Foot traffic is “everything” to Jersey City, N.J., jewelry store Love Locked, says owner Kerry Lynn, who’s mastered the art of drawing people through her front doors.
The six-year-old store’s intriguing mix of products—which range from designer engagement rings to affordable sterling silver jewelry, small-batch beauty goods, and delicious-smelling incense—means there’s a gift, and a comfortable price point, for just about everyone who wanders in.
Carrying more than 140 artists across its many product categories, Lynn has found a special synergy between beauty, home items, and jewelry, with a focus on ethically produced items from independent artisans she’s “excited to support.” Below, Lynn shares her top tips for cultivating an enticing merchandise mix:
The Zing Report: How would you describe Love Locked’s ambiance?
Kerry Lynn: I always wanted a store that you could walk in and spend $3 or $30,000. It’s an eclectic crowd [of brands] but I wanted someone to walk in and feel like, “Oh, ok, I can touch this,” and feel at home. You don’t have to spend a crazy amount of money but you can if you want to.
When you walk in, there are beautiful rings on the table made of gold fill and sterling silver. On the back wall is all my 14k gold, 18k gold and platinum, from dainty pieces to statement pieces. I organize everything by stone. There’s a ruby section, an emerald section, a sapphire section, and sections for opal and moonstone. Everyone [designer] I work with is a wonderful person. We have Sirciam, Misa Jewelry, Pamela Love, and Jennie Kwon, to name a few. There’s a little men’s collection; we’ve been carrying a lot of Digby and Iona there. A lot of the rings are unisex so we end up finding everyone shopping in that section.
On our apothecary wall we carry mostly natural and handmade, handbatched items; a lot from local women-owned companies and the majority plant-based. We have Soap for Sinners, a local company in which everything is handmade and hand-batched and smells amazing. We have Pholk, which a local Jersey City woman started from the ground up. We’re stocking Alchemy Holistics, which was started by a beauty editor who couldn’t find what she liked so she went to cosmetology school and learned how to make products she liked for her skin.
Clearly you have a passion for the brands you carry. Tell me a little bit about your home items.
People started asking for ritual tools, so we have incense by Incausa, which is made in Brazil—the company hires indigenous women who make their incense, and everything comes in eco-friendly packaging. There are room sprays and a whole candle section that’s just exploded. I joke that if I hadn’t started a jewelry store, I should have opened a candle store, because they’re so popular.
Do people come in for candles and get introduced to the jewelry, or vice versa?
A lot of people come into the store looking for small gifts. We put the engagement ring case by the register.
When someone is getting ringed up I’ll show them what’s new and have them try things on. I write down what they like and create a wishlist, so a loved one or partner can come in and look up what they like. Because of the designers I carry some people come in looking for a specific designer.
It sounds like foot traffic is the heart of your business.
There is something to be said for standing in front of somebody and showing them a stone in person and having them take it into the natural light and spend time with it on their own finger. I really enjoy that part.
And being able to bring customers into your world…
Exactly. Right now, there’s a young woman who really wants this particular ruby ring by Ruta Reifen and she told me the other day, “When I sign my book deal I’m coming back for this.” I love that.
Do you have any tips for store owners who might be interested in incorporating different categories into their store?
I think a wide price range is really important, and a benefit of having the apothecary items. It’s the same for jewelry; I didn’t just want to sell dainty jewelry that’s $300. I thought it was important to sell a statement piece on the higher end, too. I’ll have a customer who shops for a couple years in the gold fill and sterling silver section, and then transitions to the 14k gold section when they get a promotion or a new job. Then they get engaged and move to the engagement ring section. We get to grow with them. That same person comes back to us again and again.
Photos courtesy of Love Locked
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