Tanishq Takes on America

The Indian-based jeweler Tanishq has opened two stores in the United States, its first in July 2008 at the Woodfield Shopping Center in Schaumburg, Ill., and its second last November at Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J. JCK recently visited the Paramus store.

The Tanishq store is design driven and lifestyle focused, with accessibly priced jewelry, all in 18k gold. Price points range from under $500 to above $10,000, but the bulk of product is priced under $3,000, the sweet-spot for its target audience of fashion-conscious women.

Jewelry collections are built around concepts, such as rain, yoga, and lotus flowers. Tanishq offers some classic looks and some modern looks, but all the jewelry is designed to be wearable on a daily basis.

Kathrin Schoenke, a sixth-generation jeweler and manufacturing consultant with stints at Cartier and Tiffany under her belt, is the merchandiser for the U.S. stores. She advises on quality as well as design, and she’s very particular. “Our clasps, for example, are solid lobsters,” she says. “You won’t see a flimsy spring ring or a fragile chain.”

She has advised Tanishq against manufacturing shortcuts like stone-in-place casting. “You don’t get the clean finish we want,” she explains.

The stores’ design echoes Tanishq’s Indian heritage but in a way that evokes the peacefulness of a meditation garden, not the vivid colors and busy patterns one might associate with an Indian motif. The floors are wood; the walls are white-painted brick. A trickling fountain graces the entrance, ivy tops the showcases, and live green moss fronts them. The showcases are at easy-viewing height—no bending down to see the jewelry. Packaging includes carved wooden boxes and rustic fabric pouches, and the firm also has a commitment to both environmental and local charities—in the tradition of the best American jewelers.