Stepping into Harper Ray Accessories, a new jewelry store in Southfield, you’ll find necklaces, bracelets, anklets, rings and earrings that sparkle and line the space.
The store is neatly organized in white and pink, and the walls are covered in mirrors covered with special sayings, such as “You can’t pay me” and “Anything you want, princess.”
“We deeply believe that every woman has a little princess somewhere,” said Gillian Bradley, 27, of Southfield, the store owner who loved glitter as a child. “We want to make sure we get them out and celebrate it.”
The chic, sassy, and frosty appeal is proving popular. When the store opened on September 26 at 29139 Southfield Road, Bradley said she had recouped 50% of the funding spent to launch the store in the first week of operation.
“We feel like it’s for us by us,” Bradley said of the business model. “Most jewelry is for men to buy for women for special occasions. So we believe you can buy your own jewelry. You deserve to shine every day, not just on special occasions. don’t have to buy it for you We felt there was a gap in the industry, and that’s what we’re here to fill.
Before the business started, Bradley created her own jewelry and sold it while attending Farmington Hills Harrison High School in 2012. She loved sequins so much that her family found it everywhere.
She then moved to the state of Michigan, where she obtained a food science degree with a concentration in packaging in 2018.
“As soon as I graduated from college, I decided to start taking (the business) seriously and started doing it full time. And last year was when it really took off, ”she said.
She named the company after her grandfather, James Harper,who she said was a black anesthesiologist in Detroit. He received his undergraduate degree from Howard University and a medical degree from the University of Washington. He passed away when she was 6 and he played a huge role in her childhood life. One of his favorite memories of him is when he attended father-daughter dances with his grandchildren, so his siblings didn’t have to argue over who was going with their father.
She calls her customers Harper Baes, in her honor, and she wants the store, which has six employees, to represent every bold and confident woman through jewelry, accessories and clothing.
“We want every Harper Bae who walks in here to feel like the princess she is,” Bradley said.
“I feel like a good representative of the Harper Baes and I know what they like,” she said. “I know what they want to see. So it’s really easy to come up with stuff and just focus on what I feel my audience likes and what I like too. I really feel like it’s perfectly aligned.
Bradley interacts with her customers on Instagram Live, where she showcases new products and gets to know her shoppers. Tamira Owens, 27, of Detroit, has been a customer of the store since 2019.
“Harper Ray creates a vibe that I just can’t deny,” Owens said. “The quality of the jewelry is amazing and the new store is beautiful. Everything this business stands for keeps me coming back.”
The store offers in-house designed jewelry which is then created by a manufacturer. You can order personalized pendants and chains and find gold and platinum plated jewelry that is water and tarnish resistant, as well as sterling silver earrings and many hypoallergenic items. There are also chains available in smaller sizes to fit children.
Prices start at $ 5 and go up to $ 232 for custom parts. But the store is big on sales. Each Tuesday there will be three to five items discounted to $ 20, and different items will be on sale each week.
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The store also organizes social media challenges and events for its customers. Bradley plans to invite a black Santa Claus to visit the store on the first three Saturdays in December so the kids can take photos with them during the first three hours of operation. The opening hours of the store are Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The company operated in a small office space, but its popularity increased on Instagram to reach more than 21,600 followers last year. So Bradley said she thinks it’s time for her longtime clients to get the full experience in person.
And since she is from Southfield and the city is a central location for her customers, she chose to set up her first store there. She said she plans to expand her business to one to three cities next year.
Contact writer Chanel Stitt on Twitter: @ByChanelStitt. Become a subscriber or offer a subscription.