For sisters Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia Gambale, the second-generation owners of Greenwich St. Jewelers, it’s a pivotal time for their business.
A new, 1,550-square-foot store, which retains elements of old New York architecture while incorporating contemporary interior design and artwork, opened last month in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood, replacing the former 450-square-foot location on Trinity Place. With the opening, designers have been added to the assortment, and changing attitudes toward jewelry, by both men and women, have been spurring sales in what’s been tough times, particularly for small businesses.
“Diamond fashion jewelry is having a moment,” said Jennifer. “Diamond tennis necklaces, diamond bracelets — pieces people used to think of as occasion wear, they’re wearing them much more casually now, every day. Rappers and hip-hop culture have always been big supporters of diamonds and diamond jewelry but it’s gone beyond that. Now you see country music stars, all kinds of pop stars and movie stars that are younger, hipper, more gender fluid, wearing lots of fine jewelry.”
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Bridal, always a stable category at Greenwich St. Jewelers, is experiencing growth and in other jewelry categories, the average ticket and the amount of transactions are going up, according to the sisters. In addition, they’ve noticed increased self-purchasing by women.
“Things that were traditionally gifts, she’s now buying for herself to enjoy,” Christina said.
The sisters consider it kismet that their new store, at 93 Reade Street, is housed in an 1857 cast iron building, the Obsidian House, which was once occupied by a jewelry manufacturer. The facade has been restored and inside, 11-foot tall, gold-leaf arches guide a shopper through, separating the collections of colored gemstones, private brands, and diamond