“If I had my way, I’d wear jewelry, a great pair of heels and nothing else.” – Jada Pinkett Smith
Juli Bauman and Lynne Halpern met at a wedding 48 years ago. Remaining friends, they felt that Atlanta lacked a true boutique jewelry store, and that they could offer personal service with the newest designers and current styles in a friendly atmosphere. That was 23 years ago. Sustaining and growing a retail business like Tassels is indeed a daunting task.
Halpern said, “We have had to successfully balance running a business with our family and community obligations. Initially we had to establish our credibility with some of our out-of-town designers, but after the first few years, that was no longer an issue.”
Halpern is not a fan of “trends” over classics, which never go out of style. The Tassles website boasts 3 Rs: raw, radiant, refined. The store is selling many colored stones and jewelry that are versatile enough to be worn with blue jeans or black tie. Many clients are now wearing small multi-studs in their ears. “We have a large collection of earrings that say ‘Love’ or ‘XO,’ along with a variety of diamond bars and studs.”
In appealing to a new generation of shoppers, Bauman advises young people to “buy only what you love. It’s better to have one great piece than an assortment of jewelry that just sits in a drawer. If someone has jewelry they don’t wear, we encourage them to bring it in and let us redo it using the stones to create a piece that they will enjoy wearing.”
Tassels’ owners feel strongly about giving back to the community where they have reared their families and secured a retail niche. They support a variety of causes such as A Cure in our Lifetime (breast cancer research), Chastain Park Conservancy, Shepherd Center and a plethora of schools such as The Epstein School, The Weber School, The Davis Academy, Atlanta Jewish Academy, Pace Academy, The Galloway School, Saint Francis School, Trinity School and The Schenck School.
“Mother’s Day is always a big holiday for us,” Bauman said. “We are all moms and we know the impact a Mother’s Day gift makes on everyone who gets a special gift. We love all the new spring colors – turquoise, pinks and coral – and have necklaces and bracelets in all of these stones. Pearls are coming back strong in various colors as well as larger hoop earrings. Where recently white gold was most fashionable, yellow and rose gold are going back into collections.”
For Mother’s Day, the Tassels team sees dads bringing in their children to select a gift for mom. Bauman and Halpern cleverly get amenable clients to create a “wish list” of items that they would like at a variety of price points. By choosing from the wish list, shoppers are relieved to be able to purchase a gift that they know won’t be returned. This is particularly helpful for male customers, who call and relate the dollar amount and have Tassels deliver the jewelry to the wife, girlfriend, mother, sister, or daughter.
Remember comedienne Gracie Allen said, “I wish George [Burns] would have another affair. I’d like an emerald brooch.”