High-end Bling


Andrea Bragg, owner of Forsythe Jewelers, has been around high-end bling for more than 20 years. In a year that forced a lot of people to reassess their lives and relationships, Bragg noticed a trend. 

“We’ve sold more engagement rings in the past 12 months than we probably have in the past five years,” she said. “The pandemic forced everybody to hit pause and to think about those they hold dear.” 

Designer rings, pendants, necklaces and earrings can be passed down through the generations. For the giver, it can be a way to show that the relationship will be long-lasting, Bragg said. 

Forsythe Jewelers2Forsythe Jewelers5The recipient will have a reminder of a special occasion, who gave it to them and when, she said. 

“This time last year, no one knew what the pandemic would bring,” Bragg said. “What makes this (40th) anniversary sweeter is that we’ve been through it and survived — which we owe to the strong support of our community and clients. It has been amazing. Forty years is a memorable number, and it is more significant because we have made it through this pandemic. It is just a testament to how relationships are important.” 

Building relationships and customer loyalty start with her staff, most of whom have been with the store eight years or longer, Bragg said. The sales associates, known as the Forsythe Gems, stay in contact with regular customers, sending texts and emails about new merchandise and trunk shows. They also remind them about special occasions like anniversaries and birthdays and assist them with favorite items noted on a client’s wish list. 

“We have an amazing team who care about what they do and their relationships with clients,” Bragg said. “This is a relationship business. There has to be a high level of trust when you are purchasing a piece of jewelry.” 

Some relationships stretch back many years, with regular clients stopping by whenever they are visiting Hilton Head Island. The retailer, which opened on the island in 1981, was founded in 1927 in Rochester, N.Y. Bragg has been associated with the jeweler for 20 years and bought the store in 2015. 

“I love the business because of the relationships that we have formed with our customers over the years. It’s like welcoming family into your home,” she said. “We enjoy seeing our long-time friends, catching up with returning visitors, and enjoy meeting new people every day.” 

To celebrate its anniversary, the store is hosting a Roberto Coin trunk show on April 27-28. Coin’s signature mark is a ruby, hidden inside each piece of jewelry, representing long life, health, and happiness, Bragg said. Coincidentally, the ruby is the traditional 40th wedding anniversary stone. 

“The Roberto Coin brand has been a loyal partner of Forsythe Jewelers for 19 years, so it’s the perfect synergy to mark the occasion,” she said. 

A sign of a successful business is the ability to adapt to its environment, including the pandemic. Forsythe Jewelers took the opportunity to revamp their website and add an online shopping component so that customers could safely shop from their homes. 

“An online presence is important,” said Bragg, “because it allows shoppers to see the brands. In the end, though, people still want to touch what they are buying. And while the designer brands draw people into the store, it is the atmosphere and merchandise that customers love.” 

She described the atmosphere as fun and relaxed. 

“It is not stuffy,” she said. “Customers who have shopped in larger, high-end stores often comment on the extensive selection we offer and how knowledgeable and friendly our staff is. We look forward to reconnecting with our long-time friends and seeing new faces as we celebrate our 40th anniversary with the community.” 

Forsythe is located in The Shops at Sea Pines Center. Sea Pines Resort gate passes are reimbursed — or call ahead and they’ll leave a pass for you at the Sea Pines Welcome Center.