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Samuel Getz Private Jewelers and Designers

AMERICA'S COOLEST: Florida store aims to make customers feel at home ... albeit a very beautiful and comfortable one.

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Samuel Getz Private Jewelers and Designers; Co. Jewelers, Coral Gables, FL

OWNERS: Samuel Getz Private Jewelers and Designers; ADDRESS: 4425 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 240, Coral Gables, FL; PHONE: (305) 448-4567


SAMUEL GETZ LOVES JEWELRY. And he and his wife, Jennifer, believe that you need a very special environment to sell jewelry in. When opening their new store in December 2002, the duo set out to create an experience unique to the Miami area. One that is exclusive, upscale, and European, but at the same time, welcoming and fun. The ultimate goal? For customers to feel like they are shopping in their own home. (Albeit a very beautiful and comfortable one.)

Please describe the interior of the store.

Jennifer: “Beautiful woods, leather furniture and subdued earth tones helped us achieve such luxurious, streamlined surroundings. Weʼve taken the best aspects of this time-honored yet stuffy European tradition and made it fun, sexy and approachable. South Florida can now lay claim to this uncommon service for those connoisseurs who see jewelry as art and who expect one of a kind pieces along with the best, most discreet service possible.”

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How does the design of the store fit in with the jewelry you sell?

Samuel: “The salon concept is comes from an obsession with customer service and the deeply-held belief that clients need to be able to try on these unique, often one-of-a-kind, pieces in a proper environment. It was extremely important that the salon reflects my passion for design and at the same time creates an environment that is relaxed and fun yet sophisticated and not too intimidating.”

How do people usually react to the store?

Jennifer: “We donʼt have a storefront per se. Some people arenʼt quite sure what sort of store we are in what we call the ʻHall of Dreamsʼ — since weʼre located near a plastic surgeonʼs office and a hair replacement business. But when we buzz them through the door people that see the store for the first time usually stop for a minute or two to drink it in. Then the reaction is simply ʻwowʼ.”

who did your design? how closely did you work with them?

Jennifer: “Samuel took our daunting wish list to Mario Echeverria and his head designer John Naranjo of the Echeverria Design Group. Marioʼs company has designed close to 1,000 stores iand was recently named one of the top 50 designers in the country.” Mario: “We worked with Samuel before at Mayorʼs Jewelers so we already had an understanding of his highly developed aesthetic sensibilities. Our challenge was to create a comfortable environment infused with enormous style and sophistication. The space needed to be a place where all the elements worked harmoniously so the overall effect was something that put customers at ease.”

The toughest part about converting the building into a jewelry store?

Mario: “It was extremely tricky building what was a fairly complicated entertainment/kitchen area over a fully operating restaurant [Coral Gablesʼ The Palm Restaurant].Installing wiring and plumbing on the second floor with The Palm below was like the fulfillment of the Chinese curse ʻMay you have an interesting life.ʼ I had a very interesting life during this project. But that is what makes it so satisfying when you finish it and you not only feel it in your bones that it really works, but your clients do as well.”

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And when it was completed?

Jennifer: “We couldnʼt be more pleased. This is exactly what we envisioned. It was such a personal project for us. It was almost like doing a house. This Salon and this business represent a dream. This has always been something that Samuel has wanted to do and I am glad that I can be a part of it.” Samuel: “Itʼs said that the happiest people are those who find their passion and are able to make a living pursuing it. I grew up in the jewelry business. It is my magnificent obsession. Mario created a space that embodies all the passion and excitement I have for my craft while making it a welcoming place for my clients that in many cases are also my friends.”

What would you say is the most unique feature of the store?

Jennifer: “It would have to be the large dining room table. People donʼt expect to see this type and size of furniture in a jewelry salon. But when we offer customers something to eat or drink, or they sit down to casually to look at a piece or talk about what they want, they begin to realize what weʼre trying to do.”

What do you like most about the store? And least?

Jennifer: “What we wanted most for our salon is to make it as welcoming and warm as possible for people. With a functional kitchen and bar and a large dining table itʼs a lot like shopping for jewelry in someoneʼs home. We donʼt dislike a thing about our store.”

The cost?

Jennifer: “Buildout was around $350,000, including all lighting, fixtures, furniture, kitchen, safes and security systems.”

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