Injecting cutting edge style into the new shopping center at Chappaqua Crossing, ROCKS Jewelry Gifts Home (“Rocks”) opened its doors this past May. The one of a kind boutique carries unique and modern fine jewelry, fashion jewelry, and home decor. Upon entering the bright and airy space, one is immediately struck by the beautiful artwork on the walls and the chic home accessories artfully displayed.
The store is entirely curated by owner Tanya Tochner, an 18-year resident of Chappaqua. Tochner recently closed her jewelry store in Armonk to focus on the expansion of her business into home design at the Chappaqua Crossing location.
“The home component is all new,” says Tochner. “The idea for it started five years ago but I never had the space for it in Armonk and then this opportunity in Chappaqua came up. Home goods take up a lot of space and we have almost 2,000 square feet here to accommodate us.”
There are no home and jewelry stores in the shopping center so Rocks provides a unique shopping experience.
“The jewelry and the home products really complement each other,” explains Tochner. “Customers come in intending to buy a hostess gift but end up looking at jewelry and vice versa.”
Jewelry That Rocks
“I try to carry pieces that are unique and modern and unlike other jewelry stores,” says Tochner.
Tochner sells a wide array of fine and fashion jewelry. Some favorite designers whose original pieces she currently sells include Jamie Joseph, Janis Savitt, Rebel Designs, Rachel Reinhardt, and Ela Rae. The store also carries the Jolie B. Ray line that Tochner created along with her previous design partner over a decade ago.
But Tochner is always changing things up and on the look out for new and exciting designers.
She is also adept at creating custom pieces. As a child, Tochner always liked fine jewelry and had a penchant for drawing. She discovered that drawing was helpful when she worked on the Jolie B. Ray line, and was able to draw jewelry and give it to her manufacturer to create it. She offers that custom service to all her clients. If a customer requests a specific design, Tochner can draft it on paper, make a model, and then ultimately present them with a final product from that drawing.
Rocks also keeps a convenient database of “wish lists” for their customers. “I always tell women to create a wish list if they’re eyeing certain pieces because their husbands come in to buy birthday or anniversary gifts and they want to know what their wives like,” explains Tochner.
Is Your Table Ready for the Holidays?
For people that love to entertain, Rocks is a treasure trove of gorgeous platters, vases, decanters, barware and bowls. Just in time for the holidays, they are selling modern tabletop accessories that are sure to impress any dinner guest.
Larger home items showcased at the store include ottomans, side tables, benches, lighting and artwork. Tochner offers personalized design services and visits to a client’s home to accessorize their house.
“We try to have something for everyone,” says store manager Wendi Gordon. “We have $18 candles and candles that are over $100. We find that everyone shops at all different price points. We have coasters for $40, candy dishes for $45, and bowls for $250. If you’re going to someone’s house and want to bring a little something, we have plenty of affordable options. If you’re looking for a higher end piece to decorate your home with, we have many choices.”
Staying Ahead of the Trends
On where she derives her inspiration and ideas, Tochner says,” I’ve always had an eye for jewelry and home design. I feel that if I like it myself, I will be passionate about selling it. I also listen to my customers and what they want.”
As for following any favorite bloggers or instagram accounts, Tochner says she does not spend her time doing that. “I don’t want to cloud my judgment. I try to be creative and if you are constantly looking at what everyone else is doing, you can’t come up with your own spin.”
Tochner definitely stays current and does her research. She travels to the home show in North Carolina twice a year, attends the New York shows, and is in the city once or twice a week buying merchandise, fulfilling custom orders or getting complicated jewelry repairs done for customers.
The boutique has a fun party vibe to it. Maybe it is all the sparkle between the glamorous jewels and the beautiful serveware that evokes this feeling. It may also be the friendly staff comprising of local moms that are eager to help you find that perfect gift.
Rocks holds many events at the store featuring local vendors and running various promotions throughout the year. To stay informed of all their fun events and see their newest merchandise, be sure to follow them on instagram at @rocks.jewelry_gifts_home. You can also request to be added to their email list or follow them on Facebook at Rocks by Jolie B. Ray.
The store is located at 480 Bedford Road in Chappaqua and can be reached at (914) 219-5808.
Publisher’s Note: The Inside Press asked Tonya Tochner to explain why she is opening a second location of ROCKS at Chappaqua Crossing–and why she believes customers will appreciate this new store in addition to her much beloved Armonk location.
