True Gems: Dynamic Duo Elizabeth + Pam Doyle
March 6, 2020
Doyle and Doyle in Meatpacking is truly one of a kind. The store on 13th Street houses a hand selected collection of vintage and antique jewelry that rivals museum collections. Behind the jewels and glam are two sisters who run the business. This International Women’s Day we celebrate women owned businesses like Elizabeth and Pam’s that make our neighborhood unique and one of a kind. Elizabeth Doyle shared with us the history of the store and what it’s like owning a business with her sister.
What inspired you to get into the jewelry industry?
I have loved jewelry for longer than I can remember. There are stories of me as early as 2 years old insisting on wearing my grandmother’s clip on earrings One of my favorite things to do when I visited her was to go through her jewelry box. She would tell me the stories behind each piece. There were jewels she brought with her from China when they were escaping the war. Other pieces were designed by my grandfather to commemorate special occasions or family members. Each piece was so beautiful, but even more so because of the memories and stories behind them.
You started off in the Lower East Side. What brought Doyle + Doyle to Meatpacking?
We were on Orchard Street from 2000-2013. At the time that we were opening, the neighborhood was full of start up business being built from the ground up by young entrepreneurs like us. There was an amazing community and energy to the street. But as we approached the end of our lease, Orchard Street was basically vacant of retail establishments. All of the stores that had opened when we did were long gone, and most of the storefronts were vacant. There were really just a few bars and restaurants left. Our landlord wanted quadruple the rent, and it just didn’t make sense to stay there any longer. We started looking for a new location. When we found our space on 13th Street everything just felt right. The area had the vibrancy and excitement we were looking for. The BID was so welcoming and connected us with other businesses. We felt like we had back the community that we had lost on the LES.
We love the bold colors and plush design of the boutique, tell us more about the design of the store.
When we moved to our Meatpacking location we wanted to retain some of the character of the original store, but create a “grown up” version. We loved our space on Orchard Street, but we had literally done the renovations ourselves. We did everything from hanging the sheetrock and painting to patching the hardwood floor. It was was a quirky layout to begin with, so the final product was really dictated by all the limitations. Our new space was a white box with high ceilings and a big, clean, open rectangular floor plan. We had the luxury of creating something new, with very few design constraints. We kept our signature wall cases, but tried to mix the industrial edge of the original meatpacking district with warmth and comfort. And of course we had to incorporate our signature Doyle & Doyle colors of blue & raspberry.
What is your favorite thing about working with your sister?
Working with my sister is great. Having a shared background means that we are aligned in most of our decisions, and when disagreements arise we know how to work through them. But my favorite thing about working with her is that it is just so much fun getting to hang out together every day.
What makes a woman powerful in your opinion?
Power comes from confidence, and true confidence comes from competence. You can never be too prepared or educated.
What piece of advice would you have to women entrepreneurs?
Stay current on new developments in your industry and technology. Look for community resources offering support. Google offers free classes through Google Grow and Facebook offers training to advertisers. Get involved with business organizations that can keep you abreast of current developments and connected with your community.
What’s the biggest jewelry trend in 2020?
Sustainable fashion has become really important in 2020. People want to look great, but they don’t want to hurt the environment in doing so. Antique & vintage jewelry, diamonds & gemstones are recycled and reused by nature. They do not require any new mining or manufacturing that can harm the environment. We love to find pieces that are old, but can be reinterpreted in a new way, whether through styling or even by reworking an outdated jewel into something fresh.
What tips would you give in picking out the perfect piece of jewelry?
When picking a piece of jewelry for someone else consider their style. What colors do they wear? Is their style bold or more understated. When choosing something for yourself think about what you really want and your reason for buying a jewel. If it is to commemorate or celebrate an event you may want an everyday piece that you can wear often as a constant reminder. Or you may need something for an occasion and want more of a statement piece that you will only roll out for very special events. There are jewels that suit every occasion and purpose. Figure out what it is and then pick accordingly. With that being said there is a very strong argument for letting the jewel pick you. I sometimes see people come into the store with something in mind, but something totally different catches their eye. They try it on and the jewel just speaks to them. Jewelry is about romance, emotion and connection. Leave yourself open to experience it.
What jewel would you say defines the Meatpacking District and why?
Our Heirloom by Doyle & Doyle North Star Engagement Ring represents the Meatpacking district and our journey to our new home. I designed the West 13th Street collection in honor of our move to our new location. At the time I was thinking about our search for a new home and how we got there. I was inspired by navigation and how historically people have used the heavens and the stars to guide them. The North star has always been an important beacon in the night sky so I incorporated eight pointed stars into many of the designs. In this particular ring there are tiny diamond set stars embedded in the basket at the North, South, East & West points. I love the way this ring came out so sleek, and seemingly simple, but with hidden details and history that sets it apart.