DALLAS — Anthony Camargo and David Nakard Armstrong, the duo behind Anthony Nak jewelry, were brimming with Texas-size confidence when they opened the doors of their first boutique in Austin, Tex., last November.
This story first appeared in the January 26, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
After all, the Austin-based designers have sold as much as $500,000 a year to personal clients in their hometown alone — and that was by appointment at the company headquarters, then located in a nondescript area of town.
“Texas and Austin have been so great to us,” said Camargo, explaining why the pair passed up an opportunity to open its first store on 14th Street in New York. “The beauty of being in your hometown is that you can be accessible to people who have supported you all along the way.”
The designers’ first store came near the end of a successful year when wholesale business reached $4 million. Because the duo had to turn down orders due to limited production capacities, it relocated the headquarters and workshop to a bigger, 4,500-square-foot facility behind the store.
The designers project first-year sales of $1.5 million for the slick, 1,000-square-foot unit. The Mod, all-white boutique boasts curved walls and custom-built cherrywood display cases shaped like pods. The unusual cases have tilted glass tops that lift on hydraulic levers to become flat surfaces for laying out individual pieces of jewelry.
The boutique carries Anthony Nak’s full line, which prominently features bold and colorful semiprecious and precious stones draped in fine gold chains. It retails from $2,000 to $150,000, though most pieces sell for $10,000 to $50,000. At the boutique, the designers also will offer extravagant styles not sold elsewhere.
“Here we get to play more, and can do some experimentation and one-of-a-kind pieces that we normally can’t show to the wholesale buying audience,” said Camargo, adding that last month the new store took in more than $100,000.
The designers are already scouting for a second location, in London.
“We are selling online to customers all over the world, especially in Europe and in London, so this would be an ideal location for us to open the next venue,” Camargo added.