Brooklyn Charm has been a fixture in New York City’s jewelry scene since 2010, but the small business has recently received a surge in interest, courtesy of TikTok.
Customers have taken to TikTok to share their experiences making custom charm bracelets or necklaces, helping Brooklyn Charm usher in a new generation of shoppers looking to make their own custom pieces.
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The jewelry store, which has locations in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and at Chelsea Market as well as Ventura, Calif., has experienced an influx of new customers over the last few months, thanks in large part to the organic videos, which have amassed more than 4.1 million views on TikTok. The popularity is part of a larger trend of charm bracelets and necklaces making a comeback among younger consumers.
“Charms are historically talismans,” said Brooklyn Charm founder and chief executive officer Tracie Campbell. “They are little pieces of memories and significance in our lives that are nostalgic or emotional. There’s an attachment that one has to a charm, and that’s why charms in general across history have always been something people have and wear.”
“TikTok is TikTok — it’s a special beast and it just takes one person to share something and for that to go viral, then everyone else wants to share that. I think that’s what has made it popular — just people wanting to share the charms they have and why they have them,” Campbell added.
The viral TikTok videos take viewers into Brooklyn Charm stores, where the company offers a wide variety of charms, ranging from quirky styles like mini hot sauce bottles and fried eggs to personal pieces like zodiac signs and letters that can be attached to various chains to make charm bracelets or necklaces. The content creators show the store’s charm assortment, the creation process and they explain why they chose the charms, giving the videos a personal element.
Campbell explained that these videos have caused a huge boost in business for all Brooklyn Charm locations, particularly the new Greenpoint location.
Brooklyn Charm previously had a location in Williamsburg, but the store had to close during the pandemic, Campbell said. A new Greenpoint location opened this June, with support from a business partner — but the initial reception was sluggish.
“It was a very slow start because we didn’t really have any marketing done for ourselves,” she said. “I realized later that we went the wrong route trying to market the place. We were trying to hit up news outlets and no one really cared or wanted to feature us. We were like, ‘Come on, this is a comeback story.’”
But now, thanks to the viral TikTok videos, business has been booming to the point where the stores are still trying to meet demand.
“We’re just so eternally grateful for all of this sudden surge in business,” Campbell said. “It has been a difficult couple of years coming from being able to make a living, to not making a living because of COVID[-19], so we’re finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Right now, Campbell has no plans to add store locations, but she said she’d be open to licensing opportunities in other cities.
Overall, Campbell said she thinks Brooklyn Charm resonates with customers because of its customizable experience, and offerings, which are mostly costume jewelry quality, are more affordable than other brands.
Brands such as Pandora and Kendra Scott have offered customizable jewelry for years, and paved the way for newer labels like Catbird, Alison Lou and Foundrae, which offer similar customizable experiences.
At Brooklyn Charm, popular charms include cherries, dice, hearts, butterflies, flowers and customized engravings, Campbell said.
“The charm [trend] was already there,” Campbell said. “What was popular was the stuff that was almost unattainable. Some of these charm necklaces and bracelets that people are inspired by are $400, $600 or $1,200, and those aren’t even real gold. So, all of these girls see charm necklaces they can’t afford and then all of a sudden there’s a place where they can afford it. That is at the core of what we represent.”
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