When Stacey Krantz started making jewelry during grad school in the ’90s, she didn’t think it would become her career. But after selling her earrings, rings and necklaces at art shows in Washington, D.C., for a year, she quit her graduate program and began selling jewelry full time.
After more than two decades of running her jewelry company, InBloom, Krantz is opening her first brick-and-mortar location on East Patrick Street in Downtown Frederick. InBloom Jewelry is set to open on April 3 and will feature a wide range of Krantz’s jewelry collections and will also operate as a studio.
Krantz works in silver and gold, as well as a variety of diamonds and gemstones, including all of the birthstones in her birthstone collection.
“I’m a fourth-generation Fredericktonian, so no other place than Frederick would be my beginning,” Krantz said. “I had a great realtor and found this space in December. Here I am, three months later, ready to open. I’m so excited.”
Krantz exclusively sold to galleries until about 2010, when the market shifted and she began to sell directly to customers. Her children were in school, and she felt compelled to interact with clients more often and attend art shows again.
But that soon gave way to what would become InBloom’s main focus, custom orders, though she offers a variety of pre-made designs and collections, too.
“People started asking me to do their wedding sets and reset the diamond they had inherited from a grandparent, that kind of thing,” Krantz said. “And although hesitant at first, I started to say yes, and then that grew into where I find myself today, which is really a true custom jeweler.”
Custom designs sometimes use an already-existing design as a launch pad, Krantz said, or she might start from scratch with the clients. Often, clients bring in old jewelry or pendants that hold personal significance but are not often worn. At first, Krantz was intimidated by the emotional value of the pieces, although she knew she had the skills necessary to respectfully craft something new.
“If someone comes in and buys something from you because they love it, it’s one thing,” she said. “They’re loving your work, they’re supporting you, they’re buying it. But custom work is very collaborative, so there’s some risk involved.”
Katie Urquiza, InBloom’s marketing manager, said the jump to custom jewelry has paid off. In the past few years, Krantz has received increased onsite traffic at her home studio in Braddock Heights. That space will close to the public with the opening of her downtown storefront.
“She’s a great people person,” Urquiza said. “She has a really good way of understanding what the person is looking for, what’s sentimental to them, and then also really understanding the physical aspect of the jewelry ... for a person’s style and taste.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Krantz stopped going to art shows and realized how much she enjoyed focusing all of her energy on client interactions and creating new collections. Meeting with clients one-on-one became more important than ever but also more difficult within the confines of her home studio.
“Because of that shift [to custom work], it really is working out better for us to be able to just sit down in a physical location and meet with the customer one-on-one,” Urquiza said. “Stacey can sketch out ideas, she can get them involved in the whole process, they can do try-ons and that kind of thing.”
The downtown store will be open to the public Thursday through Sunday. Customers can choose from jewelry at a variety of prices. No appointment is necessary to begin speaking with Krantz or a staff member about potential custom designs, although Krantz does require appointments once the process has begun. The shop will also sell some goods from other Frederick vendors, including Krantz’s father, a woodworker.
“Being able to get something really beautiful as a gift or if you’re getting engaged or you’re celebrating a big birthday or anniversary, we can do that for the community in a way that is very personal and really high quality and well-designed,” Krantz said. “I’m just excited about it.”