A JEWELRY DESIGNER CAPITALIZES ON BETTER LOOKS AT PALATABLE PRICES.
Byline: Holly Haber
DALLAS — Suzanne Kalanjian was born into a family of fine-jewelry retailers, so it wasn’t a big stretch for her to design a collection of sleek, contemporary jewelry made of minerals, crystals and pearls.
Now, she and her husband, Paul, are on track to generate $1.2 million in sales this year. Nine-year-old Kalan, based in Burbank, Calif., is available at the Dallas mart in Becca Bowen’s showroom, which first showed it last summer.
Besides jewelry, Kalan offers shawls and scarves in elegant fabrics, like cotton Venetian lace.
A related contemporary clothing collection featuring lace and embroidery, called M. Kalan, is designed by Suzanne Kalanjian’s sister-in-law, Maral Chatoyan, and shown in Creative Concepts’ showroom 2G41 of the mart.
Kalan’s hottest jewelry sellers have been pearl and crystal illusion single and multistrand necklaces strung on stainless steel wire.
They are doing “off-the-chart-great” business at Byzantine here, according to Victoria Jackson, an owner.
“We haven’t been able to keep the ones with the pearls on the wires in stock,” Jackson said. “They’re really inexpensive, and it’s that ‘Tin Cup’ necklace look, but at a much lower price. The silver and gold combinations do well, too.”
Kalan’s latest styles string the steel illusion necklaces with such minerals as labradorite, an opalescent green tourmaline. Other elements include smoky quartz, amethyst, garnet, colored Biwa potato pearls, fluorite, citrine and jasper. Most of the minerals are polished, but some of the strongest styles feature rough stones.
Kalan also mimics popular styles from fine jewelry. Clear Swarovski crystals in princess and other cuts are suspended as pendants from thin gold-filled chains, or bezel-set into matte gold and silver rondeles strung onto silver or gold chains.
“People want to buy things that they will be able to wear all the time, something you can use for a long time,” Suzanne Kalanjian noted. “We do that with the jewelry and the clothes.”
The couple owns their own factory in Los Angeles, where the stones are set and the pieces are assembled. Even though she is not a big jewelry wearer herself, she is her own best tester.
“We always try everything and wear it for a week to see if it’s comfortable,” she added.
Wholesale prices for the Kalan collection range from $14 to $35 for the crystal drop necklaces and $26 to $170 for necklaces with semiprecious stones. The company also offers a lower-priced line, Patile, named for their nine-year-old daughter. Its delicate necklaces and earrings incorporate crystals with base metals and wholesale for $3 to $10.
“They have a dead-on look,” said Bowen, a veteran sales representative. “A lot of my stores are saying their customers bought it as they were unpacking it. They have come in for reorders, especially for the crystal and pearl illusion necklaces with the new toggle closure.”