A Spokane boutique is seeing an uptick in demand for “permanent” jewelry, a nationwide trend that exploded on social media and has now made its way to the Lilac City.
Since opening in August, customers of all ages have been rapidly booking appointments for permanent jewelry at Simple Wildflower boutique, 112 S. Monroe St., said Jessica Yefremov, who co-owns the store with boyfriend Timofey Nikitin.
Permanent jewelry refers to a bracelet, anklet or necklace without a clasp that’s welded together with a laser. The jewelry pieces are meant to be worn constantly, unless a piece breaks or is removed with scissors, making it less of a commitment than a piercing or tattoo.
“I think people are very sentimental and they really like the idea of permanent jewelry, so this is as close as they can get to tattoos,” Yefremov said.
Customers seem to be looking to commemorate a special occasion or friendship via permanent bracelets, anklets and necklaces with charms containing birthstones, dates or initials, Yefremov said.
“It’s hard to just get one, so people tend to get two or three,” Yefremov said of the jewelry pieces.
Simple Wildflower offers necklaces, anklets and bracelets in sterling silver, gold-filled or 14-karat gold. The cost for a permanent jewelry piece is between $60 to $150, depending on the type of chain and metal, according to the boutique’s website.
After a customer selects a jewelry piece, it’s custom fit to their wrist, neck or ankle and welded together – a process that takes from five to 10 minutes, Yefremov said.
“The longest part of the process is picking out the chain,” Yefremov said.
If customers need to have permanent jewelry removed for an MRI or medical procedure, Simple Wildflower will weld it again at no cost, Yefremov said.
In addition to permanent jewelry, Simple Wildflower also sells apparel and accessories.
Yefremov’s idea to open a boutique was sparked during the pandemic.
A mother of three, Yefremov was working full time in the medical field as a diagnostic technician and wanted to start a business to spend more time with her children, she said.
“During COVID, I started doing my research online. I ended up on TikTok watching videos on small businesses,” Yefremov said.
Yefremov planned to open a clothing store, but after a family member mentioned permanent jewelry, it piqued her interest, she said.
“I started looking into it and it took me a good year to do all the research,” Yefremov said. “I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I have got do it before anyone else does it’ (in Spokane) because it’s a really hot jewelry trend right now all over the United States.”
Yefremov learned how to affix permanent jewelry by watching YouTube videos and reading instructions online. Nikitin is a professional welder and assisted in the learning process, she said.
She sources the jewelry from several wholesale companies and obtains clothing for the boutique online from apparel shows nationwide, ensuring a unique variety of items, she said.
Yefremov initially launched Simple Wildflower as an online business but made the shift to a brick-and-mortar location after finding an available space on Monroe Street in downtown Spokane.
“I met with a (commercial real estate) agent the next day,” she said. “We agreed on the terms and I just said ‘That’s it. I guess it’s meant to be’ and we opened up in August.”
Simple Wildflower has seen foot traffic in the store from residents walking around downtown Spokane or visitors staying at the nearby Historic Davenport Hotel, Yefremov said.
“They’ll see our sign outside and they’ll come in, ask questions and be like, ‘Oh my gosh, that is so cool,’ ” Yefremov said of the boutique’s permanent jewelry.
Simple Wildflower is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday through Saturday.
Yefremov, who continues to work in the medical field part time, said she eventually would like to expand the boutique or open a second location.
“I get to meet so many people and I love it,” Yefremov said. “I do eventually want to hire a specialty piercer that could do piercings, along with permanent jewelry. And I want to work on creating more jewelry pieces.”Amy Edelen can be reached at (509) 459-5581 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.