May 8, 2014
12:24 PM
Style & Shopping

Online Boutique of Modern Jewelry Is Passion of Former Darien Executive

Online Boutique of Modern Jewelry Is Passion of Former Darien Executive

Element Bronze Cuff by La Corza, $375.

Because unique is the new black. Because handmade is the new modern. Because you love discovering jewelry as interesting and modern as you. Welcome to Visible Interest.

Launched at the end of last year, Visible Interest, with its tagline “Decidedly Modern Jewelry,” is an online jewelry boutique featuring the work of a select group of independent designers. It’s all the brainchild of Darien resident and former marketing executive Sue Haxager-Kunze (below).

In today’s world, where every store has a website and online shopping is almost more popular than pounding the pavement for deals (reportedly there were $2.29 billion sales on Cyber Monday in 2013, up 15.7 percent over the previous year), Haxager-Kunze wanted to create an online shopping experience that stood apart.

Unlike Etsy, the online marketplace that allows any and all designers around the world to create their own virtual shops and sell their unique goods directly to customers, Visible Interest only features a small selection of pieces from a vetted group of designers.

“I love to shop online,” says Haxager-Kunze. “The Internet is about choice and selection, but that’s also a bit of a downfall. It’s overwhelming. You’re looking for earrings and there aren’t just 4,000 earrings, there are 4,000 pages. Who has the time to find that perfect piece?”

Visible Interest is a curated shop–a la an independent store in Greenwich or Westport–that presents its own unique aesthetic.

That style can be summed up in one word: Modern.

Much of the jewelry included on the site boasts clean lines and distinctive materials. It’s sophisticated but not fancy. “It’s a little uptown and a little downtown,” says the owner.

“I thought maybe there was a need for an aesthetically driven site,” says Haxager-Kunze. “We’re not trying to be everything for everybody. [This is] something that’s really for people who have a specific aesthetic.”

Take, for example, the sleek minimalistic lines of the Koko Ring by designer Selin Kent (above). Or the industrial brushed metal of the Deco Drop Earrings by designer Liz Law (below).

“Almost everything is made by hand,” Haxager-Kunze says of the jewelry featured on Visible Interest. “Those who do manufacture, do [so] in small batches. I really like that notion. It’s a little piece of art that someone really thought about and handled themselves.”

Haxager-Kunze has always been drawn to the Modernist aesthetic in all forms, so when selecting designers to be included on the website, she first thinks about what she likes.

She says she tries to select, “something that speaks to me. Something that makes me swoon.”

“I really feel like I’ve preselected very unique designers,” she says. “I look for designers who led me to start this, ones who aren’t everywhere …Hopefully I’m bringing together really strong players in this aesthetic.”

There are just 12 designers included on the site, and each features just 20 pieces of jewelry. Haxager-Kunze plans to increase the number of designers to between 15 and 20, and after that rotate them to keep the options selective.

Currently there are four Connecticut-based designers featured: Scott Cusson (necklace, left), Lauren Chisholm (earrings, below), Brother Wolf and Created by A.

Price points vary from affordable to those associated with very fine jewelry.

After a long career in marketing and advertising in Manhattan, Haxager-Kunze decided to move in a different direction and focus on her longtime interest in fashion. Through her marketing experience, she had worked with many independent jewelers who needed help with branding.

“They’re so busy creating pieces … they really had very little time and little resources to market correctly,” says Haxager-Kunze. “I realized there must be thousands of these talented designers. That’s what led me to do this.”

Reaction to Visible Interest has been very positive and sales have been growing since the launch.

Check out all that Visible Interest has to offer by visiting the website

Contact me by email at khartman@connecticutmag.com and follow me on Twitter, and connect with Connecticut Magazineon Twitter, on Facebook and on Google +

 

Online Boutique of Modern Jewelry Is Passion of Former Darien Executive

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