Jewelry scion Brooke Garber Neidich welcomes a dazzling new era as Sidney Garber debuts a fresh look in Chicago.
Brooke Garber Neidich.
Growing up in Chicago, Brooke Garber Neidich assisted her father, Sidney Garber, behind the counter of his eponymous jewelry boutique, where she was first tasked with wiping the showcases clean. “The spray bottle was a big deal,” laughs Garber Neidich, recalling how she was later promoted from Windex duty to watch organizing. “Amazingly, I didn’t grow up to be obsessed with cleaning,” she quips. She did, however, grow up with her father’s appreciation for fine jewelry (and still owns the very first pearl necklace given to her as a little girl), inheriting the company in 2008 and opening a storefront in New York last year, where all sales benefit nonprofit organizations dedicated to children’s mental health and wellness, education, and the arts. As she celebrates the Chicago flagship’s recent renovation, Garber Neidich reveals how Windy City women can stay chic this spring and beyond.
What inspired the Chicago store’s new look?
As we were developing the New York store, I had been doing trunk shows at The Mark in what was a living room setting. It really changed my idea of how I was comfortable selling, and I liked a more casual approach. No one else sat on sofas next to someone and sold them jewelry. In Chicago, we’re going to come back again in the spring and eliminate some of those counters and put [in] a seating area, and the art really makes it feel more like my residential setting. I want Chicago to have that same comfort.
Where do you find inspiration for your jewelry designs?
Art, always. The way people look or dress, things I remember growing up that were iconic, old auction catalogs, old magazines... [My father’s] look was so far ahead of the time and completely unique for Chicago, and that stayed with me forever. The ’70s were such a high point in my father’s design career, and there are many things we did then that I still do today and that still look fresh, chic, and unique.
A selection of her wave link bracelets (FROM TOP) in matte-finish white gold, rose gold, and matte-finish rose gold ($9,500 each).
What are some new styles for spring?
I found the manufacturer that bought the molds from the original manufacturer we used that did our stiff necklaces and collars in the ’70s, so I’ve been remaking those necklaces and collars and thinking about how I want to change them in the future. I’ve been wearing super long, super layered necklaces for a long time, and now my eye seems to be ready for something shorter and more in the throat of the blouse, rather than over the blouse.
What pieces should every Chicago woman own?
Either a domed cuff or a wave bracelet—actually, I think they should own two wave bracelets with two domed cuffs, or a domed cuff and two wave bracelets, which is the way I’ve been wardrobing it lately. If someone said, “I’m turning 30. What’s the first thing I should buy?” I would say the bracelet, but then she’ll need a wonderful diamond hoop—a thin one that she can wear easily—and she can wear it the same in her 20s as in her 60s. That’s the idea: You can buy a great blazer, but you’re going to have to buy that great blazer over and over and over again, whereas this is really going to keep forever. 118 E. Delaware Pl., 855-742- 7237