After nearly 25 years working for specialty store retailer Jeffrey, Don Purcell has ventured out on his own with a signature boutique in Atlanta.
After the closing of the Jeffrey store in Atlanta last summer, he started thinking more seriously about venturing out on his own. During a recent buying trip to New York, Purcell passed by the vacant Jeffrey store in the Meatpacking District. “It was very emotional that that’s all gone. But you know from the ashes, rise the phoenix. I am doing my thing in Atlanta and Jesse Dong has opened Two: Minds near where Jeffrey used to be. That’s amazing. And Philip Manghisi is opening his own store in Scottsdale,” referring to fellow former Jeffrey executives.
Located in Atlanta’s Buckhead Village, Purcell’s 1,200-square-foot store’s art quotient is high, thanks to an array of works, handbags and gifts by Pop artist Ashley Longshore. Along with Judith Leiber handbags and candles by Trudon, there is an assortment of jewelry from Cathy Waterman, Eli Halili, Eva Fehren, Nina Runsdorf, Sylva & Cie and Sanjay Kasliwal among others.
Designed to be colorful and happy, the store’s backdrop and fixtures are white to relay a gallery atmosphere. Longshore’s vibrant work “emblazons” the walls.
E-commerce is not currently offered at the namesake boutique but that could be explored in the future. “Jewelry is the one thing that people still need to experience, to touch and to feel before they buy it.”
Marie-Hélène de Taillac and Will Hanigan Pearls are a few of the vendors that were not offered at Jeffrey that Purcell is excited to offer to locals. The “Boot Dolly” crystal-covered cowboy boot clutch from Judith Leiber is a favorite style, as is her “Star Wars” collaborative “R2D2.” The assortment in the store consists of 75 percent jewelry, 15 percent art and 10 percent hostess gifts and other items.
Looking ahead, he expects the average purchase in his store to be at least $5,000. With the average price for a piece of jewelry to be $1,500 to $2,000, he is counting on shoppers to buy a few items.
Dior, Hermès, Akris, Etro and Christian Louboutin are among the stores in Buckhead Village. The Don Purcell store also expects to glean traffic from the popular lunch spot Le Bilboquet and the St. Regis Hotel.
While the coronavirus crisis has indubitably dented many consumers’ spending habits, some remain unaffected. “A lot of the luxury jewelry vendors that I’ve spoken with have had a very good year,” he said. “I’m ready for people to come in to experience the beautiful collections that I have assembled and to see the space. Hopefully, we’re going to put a smile on their face.”