Jennifer Shanker

On a trip to Tel Aviv, Jennifer Shanker stumbled upon the most exquisite jewelry she had ever seen. She quickly commissioned her wedding band from the talented designer. Losing no time in bringing his collection to New York, thus opening MUSE showroom, her career in this crazy industry began with her introduction of Yossi Harari to the US. We have much to thank Jennifer for (don't call her Jen, unless she loves you), but bringing Yossi mainstream takes the cake. Where would we be without gilver (if ya don't know, now ya and silver combined into ONE BRILLIANT METAL), y'all? Fifteen years and a thriving multi-designer showroom later, she is nominated (again!) for tonight's WJA's Award for Excellence in Sales. We're here to tell you, after having had the pleasure of hanging out alongside the hardest working #girlboss in the biz, we are psyched to get all gussied up and get TEAM SHANKER tonight. See everyone there! We'll be the ones inappropriately overdressed in sequins, lace and a ton of jewels.

I was okay with being induced with my second son...I got a ruby instead of a peridot. And a delicious , healthy boy.
— Jennifer

How long have you been in this crazy biz and what did you do prior?

 I have been in the jewelry business for 15 years. Prior to this I worked in non-profit and high-tech worlds.


Congrats on COUTURE! Tell us about your inspiration for the booth.

 We launched a new marketing campaign at COUTURE with artist Meredith Wing. The ‘head to toe’ jewelry girls concept was a way for us to show how we see and style jewelry in a fresh and creative way.


Name another fine jewelry designer that you are a fan of and tell us why.

 A non MUSE designer? Would have to be Mark Davis. Mark is a dear friend and a super talented designer. The one of a kind, super chic combinations of Bakelite and precious materials are right up my alley. Mark’s clean patterns, his balance of modern and vintage and his play with color are signature to his aesthetic – of which I am a huge fan.


Gemstone you can’t get enough of?

 Rose-cut diamonds.


What’s your favorite piece that you’ve recently purchased?

 My Nora Kogan “PAUSE” ring and my new Nikos Koulis diamond baguette Spectrum studs. Next up is hopefully Yossi Harari’s new Vinyl ring and then a Feather cuff by Luis Morais. (I could go on and on if you like?)


What is the most sentimental piece of jewelry that you own and what's the backstory?

A brass knuckle ring by Robert Lee Morris that my father gave to me for my 18th birthday. It was the first piece of designer fine jewelry I received and surely affected my love for the alternative fine jewelry world.


Why do you think people are becoming so comfortable purchasing fine jewelry online?

Now that the top online sites have raised the level of customer service to be equal to or greater than the service clients have come to expect, the end client is now shopping in a more familiar and comfortable, albeit online, environment.


 Next time FFR is visiting your home base, where do we eat?

Barbuto will always be a neighborhood favorite and destination for visiting guests. The cuisine is consistently fresh and delicious and the cocktails are just as impressive.

Bar Bolonat is a new neighborhood fave, and it doesn’t hurt that is in between my home and MUSE. The creative take on Israeli cuisine is an exotic, delicious addition to the West Village.


Best cocktail bar?

Pub food and classic cocktails are best at The Spotted Pig. It is worth the wait.


What’s your preferred mode of transportation day-to-day?

Either walking or riding the train, always.


Top 5 bands in your playlist?

Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Adele, Bob Dylan and Sam Smith (Ed Note: Jennifer has a great Tom Petty story. It involves an elevator. Ask her!)


Celebrity Crush?!

Jakob Dylan (Ed Note: Good one!)


If you could only carry one handbag for the rest of your life, what would it be?

PAT by Jerome Dryfus


Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter?


Following @museshowroom ? 

What’s your signature scent and what three words would you use to describe it?

Must de Cartier. Spicy, fresh, sexy


If you could do anything else for a living, what would it be and why?

Still trying to figure that out…


Where’s the last destination you visited that inspired your work?

Can't remember :) 

(Ed Note: We're going with Vegas. Bahahahahahaha.)


