Haskell Jewels LLC is getting a piece of the e-commerce real estate. The Manhattan-based jewelry manufacturer has made an investment to acquire 50 percent of online designer jewelry retailer Charm & Chain. “For the past year, it’s been a strategic focus of mine to find the right partner to build an online jewelry business with,” said Brett H. Fialkoff, chief operating officer of Haskell. “We wanted to marry our jewelry, logistics and back of house expertise with a partner that would really excel online and in social media.”
Charm & Chain joins Haskell’s existing roster, which includes owned brands Miriam Haskell and Robert Lee Morris, as well as designer licensees Diane von Furstenberg, Betsey Johnson and Kenneth Cole. Ali Galgano founded the company, one of the first companies in the space to sell designer fashion jewelry online, in 2008, after abandoning a career in finance and receiving a degree from the Gemological Institute of America. Seven years later, Galgano runs the company as chief executive officer with partner and chief operating officer Jamie Rutenberg. The site stocks a large selection of contemporary and fine jewelers, including Pamela Love, Alexis Bittar, Vita Fede, Dannijo, Lulu Frost and Eddie Borgo. Galgano noted, “We believe our relationship with Haskell and the initiatives and partnerships that we are currently pursuing will dramatically change the scale of our business in the future.”
The company declined to reveal sales figures.
“When I launched Charm & Chain in 2008, we were a unique addition to the marketplace. Our focus was bringing established designers online while leveraging our platform to introduce new talent to the world,” Galgano said. “Over the past seven years, the online fashion jewelry landscape has changed dramatically….We both feel this is the right time to pursue our growth strategy.”
Part of that strategy includes a Charm & Chain-designed jewelry line. “Our business model is evolving to incorporate more exclusivity, major partnerships and a focus on private label,” Rutenberg said. “As we explored a relationship, we quickly realized that Haskell — [with its design and merchandising capabilities] — was a complementary company to Charm & Chain and was the only partner we met with who could bring so many diverse resources to the relationship.”
Fialkoff noted that eventually the line would evolve into accessories categories beyond jewelry. Exclusive “large-scale” partnerships are also in the works. “We plan on not only being a leading retailer but a leading jewelry brand,” Galgano said. “We see enormous opportunity in fashion jewelry and affordable fine jewelry, and will also look into private branded business. This will enable us to broaden our reach through large-scale partnerships and exclusive offerings that we often can’t take full advantage of as a third-party retailer. We will always be true to the brand that we’ve worked hard to create over the past years, but we plan to bring more to consumers.”