The biggest secret to our success here at Marissa Collections is that we offer the entire package. Styling a client head-to-toe isn't just about the clothes and shoes, accessories are just as key to creating the perfect mood with an outfit. Our favorite way to accomplish this is by pairing your ensemble with precious, beautiful, and accessible jewelry, or the term we coined "fashion fine jewelry," because there is no reason you only have to wear your "good" jewelry for a special event. Marissa Collections and our Jewelry and Accessories buyer, Jennifer McCurry, was the feature of an article published in JCK Magazine highlighting the success we've seen because of our sensibilities and styling of fashion fine jewelry.

Double Agents

By Jennifer Heebner

From New York to Naples

Jennifer McCurry is used to her employer’s store, Naples, Fla.–based Marissa Collections, being compared with some of New York City’s swankiest fashion salons. But it wasn’t always this way. Five years ago, owner Marissa Hartington hired McCurry, a graduate gemologist, to help bring her jewelry department up to par with Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, and other iconic Manhattan fashion emporiums in an effort to give her jet-setting clientele the one-stop shopping experience to which they’d “We have clients who want us to dress them from head to toe in shoes, handbags, and makeup,” says McCurry, “so why not ­jewelry? We are moving into an era of lifestyle stores, not traditional jewelry stores.” As fine jewelry and accessories buyer, McCurry started stocking the cases with myriad looks at a variety of prices—gold rings by Lucifer Vir Honestusgemstone earrings by Irene Neuwirthand crystal necklaces by Erickson Beamon, for example—united by one common theme: In addition to complementing the store’s couture selection (Jean Paul Gaultier dresses, Givenchy handbags), McCurry also wanted jewels that, rather strategically, looked good on the go. “That’s what Naples is about—bikes with baskets, and people driving to dinner in golf carts,” McCurry says.

Thanks to her efforts, fine jewelry now plays a significant part in the store’s business, accounting for 25 percent of sales. McCurry chalks up Marissa Collections’ success to cross-trained stylists (not sales associates) and to the woman who started it all: “Marissa, Marissa, Marissa!” she says. “She’s on the floor with the stylists all the time, perfecting each client’s style.”

One tactic that works wonders: The store holds morning style sessions—complete with printouts of designer bios—that bring staffers up to speed on vendors and how to determine complementary accessories and clothes. Additionally, the store encourages all employees—from those on the floor to behind-the-scenes support staff—to take advantage of online Gemological Institute of America courses to further their jewelry knowledge. For her part, McCurry supplements these efforts with exercises from her own bag of tricks. “I test stylists on stones and styles, especially during slow times,” she says.