Industry / Retail

Cast Opens Its First Boutique With a Focus on Playful Interaction


With a joyful color explosion and decidedly unstuffy approach to fine jewelry, Cast’s first retail boutique showcases cofounder Rachel Skelly’s graphic-design background as well as the brand’s overall emphasis on helping women buy jewelry for fun and style.

Cast opened the 500-square-foot boutique in late October in the open-air shopping center Village at Corte Madera in Corte Madera, Calif., about eight miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, where the brand is based.

Skelly says this is the first store of many—Cast’s ultimate goal is to have more than 100 similar boutiques across North America.

Cast bar
Cast took some of its inspiration for the curio wall in the interior of its first boutique from museums, giving each piece of jewelry special treatment along with storytelling elements, while also adding things like a bar area to make sure the space felt warm and friendly, cofounder Rachel Skelly says.

Skelly, who cofounded Cast with CEO Eric Ryan, says they wanted to make fine jewelry shopping more about exploration. The store’s design revolves around letting the customer play within the space, giving them full information about the brand and its unique approach to its design partnerships while also surprising them as they shop.

For example, customers receive a beverage and a product menu outlining every item available for sale and their prices as soon as they walk in the door, Skelly says.

The Cast boutique also has a signature scent, specialty vignette displays that show off its jewelry, and a capsule-shape centerpiece that interacts with the customer, letting them look through the collections on display.

“We want people to come and play,” Skelly says. “It’s been awesome to watch as people pull things out. We want them to put the jewelry on because there’s something very transformative when people put on fine jewelry.… I get misty-eyed watching it happen.”

Cast displays
Those round displays turn, allowing the customer to see the jewelry, learn more about its creation, and get some overall storytelling about the brand and its designers, Skelly says.

Skelly and Ryan both wanted Cast to be a brand that reimagined fine jewelry as accessible. They also wanted to make women buying for themselves the main focus. Skelly says Cast wants to lead in the larger jewelry industry trend of evolving fine jewelry from the male-gifting concept—in which the man is the primary jewelry buyer for a woman—into a more female-focused approach.

Skelly says Cast wanted its products and retail experience to reflect a woman buying for herself for fun and for special occasions.

“This was always the vision, so it’s a feeling of relief to see it open,” Skelly says. “Eric and I wanted Cast to be the brand for people shopping for themselves, creating a wardrobe in fine jewelry. We specifically wanted it to be for women shopping for themselves, so we wanted the boutique to be about discovery, exploration, and newness.”

Cast interior
That center capsule is designed to look like Cast’s packaging and to show off some of the newest collections in the store. Skelly says the displays will constantly revolve and change with new designers and collaborations, making the store fun to visit.

Cast launched in 2021, and the initial plan was to open a boutique right away, Skelly says, but the pandemic slowed its efforts. That turned out to be a good thing in that it gave Skelly and Ryan time with their team to build the website, develop the Cast experience, and “obsess over the details.”

This first boutique meets her expectations and then some, Skelly says.

“We wanted explorative components, color, and playfulness,” Skelly says. “It’s all based around how do we flip the script on how people shop for fine jewelry. We wanted to be warm, welcoming, and a juxtaposition, balancing luxury and play.

“We wanted to make that come to life in a way that when you walk in, you are stepping into a luxurious boutique hotel yet you also feel creative and inspired,” Skelly says.

Top: The first Cast boutique opened in October just outside of San Francisco, creating a brick-and-mortar experience of the previously online brand. Cofounder Rachel Skelly says she wants the store to feel playful yet luxurious (photos by Brendan Mainini; courtesy of Cast). 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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