One of the first boutiques to open on the Lower East Side, Pippin Vintage Jewelry, sits on the corner of East 17th street off of Union Square, a small side street filled with old style apartments and cobble stone streets.
“It’s like entering another decade...an escape from the city” said costumer Lurrie Ivas, originally from San Francisco she visits NYC and Pippin Vintage Jewelry every year.
Visiting Pippin Vintage Jewelry is like walking inside your stylish grandmother’s jewelry box. In the beginning, Husband-and-wife owners Rachel and Stephen Cooper would buy from auctions and estate sales throughout their hometown Massachusetts and Vermont. The pair also spent ten years vending vintage jewelry at the 26th Street flea market before they finally opened their own shop on Orchard Street, they then moved uptown to their current location on “thrift row” in Chelsea Market. Named after the couple’s Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Pippen, the vintage spot become one of the first in the area.
“I think they chose jewelry, paintings and mirrors that told stories...every item in the shop has its own history” said 30-year employee Austin Miller.
In October of 2006, the Coopers opened their second store, Pippin Home, a sister store to Pippin Vintage Jewelry. The little Chelsea shop is full of stylish home decor dating all the way back to the 1920s, their oldest piece being a pendent from the 17000s. With everything from bracelets to brooches to necklaces to unique engagement rings to mirrors to dressers. Prices there run anywhere from $5 to millions, depending on quality and semi-precious stones.
Not only does the vintage shop have a ceiling to floor window displaying the antique jewelry but what makes they’re store special and unique from all the other vintage shops in the lower east side is their ‘hall of mirror’s’ an alley way of old mirrors hanging on the narrows walls, a sight for all New Yorkers to enjoy. The shop caters to all types of costumers, tourist and New Yorkers. “our store is unlike any other vintage shop..every inch of the store has history” said 5-year general manager, Tatinni Gerso.
Every corner of the shop lined with antique knick-knacks – from black and white photos to intricately decorated piggy banks, music boxes, and glasses galore, Pippen Vintage Jewelry and home shop still remains one of the very few shops with items as old as the 17000. Pippin has experienced much growth evolution has led to a truly unique shopping experience in the lower east side.
By Mia Wright