A Clare Choice
When Khatchig Jingirian Jr. hosts one of his annual in-store events, designer Clare Ullman tops his call list. That’s because the karat-gold designs of the Berkeley, Calif.–based Ullman are “stylish enough to wear with the latest fashions, but timeless enough to be put away for 10 years and be worn again as if they were brand-new,” says Jingirian, president of two-and-a-half-year-old Smythe & Cross Fine Jewelry in Los Altos, Calif.
Clare Ullman sets up a display of her designs for a holiday event at Smythe & Cross Fine Jewelry.
Jingirian routinely stocks a 5-foot-long case with about 30 pieces of Ullman’s jewelry; during events—like the one held with Ullman and two other designers in November 2011, before Thanksgiving—he fills three window glass cubes with her work, as well as a few neck forms on top of her in-store case. Her pieces retail from $500 to $15,000, while best sellers—particularly earrings—go for $500 to $2,500.
At the kickoff to the store’s last three-day-long, pre-holiday social event, more than 100 people dropped by and listened to a live classical guitarist while enjoying pomegranate martinis, bacon-wrapped dates, and beef Wellington. The Thursday evening affair put clients in a festive mood and gave them an opportunity to see new merchandise, including an extra 50 Ullman SKUs, says Jingirian.
Khatchig Jingirian (far left) schmoozes with guests at a 2011 holiday party at his Los Altos, Calif., store.
Attendees filled out wish lists, and a few made purchases—including a multicolored tourmaline and Tahitian pearl bracelet in 18k gold for $11,000. “Clare’s items are purchased by women with a real love of color, texture, and luster,” Jingirian says.
The event cost about $8,000, including a mailing of 1,600 invites (hand-addressed!), party favors—individually wrapped cake ornaments and professional photos for guests—and rentals of a red carpet and snow machine. “We’ve really become known as the party place in town,” Jingirian says.