D&H Sustainable Jewelers, located in San Francisco, is not your typical jeweler. Exhibit A: The owners now operate a fully licensed wine bar.
“Based on our own lifestyle choices, we decided to do something different and open a wine bar in our jewelry gallery,” co-owner Lindsay Daunell tells JCK. “It was our sentiment that there are other people out there, just like us, who embrace ideas of sustainability and luxury in multiple facets of their lives.”
Believing that customers who buy fine jewelry also enjoy fine wines, Daunell and co-owner Shawn Higgins saw an opportunity not only to create an experiential shopping experience, but also to cross-market with local wineries.
The store officially opened Rose Cut Wine Bar on Aug. 16. Daunell and Higgins plan to hand pick local and sustainable wines from local vineyards that they will rotate every few months. The bar is open Thursday through Sunday, and will also be adding special tastings with winemakers. “It has certainly helped us attract new clients and lets our existing clients see how it expands our idea of a lifestyle shopping experience beyond the typical brick and mortar boredom,” Daunell says.
Daunell, who has a background in environmental studies and fashion design, says that their goal since opening the store this past January has been to offer on-premise design services, and sustainable jewelry made from both recycled metals and ethically sourced gemstones. “Our goal has been to attract people who fit into a certain lifestyle—a socially conscious consumer who also sees value in quality and design,” she says.
Wine from Tolosa Winery in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Both Daunell and Higgins, who has worked as an international diamond buyer, retail consultant, and sales trainer, believe in a special event driven business. Some of their recent promotions have included artist events and meet-the-miner events. “We believe in bringing transparency to the jewelry industry, and in doing so, we hope to deepen our relationships with our clients and community,” Daunell says.
The wine bar is very much in keeping with the pair's belief that the number one rule to sustainability is community. The owners are active fundraisers for local charities and supporters of the local artist community in the tight knit Castro neighborhood where their store is located.
Main floor of D&H Sustainable Jewelers
In the store’s short history, Daunell is already finding out what makes the jewelry industry so unique. Since opening, the pair has had several impactful and touching customer experiences. However, one moment from the first month of the store’s existence stands out.
“We met a lesbian couple at the store and wound up secretly working with one of the women to create the engagement ring of her partner’s dreams—a two carat princess cut blue sapphire solitaire,” says Daunell. “Meanwhile, she told her partner that she could not afford said ring and that they should come in to discuss a more modest option. When they came in Shawn asked her partner to look into the microscope to look at smaller sapphire options. Of course, the two carat ring was really there, her girlfriend grabbed the ring, got on one knee, and proposed right there in our wine bar! We all toasted with bottles of champagne, and had the couple picked up in a limo to ride around San Francisco to celebrate.”
Daunell says that the sapphire was sourced from a friend whose family owns a small sapphire mining operation in Sri Lanka. “We know the exact origin of the stone, who mined it, and who cut it,” she says, proud of the lengths to which they will go to fulfill their store’s mission. The mounting was made from recycled palladium and crafted in San Francisco by local designer Jeannie Hwang.
As for future additions to the store, like flowers or candy, Daunell says that their focus is limited right now so they can get better at what they already do.
“We wanted to do something that has not been done before. Jewelers have been selling flowers and candy in their stores for many years,” she says. “We are proud to be the first and only jewelry store with a fully licensed wine bar in America."