Retail Voyeurism: 5 Hot Lines Your Competitors Carry

Jewelry stores do not operate in a vacuum; keeping an eye on your competition can help you stay sharp and maximize your business’ profitability. What can you learn from the lines carried by these retailers? Weigh in below with your responses.

Alexis Bittar at The Clay Pot

This Brooklyn, N.Y., store may have launched as a purveyor of pottery by the mother of present-day owner Tara Silberberg, but the younger generation has transformed the small store into a mecca for jewelry enthusiasts. With a wealth of lines from bridal to fashion, fellow Brooklynite Alexis Bittar stands out as a possible best seller: Bittar merchandise accounts for a big chunk of the store’s online inventory, and gets prominent positioning on the home page.

Alex Sepkus at The Tiny Jewel Box

The Washington, D.C., store maintains on its website that it “is proud to have been the first client” of Sepkus, calling him a “unique designer.” That may be the understatement of the century; Sepkus’ micro-carved masterpieces may be to jewelry what Marcel Proust is to literature: maddeningly brilliant. Still, the Rosenheim family—with father Jim now in the passenger seat as son Matthew drives the family business forward—has a knack for launching superstars, so a peek through their portfolio is time well spent. 

Cathy Waterman at Ylang23.com

The Dallas-based merchant calls Waterman its “lead designer,” on its website, and it’s easy to see why: Waterman’s ethereal platinum and gold stunners, which are dusted with diamonds and often fabricated with delicate vine motifs. Jewelry designers longing to gain entrée into Ylang23.com’s covetable cases call it the holy grail of jewelry stores.

Marie-Helene de Taillac at Twist

With stores in Portland, Ore., and Seattle, and myriad über chic lines (including Cathy Waterman, who has her own virtual storefront on TWISTonline.com), Twist is a destination for the Northwest’s shopping elite looking for “cheap chic” and one-of-a-kind pieces alike.

Sydney Evan at Oster Jewelers

Not only are store owners Jeremy and Melissa Oster savvy—their mega-chic Denver jewelry boutique with a multitude of luxury jewelry and watch brands is just 10 years old—but their line selections are well-edited, championing individuality (such as Evan’s line of talismans) and colored stones—a boon to retailers who know how to sell it.