By Sharon Kanter
Merrichase, Jennifer Powers’ bright and artistic costume jewelry and handbag label, is designed to be showstopping. Each item effortlessly balances color, texture and unexpectedly oversize proportions. A flower necklace is crafted with hand-poured glass and glossy pearls, while a tassel design features hand-crocheted silks in a rainbow of rich hues. “These are meant to catch people’s eyes,” Powers says of the items in her collections, which range in price from $100 to $1,000. “It is jewelry that starts conversations and gets reactions. Diamond studs don’t do that.”
The first Merrichase pop-up outpost opened in Southampton the week after Memorial Day, and it’s already a success. “One woman jogged by during her morning run and stopped right in front of the store. Then she came in and bought two pieces,” says Powers. “That’s the reaction I want people to have—a stop-in-their-tracks feeling.”
Creating looks that turn heads comes naturally to Powers, who spent two decades as an interior designer before venturing into the world of accessories in 2014. “It was time to switch things up,” she says of her career pivot. “I felt like I needed a new challenge.”
Her quest for statement-making jewelry evolved into launching a line of her own. To do so, she tapped into her interior design skills—expert sourcing, refined curation and color balance—and began traveling to France and Italy to find inspiration and new materials. She named the line Merrichase, a term her late father coined to mean “happy hunt,” she explains. “It’s that feeling of experiencing something exciting.”
Now, with the opening of the pop-up Southampton storefront, Powers is thrilled to deliver that feeling in person, while continuing to sell online and at trunk shows. “People’s eyes light up when they walk in. I love seeing people find something that will make them the center of attention. I wish everyone could experience that.” To that end, Powers is already planning more Merrichase pop-ups in the future.
Merrichase, 56 Jobs Lane, Southampton; 631.377.3854; through Sept. 4.; merrichase.com