1102 Washington St., Hoboken, N.J.
Long before opening a French-accented jewelry boutique in Hoboken, N.J., Nicole Corriher felt a special affinity for all things Parisian. Her husband proposed in Paris, and their wedding reception decor included an Eiffel Tower covered in lights. So when Corriher spotted an empty storefront on Hoboken’s busiest street, she knew exactly what to do with it. Open since last May, The Golden Carrot has become a destination for stylish young moms who share Corriher’s taste for delicate pieces by designers such as Jennie Kwon and Erica Weiner. It’s like a trip to the Left Bank in the hometown of Frank Sinatra.
A former actress, Corriher is almost certainly the only boutique owner who has guest-starred in two versions of Law & Order and an episode of Gossip Girl. Her passion for performing cooled after a L&O shoot took her away from baby daughter Pippa, now 2, for several days. “The other thing I loved was jewelry,” she says, “and I had a roster of designers I knew I wanted to work with if I ever opened my own store.” A lack of retail experience didn’t deter Corriher, who dreamed up her shop’s name as a play on “gold and karats.” Now, she works a block from home in a space with a garden vibe reminiscent of her favorite Beatrix Potter storybooks.
Corriher and prop stylist Kate S. Jordan have created the ultimate girly sanctuary with a floor-to-ceiling velvet curtain and whitewashed display cases lining walls of pale plaster and exposed brick. Each case is styled with antique books, bottles, and postcards plus vintage frames, quartz crystals, and even saucers of lentils and rice. The scale of the vignettes allows the tiniest stud earrings to be admired. “When people look at the displays, they absorb the whole picture, then focus on individual pieces as they take a closer look,” Corriher says. “It feels a bit like a treasure hunt.” Prices are listed on a single sheet of vellum, a discreet touch that encourages browsing.
The 15 or so designers carried by The Golden Carrot make delicate, feminine jewelry, “pieces you can wear every day,” Corriher says, “from a casual brunch to a cocktail party.” Her roster includes Hortense, Claire Kinder, Loren Stewart, Katie Diamond, Grace Lee, Elisa Solomon, and Ariel Gordon. “They aren’t big names, but their designs pack a powerful punch.” Satomi Kawakita’s rings have an organic, handmade quality; Maya Brenner’s designs are sleek and modern. “People are gravitating toward jewelry that’s unique and special, for themselves and as gifts,” Corriher says.
Corriher greets customers every day—and by opening the shop at noon, she can spend mornings with Pippa. “It’s important for me to hear what people are looking for,” she says. “Someone recently asked, ‘Do you have a locket?’ We didn’t, but now we have two.” Corriher models ring stacks and earrings on The Golden Carrot’s Instagram, which promotes the hashtag #staygoldhoboken. Eight months in, she feels no need to buy advertising. “The response we’ve gotten has been…a confirmation that we’re doing things right.”
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Photographs by Peter Chin