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This Beverly Hills Jeweler Is the Face of Her Retail Brand

Desi Torem models her own jewelry designs.





Jewelry designer Desi Torem believes that everyone should feel like a celebrity no matter their budget. As the manufacturing source for her designs (jewelry manufacturer MK Luxury Group is owned by her father, Moshe Kraiem), she’s able to provide attainable luxury. A former celebrity stylist, she treats all of her customers like stars at the Beverly Hills retail jewelry boutique she opened with her brother, Justin Kraiem, last year. Desi is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and the face of the JustDesi brand.

ONLINE ONLY Q&A with Desi Torem

What has been your biggest challenge?

I would have to say that my biggest challenge has been balancing all the different hats that I wear. Sometimes it’s hard to relinquish the need to control every moving part of the business and trust myself to delegate responsibilities to my team. Creatives have a great sense of attachment to their art, so I’m constantly needing to remind myself that my personal attention needs to be focused on the more important aspects of the business.

What do you do to keep up your energy?

In 2022 I started a business, opened a retail store, planned my wedding, and got married, so I’ve been busy to say the least. My schedule doesn’t leave much room for “me-time”, but for the last year or so, I’ve been leaning more heavily on my religion to keep me grounded. Observing the Sabbath has really provided me the relief I didn’t know I needed. One day a week to shut off your phone, put your work aside, and connect with the people you care about allows you to recharge and start each new week with a sense of calm and renewed spirit.

How many roles do you have in the business?

My brother and I founded the company at the height of COVID as a team of two, so we really had to do everything on our own at the start. While my team is growing, I still take a pretty hands-on approach in my business and wear a lot of hats. I am still very much involved in the day-to-day operations and customer relations, in addition to the executive responsibilities and designing, of course. I treat this company like my baby and am still not quite ready yet to loosen the reins and am thoroughly enjoying every minute of our growth.


How did you become comfortable modeling for your business?

It’s really challenging not to be self-critical. I still battle with my confidence in front of the camera, but I hope it inspires other women to get out of their comfort zones and challenge their self esteem issues too. While its difficult to do, I think being the face of my brand as an ordinary woman also really humanizes an otherwise very superficial industry. I think people can envision themselves in something better when they see real people modeling it. So while it still makes me wildly uncomfortable sometimes, I think its important for me to practice what I preach, and show people that luxury is within reach, confidence is built, and that everyone is deserving of feeling like a star.

What is your brand’s message?

My brand is all about attainable luxury for the masses. Our mission is to make everyone feel deserving of love and a bit of spoiling. Whether you are shopping for yourself or for someone else, its our job at JustDesi to make sure you leave with a sense of pride in your purchase. We live for the moments that put smiles on people’s faces and take the job of finding the perfect piece for each individual person very seriously. It’s a high-class, tailor-made experience for all. Budget shouldn’t stand in the way of luxury and value.

What is your secret to working with family?

I can see how working with family could be challenging, but it actually works really well for my brother and me. Justin and I both play very different roles in the structure of our organization, and really trust each other to do what we show up to do. I think the secret is establishing clear roles, agreeing on goals, and communicating behind closed doors when obstacles come about. I’m lucky to have him, truly.

Why does retail appeal to you?

While design is my true passion, I love the people part just as much. I come from the manufacturing side of the industry, and while that put us in a really unique position to service the market with incredible value, it also was exciting for me to be able to actually help people. Everyone needs a jeweler they trust. I become an enormous part of my clients lives and so many of them have become my great friends. Caring for my clients and getting to know them on a personal level, allows me to service them in a way they haven’t experienced before.

How do you create a luxury experience for everyone?

Simply put, our store breathes opulence, but our prices don’t break the bank. There is no better feeling than being invited into a store like a VIP, and leaving knowing that in addition to a wonderful experience, you also got a great deal. But more than that, I think, is the service you get when you walk into our doors. It’s incomparable. We’ll work with you, and treat you with the same respect and care, regardless of your budget. You’re welcomed in with champagne and chocolates, and walked through the showroom, to our in-house atelier where you can actually watch your jewelry being made. And because jewelry is such a personal thing, you’ll work with a style consultant to create a complete look, unique to your individual taste, lifestyle, and budget.


What do you think other retailers can learn from JustDesi?

I think retailers do themselves a disservice by focusing too much on the sale and not enough on the client. It’s important to be flexible and accommodating, and while everyone knows the saying “the customer is always right”, great customer service is still very hard to come by. Owning your own business isn’t a 9-5 job. I’m on call for my clients 24/7 and even though jewelry doesn’t sound like it should be an emergency, I can’t tell you how many late nights I’ve worked, jewelry home-deliveries I’ve made, insane deadlines I’ve had to make, or unrealistic expectations I’ve had to meet. My clients know they can call me at any time and that nothing is out of my scope of work. I go above and beyond for them, and I think the personal attention and dedication to their happiness provided at JustDesi is something all retailers can learn and grow from.

What do you like about your location in Beverly Hills?

I grew up in Beverly Hills, so this area feels like home to me, but for most people, it’s suggestive of a very exclusive and intimidating neighborhood. Most of the surrounding stores can only be shopped by the rich and famous. Our intention was to deviate from that stigma and create an inviting, pressure-free experience, in an otherwise very exclusive neighborhood. We welcome all genders, races, and income brackets into our family, and have something for everyone.

How do you foster relationships with celebrities?

I try to treat them like real people, and I think that they appreciate that. I think so much of their lives revolve around how others perceive them, and I just try to keep it real with everyone regardless of their status.

What has been the most exciting aspect or moment of opening your store?

It’s hard to pinpoint the most exciting moment since this year has been filled with so many incredible highlights, but we just celebrated our one-year anniversary in December. Seeing the culmination of the many relationships we’ve cultivated this year come out to celebrate and support us was a really special and emotional experience for me. It wasn’t just a sense of pride, but rather, gratitude for the ups and downs and everything in between.


What type or style of jewelry have you enjoyed wearing lately?

I have the luxury of changing up my jewelry, so my style and metal choices change pretty frequently. I think jewelry has the power to transform a look completely, so I accessorize based on my mood or outfit. I take a lot of risks with my fashion and my style changes all the time, so my jewelry needs to reflect a multitude of vibes from classic, to edgy, or glamorous. On my low maintenance days, my staple pieces will always include an easy pair of hoops, a bangle stack, multiple hand-chains, and some sort of evil eye for protection.

How has your life or career up to now surprised you?

Launching my business and planning my wedding at the same time wasn’t exactly the plan, but with COVID, we had to roll with the punches and adapt accordingly. I feel like building a business and starting a marriage have a lot of similarities, and I couldn’t do either one without a supportive team or husband. Teamwork makes the dream work!



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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