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Q&A: Jewelry Designer Lauren Harwell Godfrey on Her Flagship Boutique


Few names spark as much conversation and excitement in the jewelry world as Lauren Harwell Godfrey (pictured), and her recent foray into brick-and-mortar retail is cause for even more enthusiasm.

Harwell Godfrey opened her eponymous brand’s first retail location in late April, in the Marin Country Mart in northern California. The 111-square-foot jewel box at the Larkspur, Calif., shopping center displays Harwell Godfrey best sellers along with new collections and one-of-a-kinds.

With a gold-leaf ceiling by local decorative artist Caroline Lizarraga, a vintage Murano rainbow chandelier, unlacquered brass framing the built-in cases, and a rich color scheme (Voodoo by C2 Paint), the shop is cozy and comfortable.

JCK spoke to Harwell Godfrey about her new boutique, its interior design, and working with clients in person.

Harwell Godfrey interior
A multicolor Murano glass chandelier hangs in Harwell Godfrey’s intimate new store in Marin County, Calif.

What does it mean for you and your company to now have a physical store?
I’m thrilled about my new Marin flagship, my one and only Harwell Godfrey brick-and-mortar location. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to engage more directly with customers and admirers of my work, allowing them to experience my pieces in a deeper context. I also see this as an incredible opportunity to grow roots in my community. The store is about 12 minutes from my home, and in the short time we’ve been open I’ve already felt more connected to this place and my neighbors.

Why was this the right time for your brand to expand into brick-and-mortar?
I honestly had not been planning on opening a store, but an incredible space that I have always loved suddenly became available so I went for it. Now that I’m open, I realize how much deeper of a connection I am able to make with my customers. Having a place where they can see a larger body of work and touch and feel things has been a real game-changer.

The details sound exquisite. What means the most to you?
I actually bought the vintage rainbow Murano chandelier before the lease was finalized. It was my way of manifesting! But if I had to pick, it’s the gold-leaf ceiling that was done by my friend Caroline. It means so much to me because she is in very high demand and was heading to Italy the next day and she prioritized me and made it happen. It’s such a beautiful detail, and I am so grateful.

What have you discovered from being able to interact with your customers?
Having this opportunity to see how people shop and how they interact with the work is such an incredible part of having the store. It’s making me think about design in a more consumer-centric way. It’s also making me think about my retailers in a new way. I think I will be able to support them much more now having a better understanding of how this all works.

You’ve always struck me as a people person. Does the store reflect that?
I’d like to think so. The store is a very happy and welcoming place. I want people to have a good time in there. I’ve hired kind, friendly people to work in the store, and we are all about making people’s time with us a positive, fun experience. We play good music, and we have fun events. More of those coming soon.

What else can I include that doesn’t get mentioned enough about Harwell Godfrey?
We have great relationships with incredible gem dealers and are able to do beautiful custom one-of-a kinds. I hope people learn to see us as a resource for that, too.

(Photos courtesy of Harwell Godfrey)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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