A Capital Idea: Mystique Fine Jewelry Design Pops Up in D.C.

Emma Beck is guest blogging for Emili Vesilind this week.

Elizabeth Mandros, owner and designer of Mystique Fine Jewelry Design, is pouring two decades of experience into her newest plan: a D.C. pop-up version of her Alexandria, Va., boutique.

“Now why didn’t I do this sooner?” says the 21-year jewelry veteran with a laugh.

The Capitol Hill pop-up store, set to run Sept. 5–7, will feature pieces by Alberto Parada, Jude Frances, and Andrew Meyer. And while you’re at the store, keep an eye out for Washington politicos: Former Senator John Warner (R-Va.) is scheduled to show, along with a few other congressmen whose names Mandros is keeping hush-hush. “That would spoil the surprise!” she quips.

18k rose gold ring with cushion-cut white topaz and 1 ct. t.w. round brilliant diamonds by Alberto Parada

The pop-up shop’s hand-picked collection promises to defy the conservative “D.C. look” with sleeker, crisper, more contemporary lines. Think New York and Europe, Mandros explains: blackened gold, unusual gemstone shapes. It’ll be the unique look that “everyone wants” but doesn’t always know how to get. “We hope to intrigue customers’ senses with new jewelry that they hadn’t thought would fit their lifestyle,” she explains.

Custom platinum cognac, canary, and white diamond shield ring

The collection definitely follows what’s trending, but Mandros hopes to nudge her clients a step beyond the mainstream. It’s all about layering, she says: “We like combining different designers and textures to create your own everyday, individual look.”

The decor of the temp event-and-meeting space venue will be minimal, with a few 5-foot display stands spread around. The focus, Mandros emphasizes, will be on the customer experience. A bar will serve drinks while shoppers browse. Ivan Naranjo, Mystique’s resident goldsmith, will also be on hand, ready to assist clients looking to re-create or rework their existing pieces.

White topaz 14k yellow gold earrings by Herco

Mandros spent three months planning the pop-up, with Facebook and Twitter serving as the primary platforms for promotion. She expects a turnout of loyal Mystique enthusiasts and first-time prospects. With each purchase, buyers will receive a free pair of pearl earrings; they’ll also be entered to win a massage at a five-star hotel.

“We’ve never done a pop-up store before,” Mandros says. But the economic changes of the past few years have forced jewelers to change the way they think, she adds: “The jewelry industry is a small one, but we’re all in this together. If retailers don’t think out of the box, we won’t succeed.”

Mystique’s pop-up store will run Sept. 5–7 at Tabula Rasa, 731 8th St SE, Washington, D.C.

JCK Magazine Editor