Don Purcell is a luxury fashion veteran, previously of Jeffrey New York. When Jeffrey shut down during the pandemic, Don took his future into his own hands. He now runs his own jewelry gallery in the Buckhead Village District. Shoppers will notice a colorful and creative selection of jewelry, such as the Judith Lieber Couture Beehive and Brick Phone, the Monies Collection, and more. The store also carries numerous works by Louisiana artist Ashley Longshore.
Don chatted with us about his career, running his own store, and the Buckhead Village District.
How was the transition from Jeffrey New York to running your own business?
It was scary but rewarding. When I lost my job at Jeffrey, I figured, “if I’m going to try this, now’s the time to do it. So far, we’ve done pretty well!"
What brought you to jewelry and luxury fashion?
I was an art major in college, so I was always creative. After I graduated, I tried to make money being an artist, but that was difficult. I stumbled into working for Jeffrey [Kalinsky - founder of Jeffrey New York]’s dad, who owned a shoe store in Charleston, South Carolina, and sold high-end ladies' shoes. The art background prepared me for the creative spirit it takes to work in a store like the one I own.
Everything you carry is so creative and unique. How do you choose whom to work with?
I had solid relationships with about half of the designers I [carry] from my years at Jeffrey. I found the other half online during the pandemic, looking at other stores I admire.
Your store carries art by Ashley Longshore as well.
I’ve known Ashley for almost 20 years. I have a non-profit called Pansy Patrol, and she was always very supportive of that. She always said, “if you did anything on your own, you know that I would support you.” I called her and said, “Okay girl, I’m doing something on my own. Do you want to support me?” (laughs) The aesthetic in my store is this clean gallery look, but I like color. So I thought that she’d fit well. We’ve sold a bit of [her] art out of here; a win-win for everyone.
Can you give us examples of the designers making the great lines you carry?
The [jewelry] case nearest to me here [carries] a designer named Elihalili. He is an Israeli jewelry designer who finds these unbelievably old coins, shapes gold around them, puts them on a chain, and lets the coin do the talking. They’re amazing. Then I have Mio Harutaka from Japan. She does these whimsical diamond/sapphire pieces. Like her favorite pet as a child was a bunny, so I have a bunny ring. Her favorite flower’s a daisy, so I have this very classy daisy ring. When you touch it, the pedals move.
That sounds amazing. What are your hopes for Buckhead Village District?
I would like to see the empty spaces filled, although they are filling them. I’d like to see more shopping districts taking chances on people who have a good head on their shoulders and a good business idea.