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SMALL COOL 2ND PLACE: Wanna Buy a Watch? / West Hollywood, CA

A Timely Transition

With its latest move, this watch shop wound up in just the right place.

OWNER: Ken Jacobs | URL: wannabuyawatch.com | FOUNDED: 1978 | OPENED FEATURED LOCATION: 2018 | EMPLOYEES: 4 full-time, 2 part-time | AREA: 1,400 square feet; 800 square-foot showroom | BUILDOUT COST: $150,000 | ONLINE PRESENCE: 835 Facebook likes, 17,700 Instagram followers, 4.8 stars with 20 Google reviews


KEN JACOBS didn’t want to relocate his business, Wanna Buy A Watch?, but he didn’t have a choice. “We had to move because the building we were in for 13 years had been bought and was being demolished,” he says. Yet in a twist worthy of the shop’s Hollywood location, another space was available seven doors up the street, “different landlord, a bigger space, lower rent”… but still on highly desirable Melrose Avenue. “Everything about it was good fortune,” he says.

The new location has echoes of WBAW?’s former home — especially the vintage Gruen clock and Nipper mascot outside, useful as both branding and landmarks — but the new space feels more comfortable for staff and customers alike. Working with June Robinson Scott of DWG Design Studio, Jacobs has essentially created a clubhouse for the growing ranks of vintage wristwatch enthusiasts.

Life is so much easier and the operation of the store so much better without me having to wear so many hats.

As soon as they enter, visitors see a comfy library lounge area with inviting furniture and stacks of watch-related books. Behind that, showcases feature the always-changing selection of timepieces that make WBAW? a destination shopping experience. High ceilings and LED up-lighting add additional warmth. The new digs are more functional than previous locations, too, with an open floor plan that makes the most of the available space, plus an additional work area behind the showroom that’s almost as big as the 800-square-foot storefront.

Of course, this wasn’t the first move for a business that began as an outgrowth of Jacobs’ passion for collecting. Trained as a clinical psychologist, Jacobs moved to Southern California for his internship and began frequenting the monthly Pasadena Rose Bowl flea market, where he met a seller of antique pocket watches. “I was fascinated and immediately saw the opportunity to take these uncommon, beautiful and functional objects to a better market,” he says. The attraction was personal, too; he figured a cool pocket watch would make better cocktail party conversation than his coin collection.

Jacobs got his start sharing a series of tiny shops on Melrose Avenue in the 1980s, when the street was becoming known for its retro and pop culture shopping. He also began buying and selling fine vintage wristwatches, though he hadn’t even worn a watch as a younger man. “What became compelling was the aesthetic of these 1930s and 1940s rose gold Gruen Curvexes and art deco design watches, these ’50s post-modern watches,” he recalls. “So it was really fashion driven.” Jacobs’ timing was impeccable then, just as it was when WBAW? needed a new storefront in 2018 when a bigger and better one happened to open up.  “I’m just tickled with the way it came out,” Jacobs says of the new space.

WBAW? employees like the changes, too. One employee who had to scurry to different stations around the old shop to fulfill his shipping, repair and customer service duties now has everything within arm’s reach. And although Jacobs has been hands-on with the watch business for decades, he’s pleased that a former employee, Mike Schmidt, returned to Los Angeles in time to take over managerial duties at the new location. “Life is so much easier and the operation of the store is so much better without me having to wear so many hats,” Jacobs says.

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The new living-room vibe plays to the fact that WBAW? has always been a gathering place for entertainment industry insiders — a few A-list celebrities, plus a large supporting cast of lesser-known celebs and behind-the-scenes players who recognize one another and hang out a while. “It’s a hoot to have all these people coming in,” says Jacobs. There’s no separate VIP area, but that doesn’t stop famous wristwatch devotees including Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Goldblum and Fred Savage.

“Most of these people who come in, they’re not looking for privacy. They’re happy to engage, and it’s a fun place,” says Jacobs. Although the wood-and-leather décor has whiffs of whiskey bar and cigar lounge, still and sparkling water are the complimentary beverages of choice. “There’s always music,” adds Jacobs; store playlists vary from jazz to pop and soft rock, with a mix of familiar tunes and interesting curveballs that encourage people to linger, explore and discover.

Ken Jacobs describes Wanna Buy a Watch? as a “museum where you can buy things.” Vintage signage contributes to that classic vibe.

