Love Locked’s Kerry Lynn on the scent-sational connection between jewelry and wellness products
Step into Love Locked, a small boutique in downtown Jersey City, N.J., and you’ll find a trendy mix of wedding and everyday jewelry from designers such as Erica Weiner, Maniamania, and La Kaiser Jewelry.
You’ll also find a well-curated selection of modern apothecary and home goods staples, including witchy candles from brands Magic Hour and Homesick, hipster planters and suncatchers, essential oils from Satya + Sage and Juniper Ridge, and bundles of incense and bad juju–clearing sage from the Love Locked house brand.
Whether she’s buying a gemstone necklace or a cleaning spray for yoga mats, Love Locked founder and owner Kerry Lynn employs fair-trade practices; she sources from local artists and mainly from brands that use recycled or ethically procured metal and gemstones.
Lynn’s belief in ethical sourcing was solidified during a stint volunteering in Peru for the nonprofit FINCA Peru, which provides local artisans access to international fair-trade markets. It was there that Lynn realized “when you buy fair trade, every dollar you spend really counts in someone’s life.”
How did you start Love Locked?
In February 2016, a partner and I opened the store, then moved to the current space I’m in later that year. We started selling gold-fill and sterling silver jewelry, and people started to ask for wedding rings. My partner left the business in 2016—we just had different ideas of what we wanted in the business. I added several brands to the store right after she left, and it grew from there.
How did you come up with the unique mix of jewelry, home, and wellness goods?
I love working with aromatherapy artists, and I love working with jewelry artists. And I’ve found that they really do complement each other. I’ve had people come in here for essential oils and sage who start trying on engagement rings. It happens a lot! It’s incredible to sell a $10 apothecary item to someone and then turn around and sell them an engagement ring. Also, the store is in a very diverse neighborhood, and it’s diverse economically too. It was always important to me that people could buy something for $3 in the store along with the high-end items.
How did you initially get into the jewelry business?
When I was 17 and 18 years old, I worked for Nomination, the charm bracelet company. You bought all these little charms and put them together. I pretty much learned the jewelry business from that—how to talk about stones and metals, how to style. Then I was an English teacher for two years. After that, I ended up organizing medical teams for a nonprofit that went into undeveloped regions and did cleft palate surgeries in places like India and Peru. It was definitely a job for a young person. You’re always sick from the travel and hours, and there’s a heavy emotional toll that comes with that kind of work. I started thinking, what’s light and bright? Jewelry!
As a small retailer with a brick-and-mortar store, how did you weather the COVID-19 closure?
I closed the store, and I was nervous about running a public space in general. A jewelry artist I worked with, Javiera Magaly, died of COVID-19. On March 6, she gave me a hug in my store, and on March 31, she passed away. It was terrible.
I did what I could to stay in business. I would drop things off on doorsteps and wait in my car while clients decided on rings and things. I took everything out of my store and made my dining room a Mother’s Day shop. The guys who bought their wedding rings with me come back for push presents, anniversaries. The husbands would call me or be on text and I’d be like, “Do you like this, or do you like this?” It was a lot of work and a lot of driving around. But the store didn’t fail.
Since we’ve been open again—letting four customers in at a time—we’ve seen a surge in wedding and engagement ring sales. It’s incredible—we’re doing quadruple the business we did before the pandemic. And everyone who walks in is like, “Yay, you made it!”
(Top: Keren Vered @finallyhomejc)