gorjana selects Coast Village Road for newest location
A Coast Village Road storefront compelled Gorjana Reidel and Jason Griffin Reidel to open their 19th retail location of their jewelry company gorjana.
Prior to opening gorjana at 1273 Coast Village Road last week, they hadn’t acquired a new storefront during the pandemic. Sure, they’d finished pre-existing locations, but the couple stepped back before continuing the brand’s expansion.
“Prior to the pandemic, we were doing so much planning. The one thing that the pandemic taught us is to do less planning and just be present in the day to day,” Mr. Reidel told the News-Press.
They opened their first store five years ago on a whim in their home city of Laguna Beach, and it was a success. They’ve grown the business to include three stores in New York, one in Scottsdale, Ariz., and 15 locations throughout California.
But the Montecito location reminds them of their nexus, Laguna Beach. He describes the two cities as coastal, artisan communities attractive to tourists but with a strong core of locals.
Their family loves visiting Montecito and hiking alongside the ocean. He said it’s one of few places that are hard to leave.
In November, they took a road trip to enjoy a long weekend in the Santa Barbara and Montecito area.
They didn’t plan to look at retail locations, but they made a business connection that contacted the couple when the storefront on Coast Village Road became available.
“When the space came up, it felt perfect for our brand,” Mr. Reidel said. “It just felt like the right space.”
The storefront felt true to their style, and they transformed it to feel like home.
“It was really important to us that if we did a store that it was something we were 100% about,” he said.
The pandemic was intimidating to them as business owners, especially with a couple stores in the process of being built.
“It’s a little scary because you have these stores, and you don’t know what’s going to happen to them,” Mr. Reidel said.
gorjana lost a wholesale customer when Nordstrom’s State Street location closed. But overall, the business was growing with online sales.
“We want quality over quantity with our wholesale business,” Mr. Reidel said. “We still remain committed to wholesale as part of what we do, but we are really committed to the small, independently owned stores.”
“Quality over quantity” has become his motto. It fits the couple’s original vision for the brand as well.
Ms. Reidel started making jewelry early in the couple’s marriage as a hobby. She worked for a high-end jewelry designer and took an interest in stringing beads and curating beautiful stones.
Meanwhile, the couple was pursuing business ideas like a skincare line.
“We just knew we caught that entrepreneur vibe,” Mr. Reidel said.
When boutiques started selling Ms. Reidel’s jewelry, they let the business naturally expand.
They focused on simplistic designs fit for layering and timeless collections.
“When you have simplicity, it becomes timeless,” he said. “We have styles that have been around for 10 years, and they’re still best sellers because they’re timeless.”
gorjana manufactures fine jewelry with 14-carat gold and diamonds alongside fashion jewelry at a lower price point.
The couple hopes the store is an inclusive experience.
“We just celebrated 20 years together, and we’ve been doing this for 18 years together. It’s part of our journey,” Mr. Reidel said.
“We believe in retail so much,” he said. “We’re a family-run business. We believe when you look at the store in Montecito, we put a lot of energy into making it feel like you’re walking into someone’s home.”
gorjana’s catalog is also available to shop online at gorjana.com. The storefront at 1273 Coast Village Road in Montecito is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to5 p.m. Sundays.