Industry / Retail

Fourtané Welcomes Shoppers to the Family at New Flagship Boutique


Fourtané knows its customer service and Carmel-by-the-Sea location are top draws for clients and visitors, so the company’s new flagship boutique in the Northern California town had to welcome people with warmth and style.

In partnership with Swiss architecture firm Studio Tonic, Fourtané’s owners designed the store, at 3 SW Ocean Ave., to have a feeling of understated elegance. The two-story, 3,600-square-foot space feels like a friend’s apartment, says Fourtané COO Russell Kelly.

The best part? This friend lives in a classic French apartment with a soothing neutral color palette, touches of Calacatta marble, white oak herringbone flooring, custom chandeliers, and contemporary decorative art.

Fourtane interior
Fourtané’s flagship is meant to resemble a Parisian apartment where shoppers and tourists can feel comfortable and welcome. 

“Carmel-by-the-Sea has these beautiful, tree-lined streets and breezeways where you meander and shop. It’s one of the most magical places in California,” Kelly says. “As a result, the retail spaces are typically small, so you have to work hard to find an impressively large space.”

John and Sandy Bonifas bought Fourtané—which has been in Carmel since 1950—in 1987, specializing in antique and estate jewelry and luxury watches such as Rolex and Patek Philippe. With so much interest in watches, they decided to devote their existing space (at Ocean Avenue and Lincoln Street) to watches and snapped up the new location (off Dolores Street) for a dedicated jewelry store, focused on fine jewelry. The two shops are within a block of each other.

“With this flagship boutique, we thought about how we invite visitors into our store. It’s a friendly space given the family nature of our business and how the family is involved every single day,” Kelly says. “They wanted it to feel like we are welcoming you into our home.”

Fourtane workshop
The new store’s second floor has a workshop for Fourtané’s master jeweler, who does custom design work there. 

A highlight of the new flagship is a Carolina Bucci shop-in-shop. Fourtané second-generation owners Josh and Kris Bonifas (John and Sandy’s sons) are friends with the Italian designer, and she agreed to open her first dedicated U.S. space with Fourtané. Bucci designed a special Forte bead bracelet spelling “Carmel” and a Lucky Fourtané woven silk bracelet that are sold only at this location.

Fourtané’s Bucci area, which is located on the first floor next to the boutique’s hospitality bar, has its own signature look. Along the walls are long shelves of dark wood that pop with color from the Bucci Forte beads and marble balls. This is the only place in the United States where Bucci fans can create a fully customized Forte bead bracelet in person, Kelly says.

“Since we opened at the holidays, we’ve noticed that [the Bucci shop-in-shop] is becoming an attraction for local and visiting families. They can sit together and make a bead bracelet for themselves,” Kelly says.

Bucci fourtane bracelet
Florentine designer Carolina Bucci created a bracelet exclusively for Fourtané, whose new flagship features a Bucci shop-in-shop.

In addition to Bucci, the Fourtané flagship sells brands including Roberto Coin, Messika, Mikimoto, Simon G., Robert Procop, and Geoffrey Good, along with a collection of vintage and estate jewelry.

The second floor features a state-of-the-art workshop, home to Fourtané’s in-house master jeweler who creates custom designs for clients. There also is a VIP lounge with a glass wall that showcases a view of Ocean Avenue.

In Southern California, Fourtané opened a San Diego Rolex store in 2018 and is in the midst of remodeling it to double its size, Kelly says.

Top: Fourtané recently opened a jewelry boutique with a Carolina Bucci shop-in-shop, steps away from its watch store in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif. (Photos courtesy of Fourtané)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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