Chatham Hellmers is a Loft District fixture, not to mention our costume jewelry hero. But this holiday season she’s broadening her reach. Offering what struck us as an unusual pop-up approach, she’s opening Glimmer a block or so away from her existing boutique on 2nd Avenue North. Intrigued, we decided to find out more about how Chatham Hellmers does pop up.
As the owner of Charm, Hellmers brings an attitude that’s equal parts brashly independent and unapologetically feminine to the jewelry buying experience. More importantly, she offers accessories that make a statement without a painful price tag, making Charm one of our go-tos for local style.
Unlike Charm, Glimmer is inherently temporary (only open through December). It also offers a different feel than Charm fans are used to ⏤ “a boho vibe,” Hellmers told us, rather than the “blingy” atmosphere of Charm. But that affordability we love will remain in force. “Glimmer is 95% stuff under $50.00,” Hellmers said, “so it is attractive to those holiday gift-seekers.”
Her decision to pop up was driven in part by a place that was begging to be used: “Living downtown and having a business also down here means I’m anxious to have tons of fun activities and life down here ⏤ nothing is a bigger bummer than a space that is just hanging out, all empty and lonesome!”
“The little space next to El Barrio restaurant has always seemed underutilized to me,” Hellmers said. “Walking by it, I always thought, “Wow – that would be a cute little shop,’ and then nobody made it a cute little shop.”
We tend to think of pop-ups as a strategy for new businesses testing the brick-and-mortar waters, but Hellmers decided she could make it work for the more-established Charm. She sees a broader customer base in the “bunch of folks who are waiting for a table at Barrio or Bamboo or Collins Bar, and may not even go that extra block and a half down the street to Charm.” We think she may well be right.
Here’s to Hellmers’ winning combination of neighborhood and business sense, and to the next great holiday gift destination!