For three decades, Amaryllis Jewelry has been a go-to destination for Baltimore’s most stylishly accessorized women. With a focus on jewelry and accessories that are chic and wearable every day, the shops owners, AnnaMarie Fiume and Allie Wolf, have cultivated a following of loyal customers who know that when they visit the Harbor East store, they’ll walk away with something they love.
Here, Allie Wolf shares the story behind Amaryllis, what she and AnnaMarie love to wear and what’s happening in the shop right now:
What is the story behind Amaryllis? How did you get started?
My mom originally opened the store in 1986, at Owings Mills Mall when it opened, then in The Gallery the following year when that opened. AnnaMarie and I both came to work at the store, for my mom, from different places.
AnnaMarie is from northern New Jersey and she worked in meeting planning. I worked in shopping centers – leasing, marketing, buying and merchandising.
We purchased the store from my mom in the summer of 2000, so we’ve owned it together for 16 years and have been business partners for that long. We moved from The Gallery to Harbor East in 2009 – into a small space for a couple years and now, in this larger space on Aliceanna.
How do you choose what to carry in the shop?
When we go to trade shows or have a rep come see us, we keep an open mind. We walk a trade show from beginning to end. A lot of people with stores stay with the same brands, but we like to start fresh all the time. It could make you crazy, but we feel like we never know what we’re going to see.
First, it has to catch our eye. It has to strike our taste, so even if we wouldn’t wear it, we know one of our customer groups would like it. We have to feel like the price is worth it, too. There are a lot of artists we love, but we feel like they’re too expensive for what they are. We have to feel like there’s quality there.
Then we want to mix it up, with different categories of looks we carry. We have a price point from $15 up to $2,000, maybe something in diamonds. Mostly, we stay in a $80 to $300 range because we want pieces to be affordable, but not cheap – I think there a lot of places to find cheap costume jewelry.
We like to carry handcrafted, classic pieces you can wear often, but that you’re not going to see everywhere.
What is your favorite thing in the shop right now? What do you wear most?
Right now, I’m wearing a very soft leather bracelet with a diamond bar set in sterling by an artist named Annie Hammer, from Tuscon. I wear it every day.
Her pieces fit in with a lot of what AnnaMarie and I trend toward – kind of glam rock. Leather with diamonds, that mix of materials that may have a little sparkle, but isn’t necessarily dressy. You can wear it all the time; you can dress it up or wear it with jeans.
AnnaMarie wears, every day, her little black diamond necklace by Zoe Chicco, who is in LA. The designer makes them exclusively for us.
I also wear these stretch bracelets by Briana Erin – she’s also a California artist. They’re matte black onyx bracelets with little gold and silver vintage-looking beads. That’s an easy slip-on and I wear something black almost every day!
What is your go-to holiday gift recommendation?
There are a few things. We carry a lot of Brighton and because we hand-select it, people love our selection. Brighton has gotten better and better as a company in terms of design.
When someone comes in and they’re not sure what to buy, we tend to show them the Brighton case because nine out of ten people will like it. It’s not a risky choice and most pieces are under $100. We have their charm bracelets this year for the first time and a wide assortment of charms, which are a good little add-on gift.
We also have these great faux fur scarves – a hoodie scarf, some infinities, and fingerless gloves. They’re made in the US – Seattle – which is nice and they’re different patterns of faux fur. They’re great sellers.
What do you love about your location?
We love Harbor East! This holiday, they’ve put lights everywhere and it looks absolutely beautiful.
What we love most about having a store here is we get a really incredible mix of locals and visitors. We have people who have shopped with us for a lot of years and come back and see us and then the loveliest out of town people who are here for conferences or weddings.
What’s new and exciting at Amaryllis this season? What are your favorite trends?
One of the nice things for this holiday is that we’re working with artists to have some exclusive trunk shows. Now through the holidays, we have a handful of artists exclusive to us and a lot of their pieces are one of a kind. I just found an artist, Niev Duffy, who does these gorgeous cluster stone necklaces. They’re all one of a kind.
In terms of trends, we’re still layering – maybe a necklace you wear all the time layered with another necklace, maybe something long. Bracelets stacked up. A lot of mixed metal. And lots of varieties of chokers.
Most of what AnnaMarie and I try to focus on are pieces that appeal to women of all ages, especially the middle group – and pieces that are pretty and different and wearable and well-priced.
For more information about Amaryllis, please visit www.amaryllisjewelry.com.
830 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore MD 21202