NEW YORK — Two accessibly priced jewelry stores owned by Europeans who believe buying fine jewelry doesn't have to break the bank have opened in Greenwich Village and NoLIta here.
Frederique Dessemond has been around New York's designing block before, and in March opened a Ginette NY store on busy West Fourth Street in Greenwich Village. The native of Marseilles, France, has been designing under the name Ginette — representing an "old-fashioned but modern French woman" — for the last five years. She has done two wholesale collections for retailers such as Calypso Bijoux, Shopbop.com and Paris' Le Bon Marché and Les Printemps. Now, she can focus on her own retail business.
Ginette NY's 14-karat and white gold rings, bangles and pendants wholesale from $45 to $850, making its jewelry affordable and easy to layer.
"It's all about simple and pure things," Dessemond said. "A gold wire, a chain, a disc — it's affordable, it's everyday. I always hear my customers say, 'I forgot my disc this morning, I feel naked.'"
The brand also does a big custom-design business because its flat-disc pendants are perfect for monogramming. Those pieces, with the engraving cost included, run from $300 to $565.
Dessemond has been working with the same small team of designers since the beginning of her business when "going to work" meant cramming into her Brooklyn apartment. She also has a small collection of vintage pieces, such as engagement rings from the Thirties that run between $300 to $400 depending on the stone's weight. Other one-of-a-kind, vintage pieces retail from $300. She feels these collections are on par with the theme of the brand.
"Most of my jewelry is inspired by the past," Dessemond said. "It's very modern, like New York, but I also keep my French influence."
The Ginette NY shop also retains a touch of French influence, looking as much like a Montmartre jazz bar as a jewelry store. Its earthy tones, stools and coffee-table books make for a good shopping rest point.
"We wanted to make it like a jewelry bar," Dessemond said. "You can have an espresso, sit down, read a book. You don't even have to buy anything."Jane Eadie, owned by a British expatriate of the same name, has found a home on Elizabeth Street in NoLIta. The store had its official opening in February. Before moving to New York in 2003 from her home in London, Eadie served as the assistant to the Prince of Wales for four years and spent much of her time traveling for work. She met designers from all over the world and began friendships with them, knowing that one day she'd open a jewelry store.
"It was something I always wanted to do," Eadie said. "What's wonderful is that I have such a great relationship with these designers. I came at it from loving their work and getting on well with them."
Eadie considers both herself and her store to be a U.S. representative for these designers. The brands she houses, like Argentina's Celedonio, Brazil's JMR Fontan and Italy's Daniela de Marchi, are exclusive to the store, but she would eventually like to wholesale them elsewhere.
"Of course, it's nice when someone is exclusive to you," Eadie said. "But then again, it might also be interesting and beneficial to shop them around the right places."
Every piece in Eadie's store retails from $200 to $2,000, with most jewelry in the $500 to $600 range. She is moving slowly and thoughtfully.
"I don't want to overstuff the store," she said. "I want to keep it clean."
Each of her designers produces pieces on a seasonal basis. Eadie would like to collaborate with them on collections.
"That way I can give them feedback from what people here in Manhattan think," she said. "The colors and styles ultimately vary by country."
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