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Staff Report | Photos by Joanna Creates

Blakeman’s Fine Jewelry Intertwines its Past and Future in an Exciting New Pop-up Experience

While greeting excited customers to Blakeman’s Fine Jewelry’s new pop-up shop, store president Ben Blakeman gushed about what’s to come for the 37-year-old business.  


The pop-up shop, which is conveniently located just steps away from its flagship at 3201 Market St., Suite 103 in Rogers, will be Blakeman’s home for the next few months while its building is undergoing renovations and an expansion. 


“With the Blakeman’s Pop-Up, we wanted to have a beautiful, open space while we grow our current space that would look and feel like Blakeman’s,” Ben said. “We wouldn’t have the sound and the mess of construction. We wanted a new, unique environment that still showcases our jewelry and, most importantly, our team to continue providing the customer experience that people have come to know with Blakeman’s.”


While they wait for the upgraded building to be complete, the Blakeman’s team decided to make the transition in style with an environment that feels warm, fresh and exciting. 

Local creative directors Alex Bodishbaugh and Anna E. Cottrell, whom Ben refers to as a dream team, designed the space and assisted with new merchandising opportunities that are special to the pop-up. Bartus Taylor, creative director and founder of Buzz Event Planning & Design, also contributed to the aesthetic and details of the space to allow customers to continue to shop luxuriously. 


“I knew that their style and personalities would mesh well with our Blakeman’s style and our mindset,” Ben said. “In actuality, I was blown away with not only their thoughts but their work ethic, their dedication, their belief in what we had going and their vision for what this space could be.”


Sydney Newcomb, Alex Bodishbaugh, Anna E. Cottrel and Ben Blakeman at the Creative Opening Reception celebrating Blakeman's Pop-Up on March 19.


Within eight weeks, the creative directors pitched their concepts, the Blakeman’s team began the build-out and they opened the pop-up’s doors to Northwest Arkansas.


While the Blakeman’s team knew they wanted to do a temporary space during renovations and the expansion, Ben said they were not anticipating the “wow environment” that was produced.


Straying from Blakeman’s traditional purple, the pop-up shop oozes several shades of green to represent the business’s thrilling growth. 


“Purple has been, is and will continue to be the Blakeman’s brand,” Ben said. “But we felt like, with the expansion and with the opportunity of this complex space, the green was going to allow us a fresh look and also promote the growth opportunity that we’re exploring and building upon.”

Although Blakeman’s is looking for ways to outdo itself, the store isn’t losing sight of where it all began. 


Ben’s parents, Don and Lynn Blakeman, opened the store in 1987 with just $5,000 in savings. 

“We are so grateful for both the foundation that my parents and the family built and our team from the beginning and for the customers, who we refer to as the Blakeman’s family,” Ben said. “The Blakeman’s family is not just my immediate family. It’s our team. It’s our customers. It’s the designers that we work with.”

The temporary space is filled with dedications to Blakeman’s humble beginnings, with Don and Lynn’s wedding photos, a piece of paper with its opening date in 1987, and a photo of Don when the store became an official Rolex jeweler in 2000 with Burt Wilkinson, who still works at Blakeman’s as the timepiece specialist.

“This was a great opportunity for us to go back to the roots of Blakeman’s and the original story,” Ben said.

Not only has Blakeman’s tapped into its past, but it has also introduced new, approachable merchandise with its limited-edition Pro Shop. “[It’s] just an opportunity for people to get some brand-specific, limited merchandise that will not be available after the pop-up,” Ben said. 


The Pro Shop is full of “American casual luxury” items, including Blakeman’s branded sweatshirts, bags, hats, golf balls, matches, lighters and more.


“I think it’s a fun way to interact with the brand without buying a piece of jewelry,” said Sydney Newcomb, Blakeman’s marketing and merchandise leader.


Even the packaging of these items is a testament to Blakeman’s roots.


“Alex had the brilliant idea of Blakeman’s branded socks featuring the photo of my parents from their wedding day,” Ben said. “On the bottom of the socks, it says: ‘No cold feet.’”


Along with the limited merchandise, Blakeman’s still offers all the timeless jewelry that it always has.


“While we are so grateful and thankful for the past,” Ben said, “we could not be more excited about the growth and opportunity that we see with the region and with our company.” (Photos were taken at a reception hosted by creative directors Alex Bodishbaugh and Anna E. Cottrell)


Blakeman's Fine Jewelry timepiece specialist Burt Wilkinson looks at a photo of himself and founder Don Blakeman when the store became an official Rolex jeweler in 2000.


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