Mejuri and Studs both set up shop in my neighborhood last year. I’ve been keeping close tabs on them because they’re transforming the jewelry experience into something much more fun and cool than we typically associate with the category. It appears they’re taking their cues from brands like Glossier and DryBar more than from Tiffany’s at the high end or Claire’s (RIP) at the low end.
Secrets of their success
Both stores were designed with Instagram and social media events in mind. Mejuri is the more elegant of the two (photos below). Studs, on the other hand, was highly praised by Vogue for being the “Glossier of piercing studios.” Which may have attracted Kaia Gerber to drop in for her recent ear piercings and garnering lots of coverage on social media for Studs.
The two cofounders of Studs, Anna Harman and Lisa Bubbers, have a long history with startups, and a story not too dissimilar to the founder of DryBar (which it resembles in all its gorgeous yellowness!). Prices are reasonable and they’ve gotten some great coverage including from sites like Man Repeller.
At first I thought Studs was a pre-Christmas pop up but it’s a test store for future brick and mortar expansion. Judging by the crowds lined up daily on Prince Street, it has the potential to be a long term addition to the neighborhood.
Kudos to Studs for creating such a fun, cheeky store (their puns are hilarious).
Scroll down for more on Mejuri.
Which explains the long lines of young women waiting outside the store on Mondays in “Supreme-like” fashion. Supreme, coincidentally, is located just down the street. Initially, I didn’t even know this was a jewelry store. I thought it was a new kind of beauty or spa experience.
Mejuri believes women should be buying their own jewelry versus waiting for a man to buy it for them.
Mejuri also made the store a gathering place with frequent events
Mejuri does monthly piercing parties, e.g., this weekend from 11am-6 pm. It’s first come, first served with a professional piercing crew on hand for the occasion. And, by the way, I walked by early Sunday afternoon and the store was jam-packed.
They also offer special shopping nights with influencers and designers, e.g., with Katie Lynn Howell who is a visual merchandising manager at Madewell. Doing collaborations with like-minded brands/personalities is a very millennial move!
Mejuri started in Toronto as a direct to consumer business. When the store originally opened nothing was actually for sale. The merchandise on display was only for customers to try on. Purchases had to be placed through their website and items were then delivered (for free) to the customers’ homes from a warehouse. Online reviews were filled with complaints about this system. Now, however, they’re fully stocked and buyers walk out of the store, purchases in hand.
Price points are reasonable and the jewelry is modern and minimalistic. They shy away from bold statement pieces in favor of more delicate, barely-there jewelry that works well when layered.
It looks as though jewelry, especially at these price points, may be the accessories to watch versus bags and shoes.
As I was writing this post I also noticed that more mainstream jewelry brands were making a comeback, e.g., the stock of Signet Jewelers (whose brands include Zales, Kay and Jared) rocketed 40.2% on heavy volume after strong holiday sales.
I will be keeping an eye on jewelry in general and these two retailers in particular.