My next stop on my #JewelryRoadTrip in San Francisco was Gallery of Jewels. This store has three locations, each which reflect the neighborhood it is situated in--all very distinctive and great to experience. I visited Gallery of Jewels' Union Square gallery, where the area is known as the central arts, theater, and hotel district, with lots of shopping! I love the street the gallery is on--as it sits ideally amongst the hustle and bustle of the area. Across the street I had lunch at Cafe Taza, a tiny counter-service restaurant with few seating, but really great food!
The concept of Gallery of Jewels focuses everything on the designers that make up their stores, showcasing fine talent within the jewelry community and putting the spotlight on each of them. Seeking out new and upcoming designers is a passion of Bill Hoover & Dona Taylor, a duo who first opened up their doors back in the 90s with the same concept in mind. Since then, Gallery of Jewels carries over 100 designers and have helped launched the careers of many up-and-coming design talents. A true testimony to how well respected and loved Gallery of Jewels is, the store won first place as JCK's best designer retailer 2015/16 as voted for by the artists. This is a huge win as there are SO many stores across the United States up for nomination. And well deserved, I may add.
As soon as I walked through the doors I was enchanted by the color scheme and pillars, naturally. Each glass curio holds LOTS of designers, displayed impeccably on glass shelves, where staring is appropriate. Mirrors are important in jewelry stores--if you have customers trying on earrings and necklaces, a mirror is vital. Gallery of Jewels houses lots of mirrors in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The center of the store houses the bridal section with lots of engagement ring options and wedding bands. Bridal appointments can be made for one-on-one time with a sales associate and for some odd reason, I've never come across that feature before! I love the concept and think it's perfect for future brides, especially if one has lots of questions.
Another concept that may go unnoticed by most but really struck me was how the front door of the jewelry store was propped open, inviting passers-by to come into the store. With jewelry stores, you often come in contact with closed doors, locked doors, even doors with no windows and a buzzer for safety. This open, welcoming environment is quite refreshing and I immediately could see why Bill and Dona have created such a warm and respected brand.
One of my favorite parts of visiting Gallery of Jewels was seeing how many times I said, "Wow, I've never heard of this designer before!" I came across so many great pieces from familiar and unfamiliar designers--I love learning and experiencing new talent. Designers like Lisa Kim Fine Jewelry, Anne Sportun, Megan Thorne, Sethi Couture, Todd Pownell, and Zoe Chicco were those designers whom I love and enjoyed seeing on display. New-to-me designers that I discovered while visiting were Monica Marcella, Marian Maurer, and Jason Dow. Click on the names to view their collections.
A few favorite pieces I tried on during my visit:
Union Square location
427 Post Street at Powell
San Francisco, CA 94102
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