NEW YORK — After 17 years in the jewelry business, Lisa Jenks is taking a step back to sculpt a new direction.
This story first appeared in the January 26, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Jenks, whose jewelry is sold in more than 90 doors, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Mann’s Jewelers in Rochester, N.Y., and Quadrum in Chestnut Hill, Mass., is cutting distribution to about 30 locations and will instead offer more limited, experimental collections to a select few stores.
In addition, Jenks will no longer present her collection at trade shows. The last regular shipment will be on March 29.
“After all these years, I was ready for a different kind of challenge,” she said. “It’s something that has always been on my mind. I get to work on things that are a little bit edgier and I can try some new things I have been experimenting with that require a more educated store to work with. It doesn’t mean we will get rid of successful collections we have had, but it’s an evolution.”
Since launching her line in 1987, Jenks has expanded from sleek silver jewelry designs that were often inspired by ancient cultures into 18-karat yellow gold jewelry, handbags, men’s accessories and home accessories. Jenks ran the business, which sources estimated at under $10 million, with her business partner and sister, Molly.
“There is opportunity to expand the brand with different licensing opportunity, which means the image and the look have to be very focused,” said Molly Jenks. “It’s brand growth…but the growth will come in a more efficient and profitable model. The customer is happy, Lisa is happy and the retailer is happy. There will be a transition and the challenge is up to us to manage that transition.”
Lisa Jenks Limited 2004 collection will be a more edited offering and the designer is planning to introduce new items organically throughout the year rather than stick to a set schedule. Prices for the limited edition collection have yet to be determined. Price points for the current line range from $200 for earrings to $900 for a bracelet and $1,500 for a necklace.
The new direction will not affect the company’s license with Greenfield, Mass.-based Lunt Silversmiths, which makes the home collection, including flatware and tabletop accessories.
Lisa Jenks noted that in the past, she has been approached about design opportunities outside jewelry and home accessories, which she now wishes to pursue.
“With the design schedule I currently have, plus my children, it has been impossible to even consider those opportunities until now,” she said.