Work in Progress: A One of a Kind Jeweler’s Boutique

D.C. Johnson, Ltd. provides a one of a kind, boutique jewelry buying experience for their clients. They believe that purchasing a piece of jewelry or a watch should be a personal, relaxed, and thoughtful experience. The founder, David Johnson, believes in details and building a personal relationship with his clients. His personal touch is enhanced by the excellent work of his brother, Brian Johnson, who is a true craftsman and artisan. When David approached us about helping him design and build out his new show room and office space, we couldn’t resist!

David’s current space includes a work room and office that’s inviting and warm, but as his business grows, so too should his space!

In collaboration with architect, Carter Bean, and Shaffer Construction, we’re converting a former pilates studio into a one of a kind space fit for a one of a kind jewelry and watch buying experience. 

David’s vision for his new space was to create a brick and mortar space for his business that reflected the feeling of a NYC style loft: comfortable, open, and filled with natural light. Details are important to him, so he wanted to include details within the space that would pique people’s curiosity, drive interest, and make clients want to stay a while. He envisioned small elements that would evoke the feel of a library or a speakeasy from the 20s.

We asked him to share a little more about his experience. Check out a bit of that interview below:

Why did you choose to work with Crimson Design? 

One of the most important things in my business is relationships. When a close friend of mine said I didn’t need to look any further than Crimson Design, I trusted him wholeheartedly. 

What about the team’s design are you most excited for?

That is a difficult question to answer because there are so many great details, but if I had to choose one, it would be the deep navy blue tufted doors that open to reveal the main showroom. The color and richness of the doors remind me of the jewelry boxes that my grandfather used in his business. As a child I always associated those boxes with quality and craftsmanship. 

Keep reading for a sneak peek at what those doors are going to look like!

What has been the best part of working with the design team at Crimson?

Crimson did a really good job at understanding the needs of our business and providing the best options to meet those needs. I really appreciated their level of communication and the innovative ways they worked to avoid potential hurdles. Much like my business, Crimson wants to make sure everything is done right while also ensuring their clients’ needs are fulfilled. 

How do you think updating your design will improve your business and your experience at work?

My hope is that the buildout of this new concept will not only change but elevate the jewelry buying experience. I want it to be unlike anything else people have experienced and impossible to replicate. The space itself is paramount to executing this experience.  

David’s new space will include a reception area, conference room, showroom, bridal room, work area, and office! This will be an entirely different jewelry buying experience!

Why do people choose D.C. Johnson?

People trust us, and the relationships we have with our clients start even before we meet them. When someone gives us the honor of their time, we want to provide an experience they can’t get anywhere else. Once they’ve seen our passion for sharing our expertise and the level of quality we offer, they want others to experience it as well. 

What sets you apart from other jewelers? 

We offer a shopping experience that is exceptionally rare in the jewelry industry.  In contrast to other retail jewelers, we removed the traditional showcase from the equation to allow us the opportunity to focus on building the relationship first. I believe that that you can not truly help a client find the right piece until you get to know them on a personal level.

Our commitment to quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail is second to none.  Most jewelry is designed to create a look while maximizing margin.  This always generates a look that is more flat and 2 dimensional. Jewelry is 3 dimensional and should be designed as such.  We offer jewelry that has been designed from the inside-out, meaning the back of a pendant is going to be finished with the same attention to detail and quality as the part everyone sees when you have it on. 

Why do clients partner with you vs. a traditional retailer?

Once someone experiences our unique way of selling jewelry, they know they can’t get that same experience anywhere else. Our clients benefit greatly from the time we take to establish a relationship and understand exactly what it is they are looking for.  When trust like that is built, whether we are working with you to repair a family heirloom, designing a one-of-a-kind piece, or finding that perfect diamond, you know we will spend the time to get it right. 

Also, our jewelry offering in the new space is going to be unlike anything Columbus has to offer. We are partnering with unique, fashion forward designers and providing a platform for them to launch into a new and thriving market. Columbus is a fashion hub so there is no reason why there shouldn’t be the same level of jewelry offerings here as those in cities like New York and Los Angeles.

What would you like potential clients to know about DC Johnson?

We feel privileged to be a part of our clients’ lives. When you put your faith in us and our eye for the best of the best, we feel honored. 

 Photo Credit: D.C. Johnson, Ltd.
Photo Credit: D.C. Johnson, Ltd.

Drawing inspiration from David’s vision, our lead commercial designer Esra Geither set to work to create a space that would feel warm and inviting, but chic and one of a kind. 

Esra describes the process:

What guided your design?

His style is very masculine and rustic. His current space is full of cool antiques and one of a kind pieces. We wanted to add some polish to his existing brand, really refine that style. Shopping with David is already so unique: he’s all about the personal relationship with his clients. So we needed to design a space that reflected that. We’re creating a place where customers will want to stay. I could see him entertaining guests here, throwing a happy hour (we’re designing a custom bar!), and of course, displaying D.C. Johnson’s designs in a totally unique way. All of the materials are incredibly rich: marble, velvet, painted woodwork, leather… it’s going to be amazing.

Here’s an inspiration  page from Esra’s design presentation!

What benefits, do you think, D.C. Johnson, Ltd. will get from this design?

I think this design will really set them apart as a jewelry shopping space. Our goal is to create a space that is glamorous, while remaining comfortable. The lighting will be warm, instead of the florescents we’re used to seeing in jewelry showrooms. There will be personal details everywhere. The design needs to be as eye catching and curated as the jewelry! It needs to keep up!

The new space will include a reception area that will serve as a cue to clients that they’re about to entire a totally unique space. The flooring will be made of a chevron marble and the base board will be made of polished brass. 

What are you enjoying most about the process?

It’s so collaborative! David is all about the details, which we love. And we get an amazing opportunity to really stretch our creativity. Plus, with the partnership we’re building with Carter Bean and Shaffer Construction, we’ve got a really strong team. We’re working towards the same goal, there’s great communication, and endless inspiration in the room!

Walk us through some of the details you’ve alluded to!

Sure! So David mentioned that his favorite detail is the door. It’s amazing. They’re really going to represent the threshold into the D.C. Johnson experience. The doors are floor to ceiling, dark blue velvet, tufted, with brass nail heads. 

The bar is particularly fun. David loves Hermès orange, so a deep version of that color makes an appearance throughout the design. The front of the custom built bar will include tufted velvet in that shade. The back of the bar is mercury glass, the countertops are marble, and the light fixture we’re installing is a nod to emerald cut diamonds.

All of the displays are custom designed as well! That’s been a fun challenge and working with David to create totally new display cases has been a great collaboration.

Is there a particular part of the design you’re excited about most?

I’m so thrilled about the bridal room. Every other room in the new space will feel warm, inviting, but a little more masculine. The bridal room is going to feel incredibly romantic, and just a bit more feminine. With glistening chandeliers, floaty draperies, and a palette of creams and whites, this will be a totally unique space in the new brick and mortar. 

With the design process finishing up, we’re getting very excited to start building and then installing. Stay tuned for photos of the final product, coming in September! 

Further Reading