How Lisa Salzer-Wiles Created a Brick-and-Mortar Home for Lulu Frost After 14 Years
Lisa Salzer-Wiles founded Lulu Frost, her line of distinctive, Deco-inspired jewelry, 14 years ago, but it took her that long to land on a just-right physical home for it. When a prime spot in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood surfaced, she snapped it up, and, since opening in the summer of 2017, the space has hosted rotating installations, performances, fresh flowers, and even a popsicle stand. Here’s Lisa on how she creates a real-life retail experience fit for an Insta stories age.
A REAL PRINCE
“Having a brick-and-mortar store in Manhattan has always been my long-term vision for Lulu Frost. It was such a funny thing—the day I started to seriously consider a store, a real-estate broker emailed me and asked if I wanted to check some places out. Within an hour, we found the space in Nolita, one of my all-time favorite neighborhoods in the city. I immediately fell in love with the sense of community, proximity to spots like the New Museum, and the intimate, jewel-box layout of the store itself. Plus, numbers have always fascinated me, and the address 7 Prince just felt right.”
“I felt strongly that our first retail shop should be a place where the Lulu Frost story is told to the fullest degree, from a unique product assortment not found anywhere else to special events that can only be experienced in person. In the fall, legendary style icon Tziporah Salamon brought her ‘art of dressing’ performance to life in our store window for two nights, changing her gorgeous antique outfits seven times and adorning each with Lulu Frost jewelry.”
“We have a DIY charm bar that lets people play with vintage charms that date back to the 1860s to create their own one-of-a-kind pieces on the spot. We’re also going to start hosting a series of weekly DJ evenings at the store with a rotating cast of excellent DJ buddies of mine, with access to curated playlists on Spotify.”
“We knew we wanted to keep the layout open and flexible to allow for changing installations and events, like a flower shop over the summer. Both the cash wrap and the main display counter are custom-built on casters to allow for ease of movement, and we use the street itself! At our summer launch event, we had a popsicle stand out front for guests to cool off, which kept things flowing very nicely. I love the way a smaller space pushes you to be very flexible and creative all at once. We see a huge opportunity to connect with customers personally when they come into the store. One of the things that has always fueled me is interacting with the ladies and gentlemen who buy, wear, and love Lulu Frost. It’s all about storytelling, and, my goodness, I’ve heard some good ones since opening.”