In the spring of 2010, Tracie Campbell opened Brooklyn Charm, a place for jewelry fanatics, gift givers, and creative types to craft the perfect piece of jewelry for themselves or a friend. Since starting the store, Campbell’s sales have risen steadily. In fact, the first-time business owner estimates that her store’s revenue increased by 15 to 25 percent over the past several months. During the 2011 holidays, Brooklyn Charm saw sales spike thanks in part to her participation in the popular Columbus Circle market.
The store’s growing reputation can be attributed to many factors: The boost of in-store items from 300 to 1,300, the promotions from one of her Etsy websites, Epoch Beads, her participation in Williamsburg Walks and Artists and Fleas, and her placement in international tourist guides from Sweden and Japan. “I catch a lot of tourists taking pictures of themselves in front of the store because the sign says the word ‘Brooklyn,’” she said. “They won’t even come in. That’s the genius behind the name. ‘Brooklyn’ makes locals feel more local and tourists feel like they participated in Brooklyn activities. It’s the only charming borough. To say Queens Charm or Manhattan Charm just doesn’t quite strike a chord like Brooklyn Charm.”
After studying studio art in Southern California and teaching jewelry design at Michael’s Arts and Crafts, Campbell decided to open her own business with the support of her husband. Along with in-store merchandise, Brooklyn Charm has its own Etsy page with 10,000 products which can be shipped globally, either wholesale or to individuals. “I’m like a kid in the ultimate candy store,” she said. “It’s really fun to pick something up and not worry about how much it costs because it’s already mine.”
Necklaces are the top seller at Brooklyn Charm, but rings, bracelets, earrings, anklets do well too. The store offers basic and advanced lessons in jewelry making, and often hosts events for kids, birthday celebrations, and bachelorette parties. Participants learn how to turn jump rings, knot pearls, string beads, and wrap wires. “I wanted to give our customers the opportunity to be creative,” said Campbell. “We live in a neighborhood where everyone wishes they were creative but aren’t necessarily so.”
While similar shops buy from warehouses in China and Japan, Campbell offers a wide range of products from Tibet, Germany, Austria, and other worldwide suppliers. If a customer’s jewelry needs work, Brooklyn Charm engraves, assembles, solders, repairs, and does custom designs.
As for the future of the store, Campbell hopes to build on Brooklyn Charm’s success by franchising it across the nation. “My ultimate goal is never to have to worry about money,” she said. “I think you always have to worry about money even if you have lots of it, but I want to support my family. I want to be able to take care of myself and the people I love. That’s why I do what I do.”
145 Bedford Avenue