“Opening up a modern home store was always a future vision for ROCKS. When the opportunity presented itself to open up in my own hometown and offer modern home gifts and jewelry, I could not resist. I was sold when I visited a friend who lives in Chappaqua Crossing and witnessed the beautiful property,” said Tochner.
The Grand Opening date was offered at press time to the Inside Press and is in our print edition but it is waiting for confirmation, too. Tochner promises: “It is going to be great. We will have swag bags, massages, facials, raffles, etc. The first 25 customers will get a free piece of jewelry with their purchase!”
Upon entering ROCKS by Jolie B. Ray in Armonk on a late winter day, the snow is lightly falling outside, giving the shop the appearance of a literal jewel box in a snow globe. The cozy, well curated space dazzles with eye candy from the glittering jewels in the shelves to the art on the walls.
Tanya Tochner, the polished owner, greets customers as she artfully arranges jewelry in amethyst toned displays.
In a town that’s experiencing its own renaissance of sorts, ROCKS is a mainstay, offering consistently on-trend, yet unique jewelry to a loyal customer base for almost seven years. For Tochner, who’s designed jewelry with partner Marjorie Troob for over ten years, opening the shop was a natural progression in providing a higher level of service to her clients. She recounts the shop’s inception, saying, “My design partner and I shared a passion for fine jewelry and left successful corporate careers to pursue our creative interests. Our line, Jolie B. Ray, named for our children, Joshua, Lindsay, Ben and Rachel, was born. Recognizable for its contemporary, timeless designs that incorporate hammered looks, intricate mixed metal work with 18k gold and beautiful gemstones, Jolie B. Ray quickly grew a cult-like following. ROCKS was the logical next step and is now the exclusive provider of our collections.”
ROCKS is renowned for its concierge style approach and carrying uncommon, contemporary, artistic jewelry. Tochner painstakingly scouts couture shows around the country to handpick the designers that will be displayed alongside the Jolie B. Ray designs. Though there are some staples, approximately 20 new lines are added each season at all price points. “We seldom carry the same items twice and work with clients to carefully select just the right piece. If that perfect piece is not in the shop, we will source it and follow-up to ensure satisfaction,” she asserts.
As a jewelry designer, Tochner is adept at forecasting the trends her discerning clientele will crave. In 2018 she predicts, “Younger customers are becoming quite sophisticated, gravitating towards dainty rings and necklaces and little hoop earrings. Similarly, women are layering contemporary jewelry and long necklaces with their more traditional pieces.” Customization is also fashionable with women favoring a more modern take on name plates, while tweens and teens are incorporating monograms within their designs. “Women are now buying multi-functional jewelry,” Tochner adds, “We are veering away from pieces that are solely for special occasions.”
Seeing jewelry as an expression of art, the shop also functions as a gallery. Tochner uses the same discerning eye to select contemporary artists that are in synchrony with ROCKS aesthetic to grace the walls. “The high ceilings of the space simply lent themselves to functioning as a gallery. Jewelry is a form of wearable art and follows similar sensibilities. Curating the gallery is a natural extension of our product offerings and appeal to our customers’ creative expressions.”
It is this holistic approach to servicing the community that also extends to Tochner’s commitment to making the shop accessible for philanthropic endeavors. ROCKS regularly hosts events benefitting local organizations close to her clients’ hearts such as Kids Kloset, a Westchester Jewish Community Services program and the Pleasantville Cottage School, a residential treatment center for young people.
And that community is expanding. Tochner clarifies, “Armonk has become a destination town, boasting many new shops and restaurants. We are enjoying traffic from our neighbors in Bedford, Katonah, Greenwich and Chappaqua.” With the advantages of its setting, also come the challenges of operating a business in a suburban environment. “Business in the suburbs is cyclical,” Tochner says. “Summers, when many children are away in camp, can be slow. Similarly, snow days are quiet. These are issues that NYC retailers don’t experience.”
To combat the challenges inherent in any retail business, Tochner is continuously evolving the shop’s business model. The website, for example, was recently revamped to optimize clients’ virtual shopping experience on those slow summer and snow days. In response to demand, Tochner also now provides liaison services to coordinate the sale of customers’ estate jewelry and is providing jewelry rental for special occasions. These services join ROCKS’ existing menu of offerings including wish lists, heirloom jewelry redesign, repairs for both costume and fine jewelry and personal shopping.
Visit ROCKS by Jolie B. Ray to enjoy an unparalleled shopping experience. For the latest product offerings and jewelry trends, follow them on Instagram, Facebook or visit www.rocksbyjoliebray.com.