Featured Store: Fana’s Flagship Takes Flight

A fresh take on a family business: The first boutique from this longtime jewelry wholesaler brings a digitally enhanced bridal experience to New York’s SoHo neighborhood.

April 2, 2024  |  Joyce Kauf

Even a techie who sold his first computer company at age 22 is not immune to the allure of jewelry.
“I always had a lot of respect for the industry; it’s the family business. But I wasn’t into it,” says Bobby Jain, a fourth-generation member of the family that owns longtime wholesale jeweler Fana.

However, technology-driven changes in the design process sparked his interest and “changed everything.” Last September, he opened Fana’s flagship boutique in the SoHo neighborhood of New York.

As a company, Fana is known for its expertise in cutting and selling precious gemstones. But for Jain, this first retail venture presented an opportunity to build his family’s brand with “a fresh eye” and a new approach that focused on bridal.

As CEO and owner of the Fana boutique, Jain set two distinct goals: to introduce customers to the Fana experience by going “far and deep” in its merchandise assortment, and to increase demand for Fana jewelry at the brand’s retail partners.

In addition to taking advantage of Fana’s extensive design library, Jain plans to unveil new collections at the boutique, enabling him to gather sales data before offering the jewelry to retailers.

Inside the new Fana store in SoHo. (Fana)

Courting customers with CAD

Many retailers consider bridal clients “interim customers” who tend not to buy jewelry after the initial purchase of an engagement and wedding ring, observes Jain. In his view, however, this is the optimal time to create long-term customers, and technology can further that goal.

Incorporating computer-aided design (CAD) technology not only draws on Jain’s background, but provides an added-value service to his “detail-oriented” clients.

“Personalization and customization are very important to them, and this is how we can engage them as part of our brand story,” Jain explains. To that end, he employs a full-time CAD designer on staff.

Still, he acknowledges, luxury and tech often do not go together. Not a fan of product videos looping on multiple screens, Jain was adamant about not overwhelming customers with decor that used technology as a visual component. He prefers it to remain “understated and hidden,” even keeping iPads and tablets — which his staff uses to gather information and process transactions, among other things — stowed away in drawers.

Bobby Jain. (Fana)

Art ambience

Fana’s “gallery-esque” design reflects SoHo’s association with art. The boutique features an area where local artists can showcase and sell their work on a quarterly basis, with proceeds going to either the artists or the charity of their choice. Jain also plans to offer scholarships in the future.

As for the store aesthetic, floor-to-ceiling mirrors frame glass-topped white pedestal displays lit by the flattering glow of hanging white and gold fixtures.

You and Me interweaving ring with sapphires and diamonds. (Fana)

Reinforcing this welcoming environment is the company’s emphasis on customer service. “One person caters to everything the customer wants, from diamonds to cappuccino,” says Jain, who took the idea from the personal butler service available at luxury hotels.

He has plans to open boutiques in Miami, London and Dubai, with each store’s decor capturing its city’s distinctive style. Like the SoHo branch, they will all reflect his philosophy of offering “a very elevated jewelry experience” and educating clients about both jewelry in general and Fana’s in particular, so they can have “confidence wherever they buy.”

Boutique front. (Fana)

Main image: Selection of diamond rings. (Fana)

This article is from the March-April 2024 issue of Rapaport Magazine. View other articles here.

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Featured Store: Fana’s Flagship Takes Flight

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