Featured Store: Marrow Fine Sparkles with Substance

Designer Jillian Sassone looks deep to craft the pieces she offers at her California and Chicago showrooms.

May 23, 2024  |  Joyce Kauf

Jillian Sassone believes “jewelry has to be more than pretty.” The founder and creative director of Marrow Fine began her business reimagining the “good old bones” of heirloom jewelry into exciting new pieces.

“Our message is sparkle with substance,” says Sassone, who is also known for her signature stacking rings and bridal designs. She credits social media with driving brand awareness. Celebrities like Margot Robbie, Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly are among her many fans.

Making the rounds

Sassone and her husband Tim, who is also her business partner, take a proactive in-person approach to building their business across the country. “We have a traveling trunk show every weekend except holidays,” she says. Two alternating teams travel to major cities and some second-tier cities that have few independent jewelers.

Trunk shows are a great way to test the market,” says Sassone. Chicago was the company’s “top performing market from day one,” and a deciding factor in the couple’s decision to open a third location — the first outside their California base.

Marrow Fine launched in 2017, with the first retail location opening in San Diego County’s Del Mar neighborhood in 2019, followed by Newport Beach in 2021. In November 2023, the couple opened their newest branch on Chicago’s Gold Coast.

Marrow storefront Chicago image

Sassone prefers to call these locations “showrooms” rather than stores. She recalls the jewelry experience being “a little daunting with staff who size you up the moment you walk in.” However, “a showroom is where you come to spend time to get inspired. Even if you don’t buy that day, you leave with an impression that makes you feel better.”

Luxe decor in the Windy City

The Chicago showroom pays homage to the city’s Art Deco heritage. With its monochromatic red setting, its tiered, embossed velvet sofas, and its scalloped wall vitrines set off by terrazzo flooring, the showroom exudes the ambience of a luxurious hotel lobby.

Although each location differs in color and feel, they all feature a “babe cave” for private consultation. In Chicago, the secluded, velvet-lined alcove resembles the inside of a ruby. To mark the opening of that branch, Sassone created an exclusive band with the city’s name engraved on the back, giving it a special appeal for “people who are proud to be from Chicago.”

While she’s been focused on getting that store up and running, her short list of next cities includes Dallas, Boston, and Washington, DC.

“Sometimes people stop me on the street and ask if I’m wearing a Marrow,” says Sassone, who started at her kitchen table. “It’s such a great compliment when people recognize your work. It’s the feeling of being in on something.”

Images: The new Marrow Fine boutique in Chicago. (Marrow Fine)

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

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Featured Store: Marrow Fine Sparkles with Substance

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