Indie Jewelry Retailer Esqueleto Opening NYC Store

Independent fine jewelry retailer Esqueleto is bringing its California-bred style to New York City.

The Oakland, Calif.–based company, founded by jewelry designer Lauren Wolf, will bow a flagship shop in NYC—at 167 Elizabeth Street—in the next week or so. The company currently operates one store in Oakland and two boutiques on the east side of Los Angeles.

Alexis Adams, brand director for Esqueleto, says the decision to open a store in NYC had been brewing for a while—Wolf lived in the city years ago and always had her eye on it as a possible location. But plans were kicked into high gear when the company’s Oakland shop manager, Rachel Steiner, announced that she was moving to the Big Apple (Steiner is also a talented ceramicist whose work is carried by the retailer). “Rachel’s amazing, and we thought, this is the time to open a store there,” says Adams. “We have the perfect person to run it.”

Esqueleto—and the Lauren Wolf collection—have both done brisk business in the NYC market for years. “We’ve had couples fly to California to try on Lauren’s bridal pieces,” Adams says. “We’ve always had a nice following there.”

She adds that Wolf “trolled real estate listings before bed every night” searching for the perfect space and, Adams notes with a laugh, “when Lauren gets a bee in her bonnet, she’s a little obsessed!”

Wolf eventually stumbled upon the jewelry box storefront, located in the quaint downtown Nolita neighborhood. The space is long and narrow, “which works well for jewelry,” Adams says, adding, “The build-out was relatively simple—it was an art gallery before we moved in, so painted all white.” The Los Angeles–based cabinetmaker who created the cases for the L.A. Esqueleto stores also made the cases for the new shop, which the company then shipped east.

Adams says Esqueleto strives to offer “a slightly different selection of jewelry in each spot.” And for the NYC store, the focus will be on “bringing some of our favorite California jewelry designers—including Rebecca Overmann, Johnny Ninos, and Communion by Joy.” Esqueleto mainstay collections including Lauren Wolf and Melissa Joy Manning will also be in-store. “And we have a nice selection of cacti coming!” Adams enthuses. “We really hope to bring that California vibe with us.”

The shop team is currently awaiting product: “These are all handcrafted items and it takes 6–8 weeks to fulfill orders,” explains Adams, who guesses the soft opening will take place the “first week of August.”

When it does open, the shop’s hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The retailer is throwing an invite-only grand opening party Aug. 8.

Top image: Exterior of the new NYC Esqueleto store, courtesy of Esqueleto

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