“Our store in some ways is like a museum of cool watches, but where you can handle them, try them on, compare, and ask lots of questions about them and see how good they look on you,” says Jacobs. “It’s like a museum where you can buy things.” And like any good museum, WBAW? has a low-key but visible security guard on hand to deter anyone hoping to walk off with a Rolex Submariner or a Breitling Navitimer. Security “is a huge expense,” Jacobs notes, “but one that gives us peace of mind to operate.”

With between 10 to 12 posts per week, Instagram is a major business driver for Wanna Buy A Watch? Even with great foot traffic and easy parking, “we could not be the store we are if we didn’t have a big online presence,” says Jacobs, who credits employee Brent Cicogna for encouraging the shop’s use of Instagram. The WBAW? website features full details and high-quality images of every watch in stock, and Instagram posts creatively showcase the timepieces most coveted by avid watch collectors. The shop was recently dubbed “L.A.’s Horological Epicenter” by leading watch blogger and influencer Ben Clymer of Hodinkee.com. “This vast world of watch enthusiasts want to come to Wanna Buy a Watch?” Jacobs says.

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Jacobs didn’t know when he started that vintage wristwatches would become the investment vehicles they are today, yet Wanna Buy A Watch? remains driven by the fun and fashion aspects that drew Jacobs into the watch trade in the first place.

“Whether you buy something or not, it’s a really cool place,” he says.

Judges’ Comments

Julie Ettinger: There is so much that I love about this store! I especially appreciate the consistent marketing. Nipper is the perfect piece that ties it all together. I love seeing Nipper in the logo, the marketing, the front door and even flashes of him in some of the videos. It’s a cozy and exciting space and seems to flow very nicely.

Julie Gotz: I love the cool vibe of the interior. The decor is interesting and funky (and cool!) and creates a fun atmosphere for shoppers.

Joel Hassler: I absolutely love the interior of this store. Very inviting and classic feel. I’d get on a plane tomorrow to go shop at Wanna Buy A Watch!

Barbara Ross-Innamorati: Ken has perfected the total customer experience. From his stylish and cozy interior, to his fantastic social media marketing. I loved the total vintage feel of his store including the vintage posters and wall clocks. His site is also one of the most informative and educational sites for vintage watches. It seems like the go-to place for an education on collecting vintage watches.

Hedda Schupak:What a unique store! I love the concept and the story behind it, and I love how well it fits into the whole Melrose vibe of vintage shopping. The interior of the store is perfectly suited to the concept. An industrial space or white Shaker cases would not have worked with this concept at all.

Eric Zuckerman: When well done, I love impactful statement pieces on a store’s exterior that become synonymous with not only the business, but the neighborhood as well. The Gruen neon clock and Nipper the dog seem to do that perfectly!

PHOTO GALLERY (19 IMAGES)

5 COOL THINGS ABOUT WANNA BUY A WATCH?

1Time to play. “We have a very civilized schedule,” says Jacobs. WBAW? is closed every Sunday and Monday, so all staff get two days off in a row — and the shop closes between Christmas and New Year’s so everyone can enjoy a break after the holidays. The year-round vibe is California chill, too. “We maintain a low pressure, non-commissioned sales environment, with good employee pay, work conditions and benefits that encourage a collaborative rather than competitive environment,” says Jacobs.

2 Good dog. The famous RCA dog Nipper is the WBAW? mascot, with a three-foot-tall version guarding the front door (and providing a photo op for real dogs and children in the neighborhood). Nipper imagery also figures in other store branding, including the WBAW? logo and seasonal banners that rotate outside the store.

3 Name game. Wanna Buy A Watch? is a cheeky play on the trench-coat-wearing watch salesman of pop culture lore. “We created a more benign connotation and have never regretted our choice,” says Jacobs. (When the shop took third place in INSTORE’s 2002 Cool Stores contest, one judge felt the name was insufficiently serious and suggested it be changed, but another said it was perfect.)

4 Luxe loo. Owner Ken Jacobs says WBAW? originally planned to discard a crystal chandelier left by the previous tenant, but they wound up using it as the centerpiece of a boudoir-style bathroom — just another way the shop is prepared to meet a customer’s every need.

5 A very good year. The WBAW? website has a search function featuring birth-year watches. And although 95 percent of the shop’s sales are of timepieces, the shop also stocks an interesting selection of vintage jewelry, including engagement rings.

