Three-year-old fine jewelry brand Foundrae has opened its first brick-and-mortar store, in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. And the space is as thoughtfully designed and richly detailed as the collection itself.
Brand creative director and founder Beth Bugdaycay says she opened a retail spot to connect with customers more directly, and often: “Our design atelier is in the back of the building,” she notes, “and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to talk to the customers one-on-one and help them build their stories through our jewelry.”
Customization has become a calling card for the brand, so the store also boasts an on-site jeweler, stationed at an antique rolltop jeweler’s desk from the late 1800s, who’s available to customize new purchases for shoppers, free of charge.
The bright, light space is lined with oak bookshelves—a homey element that offers shoppers another perk: Guests to the store can check out books from the curated library, which features many signed editions.
All books have been fitted with classic, old-school library cards and can be checked out for two-week periods. (Fun fact: A handful of books were authored by founder Beth Bugdaycay’s ancestors, including The Woman Said Yes and The Friendly Persuasion, both by Jessamyn West.)”
“I feel like each book has gifts to share and I really want people to come and check them out as well as contribute to our lending library,” says the designer. “I want the book selection to be a chorus of voices.”
Inside Foundrae’s first-ever store in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood
Foundrae creative director and founder Beth Bugdaycay in the store
The vintage jeweler’s desk at the new boutique
Restored 1970s leather chairs are hand-stamped with Foundrae’s tenets
The store’s building, 52 Lispenard, is a landmark, cast-iron structure with 25-foot ceilings that was constructed in 1867. It had been destroyed by a fire and reduced to two ravaged floors by the time Murat Bugdaycay—Beth’s husband and business partner—found it.
The space’s thoughtful restoration was a collaboration between Murat and Angus Pond Architects and included a new floor featuring intricate triangle details and sections of Calcutta marble, in addition to a staircase boasting solid hand-hewn wood beams recovered from the original building.
The store’s design elements include circa-1970s leather chairs refurbished and hand-stamped with Foundrae’s core tenets. And porcelain sculptures by Kate MacDowell and Juliette Clovis (commissioned for the brand’s first fashion week presentation) occupy prominent spaces in the boutique. There’s also a large puzzle-piece oil painting by Tyler Hays of BDDW mounted above the stairwell.
And, of course, the shop is filled with beautiful jewelry—displayed in three glass showcases—including Foundrae’s trendsetting colored enamel, talisman-like rings and pendants.
The shop will also be home to exclusive merch, including home objects such as sterling silver incense burners and sterling silver matchboxes bearing 18k gold symbols.
All images courtesy of Foundrae