shopping
Swarovski Crystallized
499 Broadway
800 873 7578

Sort of like the crystals version of paint- your- own- pottery, this is not your Mom's Swarovski. This concept store, which has attracted the likes of Blake Lively, Chloe Sevigny and Lucy Liu, is not cheap but nor does it skimp on details and imagination. While you can purchase pre-made statement necklaces, dangling earrings, simple pendants, even pens and USB sticks; perhaps the fun is in making your own with the ultimate in crystal fixings. You can create anything from elastic bracelets to crater rings to bib necklaces to charm bracelets with their help and loads of shiny elements (as well as stone pieces and other miscellany.) There's even a cafe downstairs where you can rest after you've made your creations. Also easy (though less of a workshop- feel) is the store's online site, which uses Amazon marketplace. They may not realise that this is an asset, but for anyone who has ever bought from Amazon, this means swift checkout and the ability to gift to anyone in your Amazon address book, as well as a secure and discreet shipping process as purchases are not marked 'jewellery' nor 'Swarovski' when shipped. (Store names can be a beacon for would- be parcel thieves...) The only downside is a no- exchanges policy (items can be returned) which means having to re- order to make changes when ordering surprises occur. However shipping above $75 is free and things arrive beautifully packaged faster than you can say, well, Swarovski.

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