girl is in every woman. She’s complex, individual, and owes you no explanation. So like our jewelry, our imagery and messaging must be fluid, ever changing and ever evolving.”

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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SPONSORED VIDEO

Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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