After 23 years of doing business in the heart of Lexington, Ky., Shelia Bayes Jewelers, the city’s biggest and most high-end independent fine jewelry store, is leaving the city’s center.
The jeweler will relocate from downtown to a new luxury lifestyle center, The Summit at Fritz Farm, located just south of downtown, this month.
Bayes says she hopes to soft-open the new store by Feb. 20 and plans to host a grand opening in March.
Why the move? Bayes points to business conditions in downtown Lexington, a neighborhood that’s enjoying a steady-but-slow revival. “It’s definitely come back to life in many ways,” she says, “but not for retail.”
The Summit at Fritz Farm, in contrast, is a hot ticket. The Bayer Properties–owned lifestyle center has signed on a collection of hip, discerning retailers, including Warby Parker, Shake Shack, Arhaus, Kendra Scott, Bonobos, Draper James, and Whole Foods. The jewelry store will be one of the few homegrown (i.e., non-chain) retailers in the mall.
The modern-feeling center features lots of green space and high-end apartments, and it will soon debut a boutique hotel. “They’ve done a really great job,” says Bayes. “People always say when they shop there that they feel like they’re on vacation. They don’t even feel like they’re in Lexington.”
The new Shelia Bayes Jewelry will occupy a long-and-narrow space boasting streamlined, “spa-like” aesthetics, says Bayes. It’s a change from the more traditional decor of her existing store.
Also new will be a section featuring cases that spotlight emerging or new-to-Lexington collections that rotate once a month. “We want to try to showcase lesser-known designers in our space and give customers a reason to keep coming back,” she says. Those that perform well will earn a permanent spot in the store.
“We’re taking this opportunity to reinvent ourselves,” Bayes says. “After almost 25 years, it’s a good opportunity to change it up a little bit.”
(Photo: Shelia Bayes, owner of Shelia Bayes Fine Jewelers, courtesy of the company)