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Ylang|23 -“Cool” Story



Ylang | 23
Dallas, TX
Owners: Joanne and Charles Teichman
Year founded: 1985
Opened Featured Location: 2004
Rennovation: 2008
Architect: Brand + Allen, Darayus Kolah
Interior Designers: Joanne and Charles Teichman with architect Darayus Kolah
Total store area: 1,100 square feet
Number of employees: 9

Joanne and Charles Teichman’s original business plan was fittingly bold for two young corporate high fliers in New York in the go-go ’80s: build up a jewelry store co-operative under the Ylang-Ylang brand, take the venture public, sell their interest and then use the proceeds to enjoy the good life. Instead, the Teichmans found that the good life was running just one store in which they could work together and indulge their passion for fine designer jewelry. "We just love what we do," says Joanne. "We have a tremendous respect for how designers work from the heart. How they create what are essentially ‘snowflakes’; designs that can’t be duplicated, and partnering with them to introduce their work to our customers." Now in its 24th year, Dallas-based Ylang | 23 has quietly built up a reputation as one of the top independent stores in the country for cutting-edge fine designer jewelry. – CHRIS BURSLEM



5 Cool Things

Sophisticated remodel
1. The Teichmans weren’t looking to remodel when the Cartier store next door vacated its space in 2004. Charles still wonders about the cost. But there are no such doubts about the end result. Neon lights in the ceiling bathe the store in a cool blue light. Light-colored wood cases and interior fixtures mark the store as friendly and modern. European touches like Italian tiles and mosaics on the counters and other spots add another level of sophistication. Joanne says her favorite additions were a back room and the "powder room," which features a large Lalique mirror titled "Les Causeuses," or The Gossipers.


Designer bets
2. At the heart of Ylang | 23 is its collection of designer lines. In all, the works of more than 40 designers are featured. Joanne, who takes care of the buying, said she took some big bets this year in Vegas, with Charles’ nervous blessing. "We see this (the economic slump) as a market-building opportunity," says Charles. "People still want to buy jewelry, they still want a pick me up. We’re determined not to get knocked off track."

Fashionista sympathizers
3. Want to know which designers caused the biggest stir at Inhorgenta or who was wearing what on their wrist at Sundance? You’re in the right place. Ylang’s staff are fanatical about jewelry design and it is one of the first things the Teichmans look for when hiring, along with obvious smarts (two former employees have gone on to be doctors). An ability to relate to the store’s "fashionista" customers is crucial as are workers who take satisfaction from a successful sale. The staff all work on a zero-commission basis. "The staff still take pride in making the sale but we don’t want to a high pressure sales environment," says Joanne.

High tech from the start
4. "Early adopter" is probably the best way to classify Ylang’s approach to technology. They have had a commercial website since 2002 that is bringing in clients from across the country and world. At the start of 2007, Joanne started a blog to keep in contact with her clients and more recently, Facebook and Twitter accounts. "Charles complains I’m married to my computer," says Joanne, adding that she is constantly e-mailing pictures of jewelry models to clients. The time invested has paid off both commercially and from a marketing point of view. Joanne tells the story of how actress Debra Messing was recently buttonholed by InStyle for her favorite website. Messing went public with

No. 23
5. When the breakup of the original Ylang-Ylang joint venture forced Charles and Joanne to rename their store, it was no surprise the number 23 appeared. The number has followed them around since they first met, on the 23rd. They were also engaged on the 23rd, and married on the 23rd. So it was a huge bash that they celebrated the store’s 23rd anniversary last year. The theme? Where Were You in 1985?

"We are in the coolest store ever."
Leticia "Tish" Cyrus, mother of Miley Cyrus, on the phone to a friend. Mother and daughter were in the store for some post-concert shopping.

Ya-lang, Lang, Yin Yang, Ling Lang, and occasionally, E-long (the correct French pronunciation for Ylang, which is a fragrant flowering tree found in the Philippines .


Do this now: Ylang has made its reputation for being ahead of the curve with its jewelry buys. But it’s not all about staying ahead of next season’s hot seller. The store also promises to find clients hard to find pieces from past collections. It supports its reputation as the place to go for that hard-to-find piece.



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