When I took on the role as Design Ambassador for JCK’s Design Center, I didn’t go into the experience with eyes wide shut. I knew there would be some serious challenges in changing false perceptions and gaining excitement about the next evolution of this essential part to the show. What I wasn’t expecting was the outpouring of love, support, kindness and comradery by my peers and mentors in the industry. Quadrum Gallery is no exception, and I was overcome with gratitude for the gallery’s director, Ms. Sia Maravelias. Her enthusiasm for our Design Center relaunch in Tucson is infectious, and it’s easy to see why their establishment is a leader in our industry. Sia truly relishes the art and passion behind each piece and does her best to support her artists’ interests, which in turn creates a never-ending line of respect by both talented designers and clients alike.
The gallery has been around for 37 years and continues to be one of the most successful independent retailers on the east coast. How did the owner, Cynthia Kagan, get her start?
Cynthia loves art, fashion and innovative, distinctive design. Quadrum originally started out as a painting gallery, and then it evolved to showcase clay, glass and jewelry. Cynthia gradually made the decision to solely focus on designer jewelry. For the last 30 years, Quadrum has been known as a distinctive collection of artists’ jewelry.
To what do you attribute your prosperity?
Great passion for all that we do and love. That kind of energy is contagious!
Engagement rings of Quadrum Gallery
The aesthetics of the gallery are quite impressive and reminiscent of a museum. Who was involved in the architecture and interior design?
Thank you so much for such an amazing compliment! We take great pride in the tiniest of details. [Every day], at least one person walks into the gallery and comments, “It’s like visiting a museum!” Cynthia worked with an architect to bring her vision into being. It was important when building the gallery that the design of the cases architecturally created the space to showcase the jewelry in a way that told a story for each artist’s collection.
You’ve definitely put more effort into this focal point that many other establishments. Why was this choice made?
We wanted to create an environment that elevated each artist’s collection. Our jewelry is art, made by artists. Therefore, we wanted to create a space that inspired a sense of wonder and discovery.
How does it affect sales?
You can build the most beautiful space, show the most wonderful jewelry, but ultimately, it is our staff that engenders loyalty with our clients. We have the most incredible staff, dedicated and passionate.
When did you start working at the store? Could you tell us more about how you became involved in the fine jewelry world?
I came to Quadrum over 16 years ago, after working at The Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston. It was a natural evolution in my career, since I am completely jewelry-obsessed. I studied at The Massachusetts College of Art & Design and dreamed of one day owning my own gallery. So be the director of Quadrum is truly a dream come true!
Gabriella Kiss rings
What is one of your favorite pieces in the shop right now? Why does it speak to you?
This is the most challenging question you could possibly ask! It is like asking me to pick my favorite child.
I have so many favorites in the gallery. Some of these include: Gabriella Kiss Snake hoops, Pat Flynn nail bracelets, Todd Pownell inverted diamond rings, Barbara Heinrich criss cross with diamonds, Yossi Harari diamond mosaic ring, Todd Reed raw and rose cut diamond encrusted ring, Reinstein/Ross Guinevere bracelet, Gurhan large round pendant set with rose cut yellow sapphires, Anne Sportun wrap bracelets, Jamie Joseph gem stone rings, Annie Fensterstock emerald locket, Maria Beaulieu Ascher cut enhydro quartz “Bubble” pendant, Paul Morelli Trellis ear climber earrings, Amali tanzanite pendant…. Oh, the list goes on!
What is the gallery’s longest-standing relationship with a jeweler? Why is that relationship so successful?
We have been working with Barbara Heinrich for over 31 years! Our relationship with Barbara thrives and is so highly successful year after year because she creates work of impeccable craftsmanship and design. We work very closely with her and her team. I would say we probably speak to them at least once a day, if not more! Communication is key in building strong relationships.
Do you have any designers on the horizon that you consider to be ones to watch? Any designers that continue to impress you with their creativity?
How do you contribute to the jewelry community?
Our mission is to show exceptional collections of only the finest craftsmanship and innovative design in Artist Jewelry. We are dedicated each and every single day, supporting our artists by showing their work with dedication to their efforts, and integrity. You will witness it throughout everything that we do, from visiting our gallery in person to our website, to our photography and social media. It is our absolute pleasure to find homes for the jewelry and artists we believe in and love.
Why are you excited for JCK Tucson?
I am so excited to see that Todd Reed will be at the show, along with so many other amazing designers. I am really looking forward to all the special events planned such as The Inside the Designer’s Studio fireside chat with Todd Reed and Sarah Graham, as well as the screening of Sharing The Rough that I have been dying to see.