Julie Fanselow is a writer, editor, coach, and dot-connector. She was the founding editor of SmartWork Media's magazine for eyecare professionals, INVISION.

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America's Coolest Stores

Portland, OR, Couple Fine-Tunes the No-Pressure Engagement Ring Sale

Website and window displays create perfect curb appeal.

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Malka Diamonds & Jewelry, Portland, OR

OWNERS: David and Ronnie Malka; URL: malkadiamonds.com ; FOUNDED: 2010; ARCHITECT AND DESIGN: One Hundred Agency and Bedford Brown Store; EMPLOYEES: 3 ; AREA: 1,000 square feet total; 700 square foot showroom; TOP BRANDS: Custom, vintage, Point No Point Studios, Vatche, Jolie Design; ONLINE PRESENCE: 1,645 Instagram followers, 957 Facebook followers, 4.9 Stars with 62 Google reviews; RENOVATED: 2018; BUILDOUT COST: $75,000; SHOWCASES:KDM


Ronnie and David Malka

VINTAGE RINGS DISPLAYED in authentic, retro jewelry boxes share space with newly minted engagement rings in the front window of Malka Diamonds & Jewelry, a boutique shop in the historic Hamilton building in the heart of downtown Portland.

Passersby enchanted by that tempting array are welcomed inside by owners David and Ronnie Malka, who offer guests a warm greeting and refreshments from the coffee shop across the hall.

Adding to the relaxed environment, they rarely ask for the prospective customer’s information right away. “Our customer is our friend. Just like you don’t ask someone you just met for all of their information, you really should try to take the same approach with your customers,” David says.

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Once guests have a chance to settle in and look around, graduate gemologist David loves to share what he knows by comparing loose diamonds at his desk. What makes the Malka experience distinctive is that David includes tricks of the trade in his consumer education, such as explaining what kind of diamonds people in the jewelry business might select for themselves.

“A lot of people who are thinking about buying diamonds online have done some research, and I like to educate them on the stuff you can see in a diamond that you should pay for,” David says. “The stuff you can’t see, why pay for it? Common sense goes a long way when you’re spending thousands of dollars. Great, if you want to buy a VVS stone, we have it, but most of the people who see the difference, or don’t see the difference, between D and F color are making a much more informed purchase, and they feel good about it.”

Large windows allow passersby to glimpse a mix of vintage and new rings on display while flooding the space with natural light.

They’re also adept at explaining the difference between the diamonds and their paperwork. “The cert says XYZ, but if you lined it up with five others, you might see why that stone was priced so low in its bracket,” Ronnie says.

They think it’s just fine if their customers walk out without buying anything on their first or second visit — even if they’re headed to the competition.

“We keep it really simple in here,” says Ronnie. “A lot of the guys who come in are buying something they don’t know anything about. We don’t bombard them with phone calls or emails; we just offer education. They continue to explore and research, and most of those people we see back here.”

The Malkas are taking the long view. “We want to be like their grandparents’ jewelers with a state-of-the-art shop so we can create things that are going to last,” Ronnie says. “Like the 1920s-era jewelers you trusted but still current and evolving with time.” Although engagement and wedding rings dominate their business now, with as much as 85 percent of sales, they believe that as their original customers continue to mature, they’ll eventually diversify into jewelry for other occasions.

By the time the customer does make a purchase or put a deposit down on a custom ring, David and Ronnie have developed a relationship with them. They give their customers a Malka hat, pin or T-shirt. They also give them a pamphlet detailing the history of their three-generation tradition of diamond dealers, and paperwork that includes an appraisal. There’s no paperwork involved with the guarantee; that is automatic for the life of the ring.

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As for that history, David’s father, Yossi Malka, who still has an office across the street from his son’s store, began his career as an apprentice under his great uncle in Israel, studied diamond cutting and later became a wholesale dealer in Portland.

David studied at the GIA, earned a graduate gemologist degree, and worked in a retail store for several years. David also ran his own jewelry appraisal lab, Independent Gemological Services, for the trade and private clients. “That’s a tough gig to be looking through the scope all day,” he says. “I was getting a little bit bored.”

Still, everyone thought he was crazy, he says, when he decided to open his own store. “It was the recession. It was a tough time.” Three major Portland jewelry stores had closed. “I figured if we took this plunge and we could stay afloat for two years, we should be able to weather anything,” he says. They’d been considering a variety of different names for the business when a friend offered this advice: “When you put your name on the door, you’re putting your name behind the business.”

