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New Honora Store Celebrates Pearls
Pearl Scene

When you talk about cultured pearls, the first name that comes to mind is Mikimoto. Now the Mikimoto store in New York has some new retail competition from a younger pearl brand.

Honora, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, has developed consumer name recognition quickly over the past decade, riding the wave of popularity of freshwater pearls and the media exposure of television shopping. The company is now promoting its brand with a prime retail location at 30 East 57th Street, between Madison and Park, down the block from Tiffany.

The store is relatively small in size but warm, light, and elegantly restrained in feel. It glows like a jewelry box with light wood, creamy displays, and lots of illumination. It's as flattering to skin tones as to the luster of pearls.

"We paid a lot of attention to lighting," says Joel Schechter, CEO of Honora. "We are very pleased with the results."

The jewelry is displayed in inset cases along each wall and free standing cases in the center. A mannequin bust wears fashionable, very long strands of freshwater pearls.

The product on display, as you might expect, highlights a wide range of pearls. Jewelry starts at $50 for freshwater pearl jewelry and ranges up to $50,000 for South Sea strands.

Neighbor Tiffany is also building a retail pearl brand with Iridesse, now with 13 locations, the most recent in the Oakbrook Center Mall in Oakbrook, Illinois, which opened in November. With Iridesse expected to grow to 20 stores in the next few years, retail titan Tiffany clearly feels the market for pearls is under-served.

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Honora's new store in New York.
Honora's new store in New York.