November 2018

Forsythe Jewelers

Author: Becca Edwards | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

Customers at Forsythe Jewelers are encouraged to take their time and enjoy the experience of finding the perfect piece.

When it comes to designer jewelry, it is not just about the bling for Andrea Bragg, owner of Forsythe Jewelers in The Shops at Sea Pines Center. For Bragg, jewelry tells a story. “Jewelry is not just an investment,” Bragg said. “It is an emotional investment. Every woman who has ever been given jewelry as a gift can tell you about the circumstances around the piece, and any woman who has purchased her own special piece remembers the milestone she was celebrating when she bought it. Jewelry is also passed down from generation to generation and even when we do custom pieces using family heirlooms, say a ring your grandmother wore, you will remember her and even feel her energy when you wear it.”

Similarly, Bragg’s clients, whom she calls “Forsythe family members,” tell a story. “I have seen little girls come in as toddlers, and we’ve given them stretchy bead bracelets, and now they are looking for a David Yurman ring for their high school graduation.”

Like diamonds, Bragg and her staff shine at establishing a friendship with each person who walks through their doors. “I love coming here every day, meeting new people and seeing old friends, as does my staff,” she said.

“We have four very different salespeople,” Bragg said. “Rebecca is an expert at layering. She could easily layer multiple pieces just by mixing and matching designers like Lagos, Yurman and Hardy. Laurie has 20-plus years in the business and is very knowledgeable about gemstones and diamonds. She enjoys the technical side of the business and is a good custom designer. And Barb doesn’t underestimate the power of a handwritten note. She is really good about staying in touch with her clients.”

Everyone at Forsythe believes in accessibility—and in more than one interpretation of the word. First and foremost, they want their customers to not feel intimidated when they walk through Forsythe’s doors. “We do not want to just invite you into our business, we want to invite you into our home. It’s relaxed and comfortable.

Maybe you are coming from the beach or Pilates class but once you walk in, someone will instantly greet you and offer you something to drink and clean your jewelry,” Bragg said.

The second form of accessibility comes from making jewelry buying enjoyable as well as informative. From educating you on current trends, to gemology, to stylishly combining your old jewelry with new jewelry, the team at Forsythe truly likes to fit you with just the perfect piece. “We want you to be 100-percent satisfied with what you buy,” Bragg said.

The third form of accessibility comes from making it easy for the customer. Forsythe keeps a comprehensive database on all “Forsythe family members.” They have a full understanding of your preferences, existing collection, and even aspects of your life, such as an upcoming anniversary, that would be enhanced by an earring, ring, bracelet, or necklace. As Bragg travels the world meeting the designers personally and buying for the business, she doesn’t just shop for the store; she shops for specific clients. “When I’m buying, I always have a certain person in mind,” she said. “When it comes to new consignment and estate pieces, Tammy will think of a client and call them immediately. Most of the time, the pieces do not even make it into the case, because Tammy quickly finds it a new home.” This personal approach to shopping is very different from the one-click, online buying experience that has become so routine for many of us—and is admittedly a welcomed departure.

Forsythe Jewelers has been a family owned business since 1927 and was founded by a watchmaker named Clifton S. Forsythe in Rochester, New York. His daughter Barbara kept his books and helped him expand his jewelry selections. Over the years, father and daughter changed the focus of the business to jewelry sales, while maintaining a reputation for excellent jewelry and watch repair services. In 1981, the company expanded to Hilton Head and, in 2001, Bragg began working part-time at Forsythe. “It turned into a full-time position. I started off in sales but then moved to the back as the inventory manager before returning out on the floor in sales as the sales manager,” she said. Bragg’s longevity and love for the business made her an honorary extension of the Forsythe name and, with pride, she bought the Hilton Head location in 2015. “I love chatting with my customer and saying, ‘Let’s try on some jewelry.’”

Forsythe’s designers and collections
David Yurman: This easily recognizable designer has an iconic look with pieces that tend to feature his signature sculpted cable.

Gabriel & Co: This fairly new designer for Forsythe creates jewelry more on the petite side so you can stack rings and bracelets.

Gurhan: Handmade in Turkey, Gurhan’s signature is a hammering detail. Pieces tend to be unique and artistic, such as two toned, one-of-a kind rings.

John Hardy: Based in Bali, Hardy’s pieces are organic in style, contemporary and bold.

Lagos: Designer Steven Lagos made a big surge on the scene a couple years ago and is known for his signature caviar beading.

Marco Bicego: Bicego will tell you their pieces reflect “everyday luxury.” This Italian designer’s signature is hand carved with a bulino tool, and his more popular line features flower petals.

Roberto Coin: This high-end Italian designer produces pieces that can go anywhere—from a classical diamond by the inch to a tiger ring with several beautiful stones—creating a breadth of design work that is as extensive as it is beautiful. Coin’s jewelry is known for being intricately designed with the woman in mind.

Beach charms: For those who want a memento of Hilton Head Island, these charms are the perfect addition to a charm bracelet or can be worn on a necklace chain.

Mackenzie-Childs: Vibrant and whimsical, Mackenzie-Childs’ line of hand-painted ceramics, dinnerware and home decor is fun to collect and give as gifts.

Forsythe Jewelers is located at in the Shops at Sea Pines Center on 71 Lighthouse Road, Suite 311. Gate passes are always cheerfully refunded. For more information, visit or call (843) 671-7070.

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