A nearly two-decade-old jewelry store has left its home in Park Slope — but it has not gone far.
Facets Fine Jewelry relocated recently to a new and larger space at 99 Seventh Ave., just two doors away from its old location.
By adding 2,500 square feet, Facets consolidated its operations under one roof — something that will benefit the business and its customers, according to owners Lenny and Irina Sulay.
“We originally wanted to expand last time this space was available, [but] we weren’t really ready at the time,” Lenny said. “The opportunity came about once more, and it was the right time, and we decided to do it.”
The move also seems to buck the trend of disappearing mom-and-pop businesses across the five boroughs. Despite a shift by both shoppers and merchants to e-commerce, the Sulays said Facets has been thriving.
“We sell a service that you’re unable to achieve from an online store — we have amazing personal relationships with a lot of our clients,” Lenny said.
In addition to selling everything from engagement rings to earrings, necklaces and bracelets, the husband-and-wife team design their own jewelry and create custom pieces for clients — all of which are produced onsite.
"Mom-and-pop business are so important to the borough,” says Samara Karasyk, interim president and chief policy officer of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “They reflect the diverse cultures and communities they serve and embody the entrepreneurial spirit that has made Brooklyn a place where more people than ever want to live and work.”
Prices for new jewelry can range anywhere from $100 to $100,000
“It’s amazing to me how much of an involvement we have making jewelry that is sentimental; that will be passed down; that you will talk about at your Thanksgiving table,” Irina said.
Facets also repurposes older jewelry, such as family heirlooms, into unique items. There are even 3D printers in-house that allow customers to see three-dimensional renderings of their pieces before they’re created. Those one-of-a-kind works can be crafted for from $200 all the way up to $10,000.
“A lot of times, designers and jewelers tell you they understand what you want, and then you get the product, and it happens to not be what you wanted,” Irina explained. “[The renderings] really help the customer … understand what they want and visualize it.”
Lenny’s interest in the jewelry business dates to a young age, when his mother opened her own jewelry store on Seventh Avenue in the early 1990s, he said. As a teenager, he worked in her store each day after school and helped out on weekends, he recalled.
The experience ended up being a formative one.
“I liked the interaction with people,” Lenny said. ”I loved helping people find something they really enjoyed, and loved, and ultimately became part of them.”
Facets opened on Seventh Avenue in 2001. After Lenny met Irina, he brought her on board, she said.
“I was always in retail, and I always loved customer service,” Irina said.
Facets also repairs and restores jewelry, the couple noted. And in the next few months, the store will begin selling high-end watches.
Having a brick-and-mortar shop is important when selling fine jewelry, the couple said.
“It’s very difficult to get a feeling [about a piece] from a picture,” Lenny explained. “It’s completely different once you hold it in your hand.”
With Lisa L. Colangelo