SOHO — City trend-seekers have a new spot to search for affordable accessories.
The previously online-only jewelry seller BaubleBar opened a huge pop-up store on Greene Street Thursday that makes ample use of technology, with iPad stations to personalize pieces and video screens with style tips.
BaubleBar, which launched online in early 2011, wants to become a "one-stop shop" for trendy jewelry priced around $40 for a necklace or bracelet, executive Ashley Fidel said Friday.
"We want to become what Sephora is for makeup," she said, referring to the makeup superstore. "If you ask someone where they go for jewelry, you get a blank stare. We want to be that destination."
Women who would ordinarily pay around $100 for a necklace, combining designer investment pieces with "fast fashion" from chains like H&M are initially skeptical of the quality of lower-cost items, Fidel said.
"But once women touch and feel our product, they totally get it," she said.
The 4,000-square-foot store at 131 Greene St. has interactive stations where shoppers can use apps on iPads to design customized jewelry, selecting fonts and colors.
Customers can look at sample merchandise in front of them and then use the iPads to customize it, said Conor O'Hollaren, a strategist with the Lower East Side-based creative agency Gin Lane Media. The firm worked with BaubleBar to create the technology, which will soon be available on the jewelry company's website, too.
"It changes the whole shopping experience," O'Hollaren said.
Customer Helen Howell, a social services director visiting from Seattle, shopped Friday for a present for her 13-year-old daughter. She said she spotted necklaces and bracelets she would wear, too.
"It's all very affordable," she said. "Who cares if it won't be in next season?"
BaubleBar, which was founded by young Harvard Business School graduates Amy Jain and Daniella Yacobovsky, is testing its possibilities for opening permanent shops.
"It's something we're going to take nationally over the next year," Fidel said.
Located at 131 Greene St. between West Houston and Prince streets, BaubleBar will be open through August 13 Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.