Read the article - Kelly Mitchell Jewelry
Read the article - Kelly Mitchell Jewelry
AUGUST 2014 / THE MAGAZINE FOR THE AMERICAN JEWELRY STORE OWNER BIG COOL NO. 1 GROGAN JEWELERS SMALL COOL NO. 1 ALCHEMY SMALL COOL NO. 2 KELLY MITCHELL SMALL COOL NO. 3 BIG COOL NO. 2 G. THRAPP JEWELERS BIG COOL NO. 3 MERVIS DIAMOND IMPORTERS BIG COOL NO. 4 BRUNO FINE JEWELERS SMALL COOL NO. 4 GEM JEWELRY BOUTIQUE SMALL COOL NO. 5 ARTFUL EYE JEWELRY DESIGN CENTER FELDMAR WATCH COMPANY BIG COOL NO. 5 THE WEDDING RING SHOP Jay Klos of Grogan Jewelers and Laura Mapes and David Iler of Alchemy BIG COOL NO. 1 GROGAN JEWELERS BIG COOL NO. 2 G. THRAPP JEWELERS BIG COOL NO. 3 MERVIS DIAMOND IMPORTERS BIG COOL NO. 4 FELDMAR WATCH COMPANY BIG COOL NO. 5 THE WEDDING RING SHOP OOL SMALL C NO. 1 ALCHEMY SMALL COOL NO. 2 KELLY MITCHELL SMALL COOL NO. 3 BRUNO FINE JEWELERS SMALL COOL NO. 4 GEM JEWELRY BOUTIQUE SMALL COOL NO. 5 ARTFUL EYE JEWELRY DESIGN CENTER AU GU ST 2 0 14 | I N STO R E M AG .CO M 57 SECOND PLACE SMALL COOL DIVISION OWNER KELLY MITCHELL KELLY MITCHELL “ QUICK FACTS LOCATION: Dallas, TX | OWNERS: Kelly Mitchell, Steve Dawkins | URL: kellymitchelljewelry.com | FOUNDED: 1994 | OPENED FEATURED LOCATION: 2013 | LAST RENOVATED: 2013 | COST OF BUILDOUT: $590,000 | AREA: 2,600 square feet (1,700 showroom, 700 office, 200 shop) | EMPLOYEES: 2 full time; 4 part time | TOP BRANDS: Bayco, Siera, ARA, Zorab | ONLINE PRESENCE: 123 likes on Facebook; 5 stars on Yelp; Alexa global rank: 4.81 million The outside looks like a pub, and the inside looks like a chocolate shop,” Kelly Mitchell says of her namesake store. “Unless you don’t like to drink or eat chocolate, one of those should make you want to come in.” She’s not joking. The table in the center of her enchanting store was inspired by a visit to a Godiva STORY BY retail outlet, where a glass-enclosed table held slabs BY JOSH of fudge sitting on elegant marble. “They had to access it by WIMMER cutting out a drawer and pulling out the piece of fudge that you wanted,” Mitchell says. “And I remarked to the person I was with: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if you were getting in there to show somebody a watch or a diamond?’” Mitchell has hawked jewelry since her teens, when she earned a gold bracelet for convincing numerous people to attend a family acquaintance’s gold chain parties. She liked the pieces — but it was more about the challenge of getting people to come. She worked for a AU GU ST 2 0 14 | I N STO R E M AG .CO M 83 SMALL COOL NO. 2 | KELLY MITCHELL Check out a video and Q&A with Kelly Mitchell at: instoremag.com/acs2014 ONLINE EXTRA: ® chain jewelry store while attending college in Kalama- she says. “It seemed like the best jewelry stores — you zoo, MI, and for supplier Nova Stylings after graduat- always look at yourself like, ‘Am I dressed well enough ing. Then a South African diamond company hired her to go in there?’ It seemed like you always had to be a to sell loose stones to private clients all over the globe. serious player to go look at the most beautiful things on In 1994 she started her own private practice, Rede Dia- earth.” mond, serving a similar clientele. So when Mitchell finally built her dream store, she “I’m not gonna lie,” she says. “That was a blast. I got aimed for a different feel. “It looks like there should be to see so many glimpses of so many people’s lives in so edibles in the cases,” she says. many different countries. It was really an amazing time, Her store is approachable but also radiates luxury. because you could still kind of get around The warm browns of the wood floor and with a suitcase full of loose stones.” cases combine with the gold-hued walls But insurers gradually became more and pressed ceiling to give it an undenitimid about covering that kind of expeably tasteful energy. Fresh, pretty flowdition, and Mitchell had grown weary of ers accent the showroom. Mirrors and spending days away from home. In 2009, hanging cases dot the walls. she started her own retail operation out “And if you don’t want to be messed of another jeweler’s space in Dallas, and with, you can come right in and sit down in 2012 began looking for her own locaat the bar,” Mitchell says. Her boyfriend tion. and co-owner, Steve Dawkins, a real esKELLY MITCHELL She knew what she didn’t want. “I tate executive, insisted on the bar. never liked the jewelry stores I would He also helped inspire the arrangewalk into. I just wasn’t comfortable,” ment of the merchandise — cases and IT LOOKS LIKE THERE SHOULD BE EDIBLES IN THE CASES.” 