It’s clear that Jenny O. Calleri has luck on her side. When the fine jewelry retailer—a veteran of several jewelry stores on the Las Vegas Strip—was ready to establish her own jewelry store in 2018, she was able to buy iconic Huntington Jewelers, a Las Vegas institution since 1950.
Now the retailer is opening a second location, in upscale Las Vegas suburb Summerlin. And its acquisition also feels like it was written in the stars. Calleri, who’s known in the industry for her cheerful demeanor and love of high-quality colored gemstones, is taking over T Bird Jewels, a store she formerly worked for for years, and once had hopes of taking over.
“I wanted to be the owner’s successor at T Bird, but he wasn’t ready to sell, so we bought Huntington Jewelers,” Calleri tells the The Zing Report. “But I caught wind that T Bird Jewelers was moving to new location. We had been looking for a new location and this opportunity just presented itself. Summerlin is the most affluent area in Las Vegas, so we were very interested.”
T Bird Jewels, meanwhile, is moving across the street from M.J. Christensen, where Calleri worked as a gemologist from 2008 to 2013, which “is hilarious!” she says with a laugh.
“The beauty of me going into this location is that I was already there for five years. I know the space and I know the clientele. He just did a remodel with Rolex so we’re not going to have to do a big remodel because it’s a beautiful store already.” Nevertheless, Calleri has plans to spruce up the space with help from jewelry store designer Leslie McGwire.
But perhaps most enticing about the new store is its track record of success. “We’re moving into this space that’s been successful for the past 23 years,” Calleri explains. “I would suspect that people wouldn’t even know the name of the store has changed once we move in. I’ve owned Huntington for years and some people don’t know it’s a different store than it was.”
Calleri will take over the 2,275-square-foot unit in June and hopes to soft-open by July or August, adding, “We’ll have a big ribbon cutting event with fireworks and freaking lights in the sky in October.”
As a hardcore tourist town, Las Vegas has a unique jewelry retail market, says the retailer. “When you come to Vegas, you’re in the ether. You save up for a year or more to come here. And when you’re in this ether, you already know you’re going to buy something to remember your trip.”
And though the retailer says Huntington Jewelers, which is a few miles off the city’s famous Strip, isn’t dependent on tourism dollars, “people seek us out because jewelry stores on the strip have evolved into branded stores. There are very few stores like ours here where you can come in and shop all these different great brands like Gurhan and Debra Navarro.” She adds, “Shopping for jewelry needs to be an experience. I don’t need it to be the security guard in the black suit staring me down. It needs to be fun.”
Top: Huntington Jewelers in Las Vegas (all photos courtesy of Huntington Jewelers)