Perfect. They had a name.

Ronnie Malka collects retro jewelry boxes to display vintage engagement rings.

They leased a prime 1,000-square-foot spot within a vacant 10,000 square-foot space. It was bare bones, with not much beyond walls and floors.

“Welcome to the world of retail,” David says he remembered thinking. Traffic was thin at first, and David continued to operate the appraisal lab, taking it month by month. Although changing shopping habits of American consumers had seemed to be a bad omen, it turned out that Portland shoppers who did spend money on jewelry wanted to make sure they were investing in local, independent businesses. Within a couple of years, they’d won Oregon Bride Magazine’s “Best Rings of 2012” award.

In 2013 Malka became the official fine jewelers of the University of Oregon and their shop got very busy. Ronnie left her teaching job to join Malka full time after it became clear David needed help with marketing and events.

In 2018, they expanded the shop and fine-tuned their interior design, adding metallic cork wallpaper, a custom woven rug, a gathering area with a modern, round table and gray leather chairs, and custom-built display cases. The counter now boasts a marble top and black paint. Other additions include a gold light fixture and a trio of geometric mirrors. The look is upscale without feeling stuffy. The decor is also a personal reflection of what makes David and Ronnie comfortable, complete with a prominently displayed black and white wedding photo of the couple.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time, you meet a Malka,” Ronnie says. “We want them to know us as we want to know them.”

PHOTO GALLERY (30 IMAGES)

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Five Cool Things About Malka Diamonds & Jewelry

1. Salt-and-pepper diamonds. A year ago, Malka started showcasing the work of a Seattle designer, Point No Point Studios, which has a strong Instagram presence and specializes in salt-and-pepper diamond rings. “We knew that going out-of-the-box and trying something new would potentially bring new traffic,” says Ronnie, who gets several inquiries about them every week. David, as the son of a diamond dealer, admits he was reluctant at first to move in that direction. “My dad says, ‘How much is that per carat?!’ Ten years ago, it would have been used for drill bits, but now there’s an actual marketplace for it. I don’t think it’s a fad, either,” David says.

2. Collaborative environment. “We all know the projects, what’s going on, and what’s coming up,” Ronnie says. “It doesn’t feel compartmentalized.” That approach also creates opportunity for growth. Chloe, who works in the showroom, says Malka has the friendliest atmosphere of anywhere she has worked, as well as enormous growth potential and pride in values. “It gives me satisfaction learning-wise and experience-wise, knowing what the jewelers have to do to have a certain outcome for whatever kind of piece we’re making,” she says.

3. Custom connection. A 2018 expansion made room for two full-time master jewelers and more equipment in the shop. “We wanted everything done under our roof,” David says, from design to manufacture. Sometimes they are simply consultants: “An architect is doing his own CAD design for us to look at and make sure it’s going to translate into a ring and not a building,” Ronnie says.

4. Website curb appeal. Ronnie considers Malka’s digital presence, including its website, to be online curb appeal. “People want to engage online first,” Ronnie says. “Maybe 10 or 15 years ago, your website was a placeholder for your contact info, but now it tells your story.” People know what to expect.

5. Digital marketing ROI. Digital marketing has for the most part replaced traditional radio and TV, because as Ronnie says, “Our customer is online and if they’re seriously looking for a ring, they are seriously looking — not seeing it on TV. Many jewelers will say this is a waste of time, but in the last six months when our followers have doubled, we have noticed customers referring to an image they saw on Instagram or Facebook. It is a real relief to see the return on investment on the time spent taking photos and creating tag lines.” Even shop dog Toby has his own Instagram handle!

JUDGES’ COMMENTS
  • Julie Ettinger: This store is a real gem! I love the shop-local feel and that it can all be done in house. I also appreciate the mix of vintage and new.
  • Julie Gotz: I love that the owners are so invested in the customer and their life cycle. Many stores are too focused on the sale and not enough on the relationship. It is great to hear that a store is using social media in such a successful way.
  • Joel Hassler: I like the approach to gathering customer information. Building a relationship is more important than data-mining.
  • Barbara Ross-Innamorati: : The store interior is exquisite and feels upscale but also warm and inviting. The website is quite informative and I love their blog, “Stories,” as it features a lot of interesting topics with gorgeous photography.
  • Hedda Schupak: I like the laser focus on diamond rings, and I love the impressive depth of selection they have, especially nontraditional styles. The store itself is very hip and welcoming. Their online presence is very strong; they’re using all social media quite well.
  • Eric Zimmerman: Malka Diamonds has done a wonderful job of creating a modern elegant boutique while still highlighting the building’s historic features. Their store’s design tells a story that complements the products they showcase: modern and antique.
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America's Coolest Stores

America’s Coolest Stores 2019 – Winners Revealed!

