American jewellers will become your BFFs

Run down on the most luxurious jewellery stores in the US - Briony Raymond, Nina Runsdorf, Alison Chemla, Marla Aaron, Jesse Marlo Lazowski, Logan Hollowell and Hoorsenbuhs. These jewellers make it their job to be your BFF and offer an intimate shopping experience

Story by Jill Newman

Come to shop and stay to socialize. 

When you step into Briony Raymond’s by-appointment salon on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, it’s easy to forget why you came. The vivacious blond designer welcomes guests into a stylized living room with cozy velvet couches, curated artwork, and tea or a glass of champagne. Then comes the jewels. Pieces are displayed in an open cabinet and arranged on a table, not under lock and key. This isn’t your typical jewellery shopping experience. 

This is the next wave of jewellery shopping. Blame on Covid. After two years of online shopping and Zoom consultations, clients are starved for personal interaction. While by-appointment salons have always existed, it’s become more popular; it’s almost like a visit to the spa or lunch with friends. It’s a moment to slowdown, enjoy a quiet moment, and perhaps discover a special jewel. 

“There have been many an afternoon when a group of jewelry loving gals get together here to chat, enjoy jewellery, and enjoy each other,” says Raymond. “There is something so fun about having the opportunity to bond over our shared love of jewels.”

These intimate salons are an opportunity for jewellers to work closely with clients to help them build a collection, create a bespoke design, or remake a cherished family heirloom into something contemporary. And it often leads to lasting friendships. It’s next level personalized service.

Book an appointment at one of these jewellery designer’s ateliers – and experience personalized service at its best.

Briony Raymond, New York, Upper East Side 

The experience: “I have always felt strongly that a visit to our atelier should be an experience, not a transaction. I love for people to walk into our space and instantly feel transported to an environment reflective of the aesthetic of the brand. My own style is reflected in the finishes of the space – from the Schumacher toile window treatments to the antique Persian rugs and Impressionist oil paintings.” 

Nina Runsdorf, New York, Upper East Side 

The vibe: “My intention was to create an extension of my living room – a salon-like atmosphere where clients and friends can come and be relaxed and engaged. The design elements, from the art to the furniture, come from my personal collection. The space is both serene and personal, two very undervalued aspects of the retail experience.

Forging relationships: “This space completely changed the way our clients engage with us. Jewellery by its very nature is extremely personal and I’m often moved by the reasons people have come to us and the stories they’ve told. From the woman resetting her mother’s diamond, to the young man looking for a unique engagement ring. By stripping away the intimating nature of jewellery purchasing, I’ve found that everyone can be at home here.

Like a work of art, to be able to sit down with the creator and understand the creative process leaves you with an indelible impression and lasting relationship with the purchase.”

Alison Chemla, designer of Alison Lou, New York, Upper East Side

The vibe: “Our space is meant to feel like a piece of our jewellery. The walls are gold and the cases are multicolored lacquer which mimics our use of enamel. We also have a lip-shaped couch which is a common motif in our jewellery collections as well.”

Shop and sip: “Groups of friends come in all the time and hang out, have a drink in the afternoon or coffee in the morning. It’s important for bridal clients to have this private space. Shopping for an engagement ring is a very personal experience that we like to tailor to each client and give them the time they need to explore diamonds and settings.”

Marla Aaron, New York, Midtown

The vibe: “Jewellery cases were never going to work. So based on my own old-fashioned sewing box we asked a company to help us build a dream “box” that opens to reveal all our pieces and where a customer can comfortably sit with a personal tray and begin to play.”

What women want: “When women approach our collection, they come with pieces they no longer wear that they may have had since they were children, and they want to give them new life with our pieces. That and the mechanical nature of nearly all our pieces mean they beg to be played with.”

Jesse Marlo Lazowskifounder of Marlo Laz, New York, West Village

The space: “The store was our way of bringing the vibrant inspiration behind the brand to life. I am deeply inspired by travel and art, and this is reflected in the store. My mother (an amazing interior designer) and I designed the Moorish archways to speak to the Indian and northern African inspiration, while the pink and orange color palette represents our brand colors, inspired by Luis Barragán’s terrace in Mexico City.”

A neighborhood hangout: “I wanted the space to go beyond just being a store. We have a pop-up section to showcase our friends’ brands, and we have an awesome 1960s backgammon table surrounded by cozy chairs where friends come to play or hang out for hours. Many people plan to pop in for a few minutes to browse and end up staying for hours. 

Personal connection: “Our showroom behind the store serves as a place where we can offer private clients a one-on-one, more bespoke level of service, and work on special pieces like engagement rings, stone resets, and other one-of-a-kind pieces.”

Logan Hollowell, Santa Monica, California

The vibe: “It reflects my style. I try to keep it mostly light, airy, flowy, and modern chic with just that touch of magical enchantment. The colour palette beginning with the wall treatments is glowy creams and nudes, mixed with soft golden brass tones in the fixtures. We give the jewellery the space and freedom to shine in a cloud-like goddess kind of atmosphere. We want you to walk in and feel like you’re floating, and leave feeling the same way- but even higher!”

Get personal: “We offer comfy chairs for you to sink into whilst sipping organic mocktails, cocktails, and herbal elixirs. When a client asks, “which piece should I choose?” We ask them, “what are you asking for in your life?” Every piece has a power, a deeper and sometimes even secret meaning – one that will assist you on your journey. This opens for deeper conversation, excitement, enchantment, and manifestation.”


Rob Keith and Kether Parker, founders of Hoorsenbuhs, Santa Monica. 

The vibe: “Everything inside the atelier was designed by Rob Keith. All the wall treatments with branded hardware, the art, the bronze cast furniture, and tables were all made by hand. All the fixtures, displays and lighting are built around the jewelry. “One truly feels the intense amount of labour that goes into all the details of our jewelry collections when they walk into our space,” says Keith, who is available for private consultations” – Kether Parker.

More than jewellery: “We’ve organised lunches, sound baths, yoga, listening and screening parties for our clients. Our rooftop is 5,000 square feet with a geodome, workout area and huge faux grass area…we even have a small honey producing bee rescue situation up there.”- 

Like this? Read about Jessica McCormack and her Mayfair townhouse