The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Contemporary jewelry boutique brings a touch of Austin to Dallas

A clever 5-year-old blond girl walks into kindergarten one day with a business proposition in mind. A lover of jewelry, Adriane Sack set her sights on a classmate’s ring. Most young girls are drawn to sparkly objects, but Sack knew quality when she saw it. The ring was a special family heirloom. Sack proposed a trade to the other girl, her stuffed animal for the girl’s ring. Sack’s classmate felt like it was a reasonable deal and accepted the offer. Both were content with the trade, but their parents were not. Sack’s mother even thought that her daughter had stolen the ring from the classmate. The girl’s mother made the call over to the Sack residence to explain the transaction and declared it null and void. Sack had to give her prize back to the other family, but she held on to her love of jewelry.

Growing up, Sack was always drawn to jewelry. She remembers receiving the Tiffany & Co. catalog in the mail.

“I don’t know why we got the catalog,” Sack said. “My parents were hippies. [They] could have billions of dollars, and they would never spend it there. Ever! But I would spend hours circling [pieces of jewelry]. I was obsessed, and I wanted it.”

Now, Sack is no longer obsessed with jewelry, but it has taken over her life. The petite 30-year-old is the owner of Gemma Collection, a small fashion jewelry boutique in Snider Plaza.

“Because it’s my business, I don’t like it as much anymore,” she said. “There is a saying that if you work at a restaurant, you will either become fat or you’ll get sick of food, and I’m at the sick of food part. Not that I’m sick of jewelry, but if you see anything all day, and it becomes your job and livelihood, you think about it differently. I’m not thinking, ‘This is gorgeous.’ I’m thinking, ‘This is going to sell.’”

Owning businesses runs in the Sack family – both her father and sister have their own small businesses. Sack believes that small businesses are important to the economy of a community. She saw that Dallas had an opportunity for a small jewelry boutique.

Originally from Austin, Sack frequently shopped the many local boutiques. After she graduated from Northwestern University, where she studied journalism, she moved to Dallas and worked in the business world before she and many others in her company were laid off in 2011. Sack began to brainstorm what she would like to do next.

“I was looking to maybe try something new,” Sack said. “If I was going to start over, I wanted to do something that I really liked. I didn’t want to do something else in finance.”

She was inspired by her favorite jewelry store in Austin, Eliza Page. The store, which has an interior design that mimics the inside of a jewelry box, sells contemporary fashion pieces at a higher price. Sack didn’t think that Dallas had a similar store, and wanted to start one that had lower prices.

The price of items in Gemma Collection ranges from $50 to $200. She started an LLC in May 2012 and opened her physical store in September of the same year.

Describing how she started planning for her store, Sack said, “A lot of those things organically happen. You just have an idea and roll with the punches.”

The name of her store comes from the Italian word for gemstone, which she thought sounded pretty. Gemma Collection features about 40 different designers, most of them small and local.

I’m very glad my designs are in her store,” said Gresham Hodges, a Dallas native and jewelry designer. “She’s provided great exposure and brought me new customers.”

Sack chose to sell items that she herself would want to buy, but would also attract others in the area.

The atmosphere, layout and design of Gemma Collection appeal to many groups. It is fresh, clean and modern. Softer popular music like MGMT and Bastille plays through the speakers. Although the space is small, there is still plenty of room to walk around. The furniture is eclectic. There are many wooden pieces of different shapes, sizes and finishes Many different geometric mirrors are arranged on the walls. The walls are a texturized cream, and the floors are a beige stone. The only color in the store is the Tiffany blue cabinet in the back of the store and the gold, white, silver and Tiffany blue ribbons hanging in the window. It is evident her color scheme is inspired from her days of circling jewelry in the Tiffany & Co. catalog. The colors also create a calm shopping atmosphere in the store.

Sack knows her customers and what products they would like to buy. People of a wide range of ages visit her store, but her regular customers are women over the age of 40. These women expect exceptional quality and have a particular style.

On a quiet Monday afternoon, Sack makes phone calls about inventory. She has a few defective beaded bracelets that she knows she cannot sell to her customers because they have a discolored bead.

“I don’t feel comfortable selling them,” she told the company.

She caters to her customers. A young woman in her twenties asked her if she had other pieces to match a particular ring she bought. Sack immediately knew the earrings, necklaces and bracelets that would match the ring. Then, she looked further, suggesting items that Sack thought she would like.

She is very sweet and easy-going but diligent in her work and thorough,” Hodges said. “She’s always on top of things and organized.”

In the future, Sack would like to have another store in one of the suburbs of Dallas but said that currently it is not financially feasible.

“I do everything myself,” she stated, saying that she would need to hire more help. “I believe that if you want great help, you need to pay them well.”

At the moment, Sack wants to grow and strengthen the current location.

“I would like to expand my customer base. I have very loyal customers. I would like more SMU students,” she said.

She sees that there is an opportunity with SMU students, but many don’t know about her store.

“I really want to work more with online,” she said. “I just started putting effort into it this year. Online would be where I would realistically would like to spend more time.”

She takes her job seriously and realizes that it is not glamorous working in the jewelry industry, but she still enjoys having her own store and being a part of the small business community in Dallas.

“This isn’t a project for me,” she said. “This is how I make my living.”

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