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Check out America’s Coolest Jewelry Stores of 2019!

Congratulations to the winners of the 18th annual America’s Coolest Stores Contest! In the following pages — and in the months ahead — discover why these stores earned the stamp of approval from our judges. As in past years, we divided the entries into two categories — Big Cool (six or more full-time employees) and Small Cool (five or fewer). We asked two six-member teams of judges to evaluate stores based on their back story, interior, exterior, marketing, online presence and what we here at INSTORE believe is the most important intangible: individuality.

Our six America’s Coolest and additional 10 Cool Stores — each of which will be featured in INSTORE issues through June 2019 — represent creative approaches to doing business as well as aesthetically pleasing retail environments. Each of the six winning stores also offers an omni-channel shopping experience, with merchandise available for purchase online.

If you haven’t taken the time to enter yet, why not give it a shot in January 2020? Retailers have told us that the entry process alone can be inspiring and motivating because it requires them to assess all aspects of their businesses. And if you entered and weren’t chosen this time, fine-tune your entry and try again. That’s proven to be a winning strategy.

Check out America’s Coolest
Jewelry Stores of 2019!

Congratulations to the winners of the 18th annual America’s Coolest Stores Contest! In the following pages — and in the months ahead — discover why these stores earned the stamp of approval from our judges. As in past years, we divided the entries into two categories — Big Cool (six or more full-time employees) and Small Cool (five or fewer). We asked two six-member teams of judges to evaluate stores based on their back story, interior, exterior, marketing, online presence and what we here at INSTORE believe is the most important intangible: individuality.

Our six America’s Coolest and additional 10 Cool Stores — each of which will be featured in INSTORE issues through June 2019 — represent creative approaches to doing business as well as aesthetically pleasing retail environments. Each of the six winning stores also offers an omni-channel shopping experience, with merchandise available for purchase online.

If you haven’t taken the time to enter yet, why not give it a shot in January 2020? Retailers have told us that the entry process alone can be inspiring and motivating because it requires them to assess all aspects of their businesses. And if you entered and weren’t chosen this time, fine-tune your entry and try again. That’s proven to be a winning strategy.

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America's Coolest Stores

Here Are This Year’s America’s Coolest Store Honorable Mentions

These 10 stores will be featured over the next year in INSTORE.

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Big Cool Honorable Mentions

Day’s Jewelers

Nashua, NH

The Coreys

Jeff and Kathy Corey opened a 5,000-square-foot destination store, their eighth location, in 2018. With updated branding and imagery, the store design grabs millennials’ attention while maintaining a reputation for representing fine jewelry. A two-story vestibule creates a transparent glass wall along its curved exterior, establishing a theme that carries throughout the casework and ceiling. The curves create a free-flowing traffic pattern that leads patrons throughout the interior while also maximizing linear-display space.

John Atencio

Lone Tree, CO

John Atencio

Jewelry designer John Atencio’s sixth store was designed to create a visually compelling and luxurious experience while maximizing display space within a 600-square-foot footprint. The most striking aspect of the location is the large, transparent facade crafted from oversize panes of tempered glass. From the outside, the store looks sleek and inviting, and inside, the space is flooded with natural light.

Provident Jewelry

Jupiter, FL

Geoff Fear, Rob Samuels, Nick Linca, Seth Berman, Scott Diament

Owners Seth Berman, Scott Diament, Nick Linca and Robert Samuels teamed up to create a Dream Factory luxury lounge inside their flagship location. Clients can mingle, relax and enjoy a cocktail for a memorable in-store experience. Custom experiences for clients extend far beyond the store’s walls and have included test driving one-of-a-kind cars, meeting the CEOs behind watch brands, racing a car at YAS Marina Circuit, golfing with pro golfers, sailing on the America’s Cup committee boat in Bermuda and flying to Switzerland to tour a watch factory.

