A couple brings an online store to Main Street
When Lauren and Todd Decker were tossing around ideas six years ago for a brick-and-mortar version of their online jewelry store, the don’t-want list was longer than the want.
They didn’t want harsh lighting, intrusive sales pitches or anything that might turn a customer’s special moment into a stressful one.
The couple opened their store, which they called Curated, at 1 East Main in Beacon in April 2017, sharing space with photographer Alicia King, hence King + Curated. When the Deckers struck out on their own in 2019, moving to a larger space at 530 Main St., they kept the name, with King’s approval.
Having a storefront was important, Lauren says, because “it instills a level of trust. The store helps bridge the gap and allows people to get personal with what they’re seeing. They can touch it and get an idea of how things look in person, versus on a model.”
“A lot of customers have told us that if there was no physical location, they wouldn’t feel secure about shopping online,” Todd adds.
King + Curated specializes in custom designs, in styles ranging from classic to contemporary. “We’ve always felt a lot of fine jewelry stores are intimidating,” Lauren says. “We use warm colors to light the shop, have jute rugs, lots of plants and candles to create an environment that allows people to be comfortable rather than feeling pressured to buy something they can’t afford.”
Todd adds: “If someone has a good first impression they tend to come back, even if it’s three months later.”
Lauren, who studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, says she finds nothing wrong with traditional design, “but we go for more colored stones. We like to play with height and asymmetrical design, unusual pairings and just making sure that everything feels special, not common. We see a lightbulb go off for people when they realize, ‘I thought I wanted … but you opened up the floodgates in terms of what can be done.’ ”
“For me,” Lauren notes, “jewelry is storytelling, not just a luxury item. It’s usually purchased when there’s a life event and becomes part of a family story. It’s not a status symbol. It’s helping build memories that hold emotional value and history.”
Todd’s roles in this are many, including product photography, website maintenance, accounting and building the display cases. “He allows me to put all my energy into designing and developing our brand,” Lauren says.
She says that the couple carries jewelry with “price points that work for anybody, including brass bracelets, pieces in sterling silver and more aspirational pieces. We like to think we’re elegant, but not snooty. Many people don’t understand why things cost what they do, and we encourage them to ask questions, and they will get honest answers from us.”
Another topic, increasingly important to younger customers, according to Todd, is if the materials were “ethically sourced.” He explains: “We offer lab diamonds that weren’t mined.”
The Deckers also emphasize they welcome same-sex couples; some engaged customers have told them they felt uncomfortable at other jewelry stores shopping for rings. “We always want everyone to feel included, with no awkwardness, no judgment on orientation,” Lauren says. “We are all about supporting love.” Todd adds: “The store pulls the right kind of people to us.”
The couple discovered Beacon on a 2013 visit from Brooklyn and made the move in 2014. They say they especially enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow shop owners. “They’re our community, our friends,” Lauren says. To foster that, Lauren co-founded the annual Beacon Hop and Shop with Erin Murphy Doan from Reservoir, which has since relocated to Cold Spring.
“It’s easy, as an entrepreneur, to keep your head in your work,” says Lauren. “It gets so busy you forget you have this lovely network of people surrounding you.”
King + Curated is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Thursday to Sunday. See kingandcurated.com or call 845-440-3368.