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When Beth Hutchens of FoundRae set her sights on another store location for her jewelry brand, it wasn’t as easy as snapping her fingers. In fact, settling on a second storefront to house her modern heirlooms, or what I call expressive armor, happened by chance and fate. In the middle of a blizzard this February, Hutchens met with Brian Bolke of the Conservatory in her New York flagship. Bolke got snowed in at the store, and the two hit it off instantly. The budding friendship naturally turned into Bolke wanting to stock Hutchens in his store, and eventually Hutchens convinced him to let her take over his 40-foot tall tower/storefront/former-elevator-turned-floral-shop smack dab in the middle of Highland Park Village.
The role fate plays in Hutchens’ life relates directly to the experience she hopes to bring to each FoundRae customer. Hutchens started the brand in 2015 with hopes to create a new visual language using mythological and astrological talismans, symbols, and stories that help the wearer bring a part of their inner selves outwards. The expansion to Dallas provides FoundRae with an opportunity to connect with a whole new set of customers in a brick and mortar space, a shopping experience I’ve found Dallas-ites rely on to find new brands and connect with friends.
The new space is only 500 square feet, but is a preview into Hutchens’ whirligig mind: A massive clock adorns the main wall, with books and a centering glass display case found from Hutchens’ vintage hunts. Corkboards on the wall explain the 10 core tenets of the brand and moodboards are built around each tenet to help the customer expand their worldview and find which tenet speaks to them.
To fete the occasion, Hutchens and Bolke hosted a cocktail to allow Dallas VIPs a sneak peek into the new store, with an intimate dinner hosted by the duo to allow their two worlds to intersect. When the two were giving their toast, Bolke told the story of how Hutchens invited him to pick something out from the store to wear for the evening. He was immediately drawn to a vintage key, stating that he used to wear a key around his neck as a child, and he chose the key to honor both that memory, and also honor that he was giving the key to his former floral shop to Beth for her to open and unlock the next chapter of FoundRae.
Kevin LeBlanc is the Fashion Associate at ELLE Magazine. He covers fashion news, trends, and anything to do with Robyn Rihanna Fenty.