With sunny optimism and rapid expansion into retail stores, the California-based company Gorjana has gone from jewelry shows to direct-to-consumer stores to brick-and-mortar stores across the United States in an effort to bring its Laguna Beach vibe nationwide, according to its founders.
Part of Gorjana’s success comes from its price range of $ 38 to $ 700 for its new collection of fine jewelry, says co-founder and CEO Jason Griffin Reidel. But Gorjana is also seeing her customers embrace in-person shopping as a way to connect with the brand and seaside vibe of each store.
âOur model is to have something for everyone; you should be able to walk into any of our stores and interact with the brand on any level, âsays Reidel.
Its latest stores are in the Washington, DC area, with two openings in October in Georgetown and Bethesda, MD. This month, it added locations in Manhattan Beach, Calif., Which opened on November 6, and Boston, which opened on November 12. Its Venice, California site will open on Wednesday. Its last grand opening in 2021 will be on December 15 in Park City, Utah. These stores vary in size from 765 square feet in Park City to 1,412 square feet in Manhattan Beach.
All new Gorjana display cases are outfitted with iconic details including mango wood finishes, brass hardware details, vibrant greenery, and blue and bohemian shibori fabrics reminiscent of the Pacific Ocean. The resulting airy spaces help display the brand’s latest collections, from its layered sets to powerful gemstones.
âWe want you to feel like you’ve stepped into an environment where you can chill out,â says Reidel, including things like a personalized candle scent that reminds him of Laguna Beach as well as carefully selected music.
Yet each store also gets a nod to its individual location. Its location in Bethesda, Md., Has a one-of-a-kind mural by a local artist outside, says Reidel. The Park City site also has a deeper and richer color palette to reflect its mountain location.
These new openings expand the brand’s commercial reach, and it will continue to add new locations throughout 2022, Reidel said.
Reidel and his wife, Gorjana, founded the brand in 2004 on the second floor of their apartment. The couple traveled 50,000 miles to sell and market their collection and made the trade show circuit. They made the brand a full-fledged business that they own and still operate with that âall-in-oneâ mentality that drove them to start, says Reidel.
âWe run it like a family business – a mom and a pop,â says Reidel. âThis is what we tell people: you don’t have to change your DNA or who you are to be able to grow. “
What has changed is how much he invests in physical stores. In 2017, Gorjana had three physical stores. This year, the company will have 26 locations in total, opening 10 during the coronavirus pandemic. To say this is a rapid expansion is an understatement, says Reidel. But the business has been growing with a loyal following for nearly two decades, he notes.
âIt’s a constant evolution, we don’t get complacent,â says Reidel. âWe are constantly taking what we have learned and moving it forward. We know that every store will improve as we move forward.
Above: Gorjana recently opened a location in Bethesda that features an exterior mural painted by a local artist (all photos courtesy of Gorjana).
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