Laguna Beach jewelry brand Gorjana is seizing on retail real estate opportunities to grow its store footprint.
Gorjana (pronounced gor-yana) entered physical retail about a year ago with a store on Beach Street in Laguna Beach where the business is based. The door has done well in serving as a litmus test for consumer appetite, functioning as a showroom for the brand.
Now the company’s expanding with the aim of having 10 stores by 2019.
“There’s always the article of retail doomsday,” said founder, president and creative director Gorjana Reidel. “Everything is so negative and I feel like, yes, it has not been a good thing for some brands. For us, we still feel brick-and-mortar and having your customers being able to interact with your product is superimportant and so where we put our stores is where we feel like we have a good customer base and we want to continue growing that brand exposure. I shop on Amazon every day. I still like to interact with the product.”
Gorjana, with a companywide headcount of about 80, has built a name for itself around dainty pieces of jewelry meant to be layered and what the company calls its Power Gemstone collection of pieces that mix different metals and gemstones.
Its new store on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice totals 1,200 square feet. The space, in keeping with the brand’s Southern California aesthetic, is designed to be as airy as Gorjana’s jewelry with white displays, light wood floors, countertops of marble and touches of brass. The space also includes an outdoor patio for customers.
A third store at 4th and Bank Streets in New York’s West Village, in what was previously occupied by Marc Jacobs and totaling 550 square feet, has also recently opened. New York is where Reidel and husband and chief executive officer Jason Reidel have called a second home for a decade now, originally frequenting the area when they were just starting the brand and trying to grow it through trade shows.
“I remember walking around [the neighborhood] and saying, ‘I love that little Marc Jacobs space. It’s so cute.’ It was kind of serendipitous,” she said of her company’s store ending up there.
Both doors have on-site aura readings, which is said to be able to capture the energy of the individual receiving the read. That’s one aspect of an overall retail experience emphasizing discovery, Reidel said.
“For us, it isn’t just about someone coming in and transacting,” she said. “It’s more about having someone discover our brand….It’s about really kind of interacting and giving someone more. There’s just so much more meaning I feel you can do in store.”
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