H1912

Princeton, NJ

Hamilton owners

Under the leadership of owner Martin Siegel and store manager Lea D’Onofrio, H1912 is part of the Hamilton Jewelers family of brands. It’s on the same street in the same small town as one of its parent locations of Hamilton Jewelers, but since its 2015 inception, it’s carved out a niche for itself that it backs up with a cutting-edge website, charity partnerships and a digital-first marketing plan. The 1912 in its name references the year Hamilton was founded and plays up the vintage angle of its inventory. H1912 buyers travel to estate shows, antique shows and auctions to handpick one-of-a-kind vintage pieces. Every vintage item at H1912 is refinished, refurbished, polished, or overhauled in-house before hitting the showcase.

Mitchum Jewelers

Ozark, MO

Mitchum jewelers

Mitchum Jewelers, owned by Randy Mitchum, doubled its size in 2018 in an upscale renovation orchestrated by store designer Jesse Balaity of Balaity Property Enhancement. One eye-catching element of the new building is the illuminated diamond prominently displayed on the building’s exterior. Mitchum has also set itself apart marketing-wise with a hugely successful TV commercial campaign that features customer testimonials. Use of the slogan “Your Jeweler For Life” in all of Mitchum’s ads has added to the branding surge, as has a related jingle that customers love to sing whenever they happen to run into Randy.


Small Cool Honorable Mentions

Yaf Sparkle

New York, NY

Yaf Boye-Flaegel

This is the second Lower East Side location and second America’s Coolest Stores Award for Yaf Sparkle, owned by Yaf Boye-Flaegel and Torsten Flaegel. When the couple moved into the new spot and peeled off layers of cement, they were excited to find old bricks in good condition crowned by an arched brick ceiling. They added a wooden floor and brought in furniture made of reclaimed wood for a vintage rustic look. The neighborhood is full of life and excitement, to which Yaf Sparkle contributes by spreading glitter across the sidewalk outside the store. Marketing benefits from an in-house photo studio. Customers have voted Yaf Sparkle as among the top three shopping experiences in New York City on Trip Advisor.

JC Jewelers

Jackson Hole, WY

Jan and Jeter Case

Jan and Jeter Case greet visitors from all over the world in their 240-square-foot log-cabin showroom in a gateway town to the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Three to 4 million people visit the area every year, and of those, about 1 million are from China. They’ve gone to great lengths to be hospitable, learning Mandarin phrases and labeling gemstones with translations. They also use Google Translate to communicate with non-English speakers. These efforts have gone a long way, they say, toward making international guests feel comfortable.

Malka Diamonds & Jewelry

Portland, OR

David and Ronnie Malka

Malka Diamonds & Jewelry, owned by David and Ronnie Malka, is a 1,000-square-foot boutique shop in downtown Portland that specializes in engagement and wedding jewelry. David is a graduate gemologist, who enjoys educating clients in a no-pressure atmosphere. The shop also highlights the work of two master jewelers on site. The store houses a collection of modern designs, antique and vintage jewelry and unconventional options, such as salt-and-pepper, rose-cut and unique-shaped diamonds. The store is bolstered by a cheerful staff and robust digital presence.

Talisman Collection

El Dorado Hills, CA

Andrea Riso

With a 3,300-square-foot showroom, this Small Cool store lives large! Owner Andrea Riso designed the floor plan to accommodate wide-open spaces, plenty of seating and a meandering river-style path that creates a sense of discovery. Décor is surrealistic and includes massive blown-glass fixtures, a library-lounge man cave, a tech oasis for kids, a bar and interactive areas that engage and enchant people of all ages. They’re known for designing and rendering original custom pieces for clients within 48 hours, as well as offering the custom-design services of 78 independent designer brands represented in the store.

Welling & Co. Jewelers

West Chester, OH

Bill and Daniel Welling

Father and son owners Bill and Daniel Welling built a modern, industrial-style jewelry store on a well-traveled road between Cincinnati and Dayton, in Ohio’s booming Butler County. The family-owned store, founded in 1920, makes its most recent home in a hangar built in the 1940s by a pilot to house a folding-wing airplane. Interior designer Leslie McGwire retained original interior brick from the building to set the tone for the renovation, which is complemented by an open slate-gray painted ceiling and a textured wood plank floor. A wide range of merchandise and price points adds to the welcoming ambience.

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