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Ana Luisa opens debut store in SoHo, New York

By Vivian Hendriksz


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Retail |Interview

Ana Luisa SoHo store Credits: Ana Luisa

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) jewelry brand Ana Luisa is coming full circle following the opening of its first brick-and-mortar store. Located in the always-trendy neighborhood of Soho, the new store reflects the brand's founding mission while providing a platform for the previously online-only label to engage with its customers in person. Speaking with co-founder Adam Bohbot, FashionUnited learns more about the brand's new store, its retail strategy, and plans for the future.

Clearly noticeable from across the street, the new Ana Luisa store certainly catches the eye. With a strong, bold brick-red facade and a steady, consistent stream of customers coming in and out, the debut store from the fast-growing Climate Neutral Certified jewelry brand stands out from the regular crowd of accessories stores in the vicinity. Officially opening its doors to the public via a soft launch on Black Friday, the opening of its physical retail location is a direct response to customer demand.

Ana Luisa sets up shop permanently in SoHo

"Being an online brand, we receive constant feedback from our customers, including an incredible number of requests to open stores across the country," said co-founder Adam Bohbot to FashionUnited. "But we wanted to take our time to do it the Ana Luisa way." Co-founded by Bohbot and David Benayoun in 2018 in Brooklyn, New York, the idea for Ana Luisa came about as the industry-experienced duo sought to create consciously made yet fairly priced jewelry.

Ana Luisa SoHo store Credits: Ana Luisa

Seeking to shine a light on the traditionally opaque and complex supply chain, Ana Luisa has set itself apart in the industry with its significant environmental initiatives and commitment to sustainable production. One of the first jewelry brands to become carbon neutral, achieving carbon neutrality in 2020, Ana Luisa outlines its manufacturing standards on its website and in its impact report while only working with certified partners.

In addition, the brand is on a mission to use as many recycled materials as possible. In 2022, 75.5 percent of its pieces were made from recycled base materials, and 73.2 percent of its materials held the RJC Code of Practices (COP) Certification. Ana Luisa uses 100 percent recycled silver for its sterling silver pieces and, when possible, recycled brass dipped in durable 14k gold plating for its gold-plated items. All solid gold styles are crafted in Italy, using 100 percent recycled 10k gold, while the diamonds used are traceable and lab-grown.

Ana Luisa SoHo store Credits: Ana Luisa

With its conscious production practices and timeless designs, it's clear why Ana Luisa has quickly garnered such a strong and loyal customer base. "Crafting high-quality jewelry at the best prices possible without compromising on our social and environmental values has always been our North Star," says Bohbot. "That mission applies to our store as well. In-store customers can expect the same high quality, affordable, and earth-conscious jewelry they find on analuisa.com but with new in-store features to enhance the shopping experience."

New Ana Luisa store to serve as community hub and platform for expermentiation

Stepping inside the store, it is evident how the brand sought to bring its online experience to life, from the choice of displays to the clear layout and the in-store messaging. "We listed everything that was intimidating, frustrating, overly complex, or just missing in retail out there," continues Bohbot. "From there, we took months translating the Ana Luisa experience into a physical environment. Every single detail was thought of, from the color of each light bulb to the origin of our cement. It was a very exciting project that our entire team worked on relentlessly, always keeping our customers top of mind."

Ana Luisa SoHo store Credits: Ana Luisa

Looking to bridge the gap between online and offline, the co-founders also wanted to ensure that Ana Luisa's first brick-and-mortar store met and exceeded customer expectations. This resulted in some special additions, like the vintage phone wall. A one-of-a-kind way to get customers to engage with the brand, customers can "ring for bling" and listen to prerecorded messages on how to style their jewelry. Other unique in-store features include a dedicated vanity station, where customers can try on Ana Luisa's jewelry to find their ideal mix, and a ball pit. Located by the cash register, customers can hand-pick a gift with every purchase, adding a playful element of surprise.

As the brand was established in NYC, the co-founders wanted to open Ana Luisa's debut store in the SoHo neighborhood to better serve its significant community base in the area. Cultivating relationships with social media influencers, a cornerstone of the brand's strategy since its inception, has also resulted in Ana Luisa integrating influencers into its wider retail marketing strategy. With an extensive network consisting of more than 30,000 global collaborations, the co-founders will use the store as a tool to help give back.

Ana Luisa SoHo store Credits: Ana Luisa

"We will host weekly private styling sessions in-store, inviting influencers to engage directly with our jewelry. This allows them to experience our products in real life and honors the creators who have been instrumental in our brand's growth," adds Bohbot. With further plans in the pipeline to develop additional services such as community events, permanent jewelry, engraving, and piercing, the new store will also act as a hub for experimentation concerning new designs and innovative materials. "We've been overwhelmed by the amount of excitement and success of our first store opening, we see this as just the beginning."

With plans for a hard launch sometime during the first quarter of 2024, Ana Luisa is using the time in between to fine-tune its retail model by analyzing the collected data. To date, one of the most rewarding results has been the influx of customer traffic to the store. "Even with little to no marketing behind it, we were thrilled when customers flooded in after our soft launch. We have a loyal base who really showed up for us that day."

Ana Luisa SoHo store Credits: Ana Luisa

The brand has also noticed a growing number of international customers coming to the store, notably shoppers from Japan, Korea, Europe, and Australia, who have heard of the brand but never purchased from them, as they wanted to see the jewelry pieces in real life. "We had a customer come in from South Korea who told us she was visiting NYC for only a few days but specifically wanted to spend one of those days at the Ana Luisa store."

With its first store buzzing with activity, one wonders if it marks the first of many to open. Although the brand has been profitable since its early months, the co-founders want to take things slow regarding expanding the brand's retail footprint. As a largely data-driven brand, one that's constantly testing new collections with small batch orders first to avoid overproduction, it makes sense for Ana Luisa to test the retail waters with the new store first.

"We have an aggressive expansion strategy, but we pride ourselves on profitability. In everything we do, retail included, we want to remain the master of our faith, with minimal reliance on external funding," points out Bohbot. "We plan to give ourselves six to nine months of data to really understand our retail model. While we plan to expand our retail footprint, our growth will be based on performance. That being said, don't be shocked if you see Ana Luisa stores take off across the US and maybe worldwide."

Ana Luisa
Flagship Store
New York
Store opening