84 I N STO R EMAG .COM AU GUST 2 014 STRONG PROMO STORE-BRANDED CHOCOLATES High-end treats were on Mitchell’s mind from day one. SMALL COOL NO. 2 | KELLY MITCHELL displays are organized by “life events.” “He said, ‘What is it in your store that you could do to help me if I was coming in to try to shop?’” Mitchell says. He meant that for men especially, the layout of a jewelry store could be ... non-intuitive. That was familiar territory for Mitchell, who’d spent the jet-setting early part of her career essentially acting as a personal shopper for upscale middle-aged men without the time or knowledge to purchase gifts for their partners. She set up “collections” around the store: Engagement & Anniversary, Black Tie, Art & Investment, Everyday Wear and others. “Usually people give us a clue what they’re looking for, but you can figure out the layout pretty quickly,” she says. “They get it.” Her price points start around $200 and range up to half a million for some one-of-a-kind pieces clients can see in the private room. Mitchell looks for designs that match the unique sensibility of the space. “There are lots and lots of fabulous, wonderful stores in this market,” she says. Dallasites are wellheeled and sophisticated. “We had to have a niche of beautiful, comfortable, ready-to-wear, one-of-akind pieces that people are going to notice even if they’ve traveled all over the world.” (She does a lot of custom work, too.) And you have to have a store they notice. That’s been no problem. “Ninety percent of the people who walk in just go, ‘This is a beautiful store!’” Mitchell says, just a touch abashedly. “I hate to say it, but it’s such a nice compliment!” TRY THIS “BUSY PEOPLE DON’T HAVE TIME to come walking through your doors to snag as new business,” Mitchell says. “Everyone should be sending out pictures to clients when they see pieces that fit their clients or calling them to send a piece into their office to preview, to keep business rolling. Your shipping insurance goes up, but people like to feel special and open a box that was sent just for them to consider.” SHOPTALK “IF SOMEONE IS HAVING A HARD TIME with someone they are to ask out loud if a certain client’s earrings are completed. Which means, ‘all hands on deck. I’m with a crazy person.’” — Kelly Mitchell PLAYLIST Sting, Diana Krall, Michael Franks, Frank Sinatra THERE ARE LOTS OF FABULOUS STORES IN DALLAS. WE HAD TO HAVE A NICHE OF BEAUTIFUL, COMFORTABLE, READY-TO-WEAR, ONE-OF-A-KIND PIECES THAT PEOPLE ARE GOING TO NOTICE EVEN IF THEY’VE TRAVELED ALL OVER THE WORLD.” KELLY MITCHELL 86 I N STO R EM AG .COM AU GU ST 2 014 SMALL COOL NO. 2 | KELLY MITCHELL SCORE CARD 76% STORY 81% EXTERIOR 71% ONLINE OVERALL SCORE 90% INTERIOR 71% MARKETING 80% INDIVIDUALITY 82.1% WHAT THE JUDGES SAY Collections such as “Black Tie” and “Everyday Wear” make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for. Danielle Miele: The interior is gorgeous! Looks like a delicious treat! Not only does the store look flawless, but their website carries the same presence — beautifully done! Leslie McGwire: Just amazing! The overall design style is excellent. The metal ceiling, the elegant light fixtures, the gold tones to the store are just beautiful. The mid-century modern twist design is very different compared to other jewelry stores and refreshing to the client. T Lee: The “patisserie” style 5 COOL THINGS 1. COMFORTABLE LUXURIANCE. The store has an open floor plan that gives it a salon feel. Showcases resemble old-fashioned bakery cases, and shoppers can sample branded KM chocolates while they browse. “It’s all designed to be ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ instead of ‘What are you doing here?’” Mitchell says. Not bad for a shop where prices reach six figures. 2. INSTINCTIVE NAVIGATION. The cases were inspired by old-style bakery shelving, and shoppers can sample branded KM chocolates while they browse. 88 I N STO R EM AG .COM AU GU ST 2 014 Mitchell’s showroom is arranged by “life events” so customers can see a selection of pieces that meet their particular need. It’s intuitive and provides a sense of price point. For example, the Everyday Wear area is lighter, with more self-purchase-type items. Farther back in the center are areas like Black Tie. 3. SIT DOWN, STAY A WHILE. Customers are invited to grab a flute of champagne while they shop. “The reason Cheers resonated so well is just that a bar brings people together and they connect,” Mitchell says. “Our bar is where every sale seems to close — and it usually leads to great conversation.” 4. WILD DESIGNS. Mitchell has a wealth of safari hunter clients from her globe-hopping days. “It’s a unique client base,” she says. She’s custom-made pieces using lion claws, warthog tusks, leopard bones. “There’s plenty of controversy around the community, but these hunters love animals as much as anyone.” 5. THE CONCIERGE APPROACH. “I was used to having a whole book of men that expected me, the day before every anniversary, to have either email pictures right in front of them or a FedEx box of jewelry on their desk,” Mitchell says of her early career. She stresses that level of service at her store, too. “Service at a level that is unexpected is what buys you clients.” curved glass cases and the pair of round pedestal cases give such a cafe feel that it literally makes my mouth water even before I see the jewelry. Kelly has successfully leveraged a niche clientele in the safari community. I love the branded chocolates, but I’m relieved there are no animal heads on the wall! Andrew McQuilken: It’s all about the metallic gold ceiling. The attention to detail and updated Old World charm create a space full of energy and newness. It’s all familiar but with the metallic gold twist. Cindy Edelstein: I really appreciate the interior design — from the scale of the room to the unique fixtures. I think it’s a very inviting and enticing atmosphere that I’m sure appeals to the customers who want an experience and a fun place to visit.