Since Temple St. Clair founded the jewelry line in 1986, she has yet to achieve one notable business milestone: opening her own boutique.
That’s changing this week with the opening of an 800-square-foot store on Washington Street in New York City’s Meatpacking District. It stands on the street, along a quiet corridor (at least by New York standards), next to luxury labels such as Christian Louboutin and perfumer Kilian Paris, and just a few minutes’ walk from the Whitney Museum of American Art.
“Timing is everything, right?” says Ms. St. Clair, 63. “Not only have we seen the convergence of working with all these different artisans, but now my team has seen the convergence as well—Joe Cavalcante as president; Sam Romanoff, vice president of marketing, has really expanded our customer service and high-touch levels.”
A self-proclaimed “downtowner,” her studio and home are also below 14th Street’s unofficial Manhattan divide, a location she says is “very fitting.”
Ms. St. Clair believes that the space, filled with a periwinkle color she and her team call temple blue, is a reflection of her brand, which dates much of its inspiration back to the Renaissance. It “made my world come together,” she said. “New York is my entrepreneurial, commercial hub. Florence is my creative hub. These two parts of me and my love of artisanship and texture come together here.”
An eight-foot-tall glass-topped vitrine, which she calls the “story table,” bisects the first of two rooms dedicated to her work. It hosts a small exhibition that traces the evolution of her designs, starting with her earliest jewelry featuring ancient coins, as well as a number of archival objects and pieces representing the company’s core collections.
Currently on display is a Sassini bracelet with grainy detail representing some of her first gold creations, as well as her namesake bezel-set temple ring featuring a colored gemstone at the center and flanked by three diamonds . Also on display is one of her Tolomeo pendants featuring concentrically rotating sapphire-set ring designs; it depicts the astronomical theory that the Earth is the center of the universe (the same design is on permanent display at the Musée d’Art Decoratif in Paris). “It’s like a little journey,” she said of the tabletop display, “a jewel of a timeline.”
As well as a pair of sliding glass and steel doors with brass handles and rosette detailing, a second, more intimate space features an additional wall-mounted jewelry display case and a wardrobe with illuminated drawers, Ms St. Clair said. These drawers are “customer openable” to make available to customers. They are “the element of surprise and discovery”. She intends to include a variety of jewelry in it: the suite features her favorite colored stones — black opal, blue moonstone, tanzanite — along with celestial-themed pendants and other signature items.
Picture rails were installed on the walls of the second room to accommodate art installations. “I want it to be an exhibition space, whether it’s my own watercolors, portraits of Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theater or other events,” Ms St. Clair said. (In 2021, the brand commissioned Sharif Hamza to photograph dance troupe members wearing Temple St. Clair jewelry to mark the start of the season.)
While her brand is available in independent stores like Mad Lords in Paris and department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Wako in Tokyo, she also has a following who make big purchases directly from her website, like $85,000 Buyers of $18 items. – Karat gold and diamond bracelet depicting the sun, moon and stars and featuring a functional sundial. For customers who prefer to purchase such jewelry in person, the boutique will be the only retail location showcasing Temple St. Clair fine jewelry, alongside more affordable exclusives such as personalized crystal charms (from $3,250) .
The Florence-based studio Riccardo Barthel was responsible for the interior design of the store. As with her jewellery—much of which is made in workshops in Florence and Valenza, Italy, as well as in the U.S., Bangkok and Sri Lanka—most of the boutique’s specialty items are made in Italy.
Ms St. Clair said she was actively involved in the design project, contributing items from her travels, such as a pair of Gustave chairs she bought in Paris and the Turkish fabric artist Betil Dagdren she commissioned. Dagdelen chandelier.
Edahn Golan, a diamond and jewelry industry analyst and founder of data trends firm Tenoris, said stores can expand sales opportunities. “Selling jewelry is about telling a story,” he said. “If you bring someone into your own universe, you can sell more units, sell more.”
He points out that the presence of a store can attract the attention of more than just potential customers: “Let’s say you want to exit or expand. If you want to get the attention of Richemont or LVMH, do it.” .”
Ms. St. Clair said she believed the company she owned had something in common with those companies. strong. “We’re a tiny house,” she said. “We have iconic jewelry. We have history.”
She intends to devote a great deal of attention to its latest phase. “I’ll go to the store,” she said. “all the time.”