Veteran jewelry expert Jennifer Shanker has opened a retail space adjacent to her West Village fine jewelry showroom, a mecca for talented, independent designers. Muse, which has attracted visitors like Kacey Musgraves, Busy Philipps, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jenny Mollen, showcases jewelry from hot designers like Nikos Koulis, Bea Bongiasca, Jemma Wynne, Silvia Furmanovich and Jenna Blake. “I wanted to provide a retail presence for the designers we represent while providing neighborhood residents a beautiful space for discovery,” says Shanker. “Retail had never been part of our plan, but it was a risk I’m glad we took.”
The welcoming, casual retail space sells the breadth of Shanker’s multidesigner jewelry assortment alongside cashmere sweaters from Leret Leret, art by Ori Gersht, vases by Paul Arnhold, contemporary home goods from Lateral Objects by Stefan Beckman and books by jewelry experts like Stellene Volandes. “After 20 years in the very niche designer fine jewelry world, the addition of new categories is both refreshing and inspiring,” says Shanker. “Collaborating with creatives from candles to cashmere, vases to vessels and from fine jewelry to flowers, being surrounded by beauty arranged in our own unique way has provided a visibility we didn’t know we needed or wanted or would enjoy ever so much. It’s opened up a whole new world of opportunities, relationships and collaborations.”
The store has kept Shanker busy dreaming up merchandising and creative initiatives for her brands and her clients. On the occasion of her store opening, the entrepreneur curated the Have a Heart collection, a multidesigner charitable initiative. Every charm in this jewelry collection represents a heart or a star, and for each one sold at the store and online, the brand donates 10 percent of profits to charities near and dear to its heart.
Shanker has surprised herself with how much she enjoys having the opportunity to interact with customers new and old. “The customer feedback we receive at the boutique is invaluable and helps us do our jobs better as a showroom, as we have first-hand feedback,” she says. “We learn so much about how people shop that really allows us to advise our designers in their process.” Plus, with so many empty storefronts in the West Village and the shuttering of downtown boutiques like Jeffrey, there weren’t many places to shop anymore. But now, she enthuses, “New York is back and it feels awesome.” We couldn’t agree more.
Main photo by Sofa Alvarez