Foundrae Opens Its First Store

IndependentsApr 19, 2018

Foundrae Opens Its First Store

The cult fine jewelry brand has set up shop—complete with a functioning library—in downtown New York City.

Foundrae’s first brick-and-mortar store also houses the brand’s offices and design atelier.
 New York--New York City-based fine jewelry brand Foundrae’s symbol-laden medallions and cigar band rings have garnered the line a cult following, and now devotees can visit a space dedicated to it.

 Designer Beth Bugdaycay opened the brand’s first brick-and-mortar retail location in March on the ground floor of 52 Lispenard Street in downtown Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood.

Beth Bugdaycay
Beth Bugdaycay

“The time to open a retail space was right because I really enjoy one-on-one experiences with our customers and am inspired by the interaction,” Bugdaycay explained to National Jeweler. “I wanted to build a place where I can have that interface with the customer, and the customer can be there with the jewelry and have the ability to get creative and build their perfect story.”

The building was originally constructed in 1867. The landmarked, cast iron structure had been victim to a fire and two floods, and was rebuilt by Bugdaycay’s husband, Murat Bugdaycay, a developer, and Angus Pond Architects.

Like Foundrae’s jewelry, everything about the store is imbued with personal and sentimental elements.

The 2,200-square-foot space boasts 18-foot high ceilings. The flooring is made of hand-selected Calcutta marble, which Murat embedded with a bronze Foundrae logo as a birthday surprise for his wife. Solid, hand-hewn wood beams recovered from the original building make up part of the staircase.

Bugdaycay described the store’s interior as “warm and inviting, less like a store and more like my home. A lot of the artwork and books you’ll find throughout the space came from my home, and they are reminders of what I have collected throughout the years.”

An on-site jeweler will customize Foundrae jewelry for customers at this antique jeweler’s bench.
An on-site jeweler will customize Foundrae jewelry for customers at this antique jeweler’s bench.

Books have a central role in the space: walls are lined with white oak bookcases that house tomes from Bugdaycay’s personal library. Many of the volumes are signed by their authors, and two are authored by Bugdaycay’s ancestor—“The Woman Said Yes” and “The Friendly Persuasion” by Jessamyn West.

The books aren’t merely part of the décor; customers can check them out, free of charge.

“I read a ton,” the designer said. “We were trying to figure out ways that we can be inclusive and build a community; for example, having books that people can check out at no expense. Books are a big part of my inspiration, and I want my customers to feel inspired by books as well.”

Foundrae’s flagship also will be home to an on-site jeweler for free-of-charge customization with jewelry purchases.

The décor is completed by refurbished leather chairs from the 1970s embossed and stamped with Foundrae designs, porcelain sculptures by Kate MadDowell and Juliette Clovis that Bugdaycay commissioned for her first New York Fashion Week presentation, a modern oil painting by Tyler Hays of BDDW, as well as antiques such as Austrian bronze snake andirons from the late 1800s and a French mid-century barometer by Jacques Adnet.

Foundrae is open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The store’s interior is filled with many of designer Beth Bugdaycay’s personal items, like, books, art and antiques.
The store’s interior is filled with many of designer Beth Bugdaycay’s personal items, like, books, art and antiques.

Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

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