Flats or heels? (And what’s your current favorite pair?)

Flats or platforms – current faves for summer are Birkenstock flats and Jil Sander Navy platforms.


You’re on a shopping mission in your hometown. Where is your go-to for the perfect party outfit?

Acne or Yigal Azrouel


Housewarming gift?

A vintage glass vase from End of History or anything from the Jonathan Adler MUSE collection (which is well stocked in our shipping closet.)


If we were filming the reality show of your life, what would your tagline be? (Think Real Housewives!)

See Shanker Run



Valery Demure

We recently caught up with the London based, French born, Director and creative mind behind her eponymous agency. Heading to Vegas next week with the likes of Noor Fares, Delfina Delletrez, and Lynn Ban in tow has us counting down the days before we meet again. 

Strangely, after a gemology course, I became obsessed with watermelon tourmaline.
— Valery Demure

Let’s have dinner at your favorite neighborhood restaurant. Where do we go and what do we eat?  

We would go to Bread and Wine and we would eat modern Bristh cuisine. The restaurant itself is incredibly simple. Wooden tables, wooden chairs, simple glasses and dishware. The food speaks for itself. 


If you could own any piece of vintage jewelry, what would it be?  

A ring by Suzanne Belperron.


The vacation spot that you keep going back to over and over?   

Uruguay. It’s the most beautiful place I have traveled to and I have become obsessed with it.


What’s the last book you couldn’t put down?  

Life with Picasso by Francoise Gilot.


What's your go-to cocktail?   

White Russian


The gemstone you’re currently lusting after is . . .

Strangely, after a gemology course, I became obsessed with watermelon tourmaline. Since, I purchased one with a lovely Tahitian green pearl and commissioned a ring from my friend, jewelery designer Alexandra Jefford. I just collected the ring yesterday and I am besotted.


It’s your birthday and your favorite flower arrangement arrives – what does it look like? 

A big bunch of freshly cut white peonies.


You have 30 minutes to work out – what do you do? 

I walk my dog in Victoria Park.


What was the first piece of jewelry you bought for yourself? 

A ring that fit in the empty space between my fingers, called Finger Bewteen, by Naomi Filmer. This was 15 years ago and the designer became my soulmate friend.


If you could have dinner with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

David Altmejd – he is my close friend's brother. I love his work, it really speaks to me. Every time we meet, we start talking about his work and we get interrupted.


What’s the most sentimental piece of jewelry you own and tell us the back story.

My engagement ring. It was designed by a very dear friend, Vicki Beamon, and my boyfriend proposed on Valentine’s day on one knee with candles lit all around our apartment. He became my husband years later. We stayed engaged for 7 years – I wasn’t too sure about getting married!


What’s your preferred mode of transportation day-to-day? (Tell us about your car, motorcycle, bicycle, taxi, Uber, skateboard…)  

Our 1972 Ford Mustang with plum body paint and a cream roof.


Top 5 bands in your playlist - go! 

Angus and Julia Stone, Coco Rosie, The Growlers, Beach House, Empire of the Sun.


You’re having guests for the weekend. What’s your signature dish that you cook for them? 

I don’t cook, my husband does all the cooking! I would ask him to cook his seafood green Thai curry.


Be honest – who’s your celebrity crush? 

Between Viggo Mortensen and Christopher Walken, both are so handsome and seem like interesting men.


If you could only carry one handbag for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

It would be a black soft calf leather Birkin bag by Hermes.


What’s your signature scent and what three words would you use to describe it?  

I love Serge Lutens, Jeux de peau.


If you could sit front row at any fashion show, which would it be and why? 

It would have been Alexander McQueen’s Atlantis, I remember watching the show on a big screen and having goose bumps.


Tell us your beauty secrets.

Love Skin Ceuticals products. I have a manicure when I find the time, I have my haircut and colored every month, and a facial every two months; apart from that I’m low maintenance. My favorite thing to relax after a stressful week is a deep tissue massage.


Signature nail polish for a night on the town? 

Black satin by Chanel.