3802 Roswell Road NE, Atlanta
In the heart of Atlanta lies Buckhead, a neighborhood that has long held the reputation of being the city’s most affluent and elegant district—not to mention the Southeast’s shopping mecca. Among its more than 1,400 retail units is Tassels, a store that has long held a reputation of its own for accessorizing Atlanta’s elite, selling uncommonly beautiful, cutting-edge designer jewelry to the city and its surrounding suburban neighborhoods from its prime location since 1999.
North Meets South
Longtime friends Lynne Halpern and Juli Bauman—who met in high school when Halpern’s sister married Bauman’s cousin—decided to start Tassels in 1997 when they noticed a distinct lack of boutique jewelry stores in Atlanta. “We used to love going to places like New York and seeing all these great stores with great jewelry. There was nothing like that in Atlanta,” laments Halpern. While Atlanta may be located geographically in the South, its culture is no longer strictly Southern—and neither is its taste in jewelry. “They do love pearls, but our customers want to be high-fashion and edgy, too,” says Bauman. “I think people see Atlanta as more provincial,” adds Halpern. “But it is a very fashion-forward place.”
Perhaps mimicking the modern Southern woman’s aesthetic, the co-owners designed their store to be, in Bauman’s words, “a precious jewel box, with an edge,” pairing pale pink walls and a bubbly crystal chandelier with zebra-print upholstered chairs and a bright burnt-orange armoire. The jewels, meanwhile, are culled from a range of designers whose pieces you can’t find anywhere else in Georgia. There’s always something new in the store: “We have huge repeat business. That’s why we feel like we need to change our collection a lot,” explains Halpern. On the day JCK visited, we spotted (among other gems) delicate stackable diamond rings by Cathy Waterman, Carolina Bucci’s woven gold and silk self-tying bracelets, and luxe layering chains and lariats by LA Stein and Temple St. Clair. Always available, however, are huggie earrings—one of the store’s biggest sellers—featuring attachable diamond and gemstone charms from such designers as Jude Frances and Paul Morelli. “People just adore them,” says Bauman. “Once they buy the tops, they keep on coming back to buy new charms.”
The women pride themselves on not only Tassels’ selection of modern gems and jewels—which is surprisingly varied, considering the store’s relatively small size (800 square feet)—but also on its super-personalized customer service. “We keep a folder on every single person that shops here,” says Halpern. “And we have a picture of every single piece of jewelry they’ve ever bought back from the beginning. So if somebody comes in, or if their husband or their boyfriend comes in, we know if they prefer white gold or yellow gold.” And the customers do keep coming in; the clients are loyal and long-standing (as is the staff—the employees have all been with Tassels from the start). “They are really talented at editing collections like you’ve never seen anyone else do,” says manager Tiffany Egge of her bosses. “Every piece is hand selected by Juli or me,” says Halpern, adding with a laugh, “for better or for worse.”
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