Broken English Is Selling ‘Jewelry for Everyone’

Attainable chic: With an elegant ambiance and a range of price points, the New York boutique caters to celebrities as well as everyday connoisseurs.

July 30, 2023  |  Joyce Kauf
Retail Opener July August Magazine 1280 USED 073023

Just steps from its original SoHo location, the newly reopened Broken English boutique reflects what is “sexy, cool and amazing about New York City,” says owner Laura Freedman.

In true New York style, it wows with sleek design and a curated collection of contemporary and vintage jewelry and home decor. Tall glass windows create an entrance that stands out from the surrounding old brick buildings. Inside, light from an Art Deco Palmette chandelier in pink Murano glass dances on the antique cases, which hold diamond and gemstone jewelry as well as colorful Lucite hoop earrings.

Both elegant and inviting, the shop offers “jewelry for everyone,” says Freedman, who believes “jewelry should commemorate memories, milestones and moments.” To that end, she sells items at all price points. “It’s part of our DNA, of who we are as a brand and what we represent: We carry jewelry that is aspirational and pieces that are attainable.”

It’s the same approach she follows at her other — and first — store in Los Angeles, which opened in 2006, taking its name from Marianne Faithfull’s iconic song. The New York branch started as a pop-up in 2014 and later closed before relocating to its current spot.

New Broken English boutique. (Broken English)

Along with celebrity clients on both coasts, her customers include people who started with less expensive pieces and have “grown into” higher price points and different styles over time, she says.

Freedman follows her intuition when selecting jewelry, choosing “innovative” pieces as well as those that make her feel good. Working with designers who are “incredible businesspeople” helps, she says. However, she also keeps a finger on the market’s pulse so she can carry jewelry that “clients gravitate to and [that] is very much part of the zeitgeist.”

She credits her mother, a former Las Vegas showgirl, with influencing her aesthetic. While she remembers the “whole regalia of feather headdresses,” she also recalls looking for geodes after the family moved to a tiny town outside of Zion National Park in Utah.

Today, she collects display cases from around the world, keeping them in a storage facility. “I buy them whenever I see them,” she says. For a future boutique, perhaps? “Maybe.”

Display of pendants inside new Broken English boutique. (Broken English)

This article is from the July-August 2023 issue of Rapaport Magazine. View other articles here.

Main image: Broken English owner Laura Freedman. (Broken English)

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Retail Opener July August Magazine 1280 USED 073023 Broken English Is Selling ‘Jewelry for Everyone’

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