When she opened her new Gioia jewelry salon earlier this month, Rafaela Amini did more than move it down 57th Street. For starters, she turned the business into a full-fledged family affair, naming her mother, Dora, a co-owner alongside her father, David, who launched the company with Amini in 1997. But unlike their previous boutiques — the first at 485 Park Avenue and the second at 110 East 57th Street — which were located at street level and open to the public, the third Gioia iteration is by appointment only, tucked away on the 21st floor of the Fuller Building.
Of course, there’s the incident in May, which may have been a factor: Amini was robbed while her security guard was on lunch break. Two men pushed their way in, knocked her unconscious and left with more than $1 million worth of jewels. But according to Amini, the decision to go private was a long time coming; the break-in just provided the push she needed. “I knew before that I wanted to do this,” she says. “We’ve established the clientele now. We have a lot of high-profile people, and this gives them guaranteed privacy and guaranteed time with us. I think every business should evolve.”
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