b'MARIE HELENE REINHOLD Grupo Reinhold operates two Reinhold Jewelers stores, a Tiany & Co. boutique, a David Yurman boutique and a mens store called Kiyume. Reinhold Jewelers was one store at the beginning, and its now-fa- The two eventually married, and, in the early 70s, a staffing mous leader didnt even work there. That is, until someone else quitupheaval changed the course of Marie Helenes career. without warning one Christmas Eve. The manager of Reinhold Jewelers quit with no notice on Christ-mas Eve, and Marie Helene stepped in to help out the family business.HER STORYAt the time, Reinhold Jewelers carried basic jewelryengage-There are two common paths people seemingly follow to get intoment rings, watches, pearl strands, bread-and-butter diamond the jewelry business. pieceswhich, to be fair, was what one would have found in almost The first is the legacy routeyou become a jeweler because yourevery jewelry store in the early 1970s.parents, grandparents, and possibly great-grandparents were, too.Feeling, as she put it in The second is more happenstanceyou find yourself in a jewelryFailure is just anone interview, suffocated job by chance, fall in love with the industry (who wouldnt?), andby the sameness she saw never leave.option to learnthroughout the store, Marie Helene falls into the latter category.and grow for her.Marie Helene lobbied for a Born in Haiti in 1941, shes the daughter of Kurt Fisher, a Jewish mansmall showcase of her own. who fled his native Austria when it was taken over by Hitler and the Na- Its not a stoppingShe filled it with the zis in 1938, and a fourth-generation Haitian woman, Ghislaine Fombrun.point.work of artists like Jan Yag-The retailer was raised in Haiti until she left to attend college iner, the late Jose Hess, and New York City. She ended up putting her language skills to use at theYael ReinholdDavid Yurman.United NationsMarie Helene is fluent in English, French, GermanWhen she and Henry and Spanishbefore moving to Puerto Rico in the early 60s.Lipnikdivorced in the mid-80s, Reuniting with her family, who had left Haiti for Puerto Rico,Marie Helene retained the Reinhold went to work in her fathers store, which sold antiques,stores name as her only island art and other collectibles.asset. She was now free to make Reinhold Jewelers into what she Eventually, she opened two stores of her own in Old San Juan, theenvisioneda store that emphasized design and designers, and one It Boutique and the Hole in the Wall.in which the story behind every piece of jewelry was told. My mom was very eclectic, says Yael Reinhold Lipnik, theIt was her entire vision, recalls Regan Reinhold, another of youngest of Marie Helenes four daughters. She liked to dabble inMarie Helenes daughters. She got to move it the way she wanted.different kinds of businesses. One day, a woman who was dating the man who owned the jewel- HER VISION ry store across the street, Henry Reinhold, bought some clothing atWhen Marie Helene started in the jewelry industry, the American Marie Helenes store, and told her to bill Henry.jewelry design movement was just getting underway. So the retailer did; she walked across the street and handed himThe so-called New Designer Gallery, inaugurated in 1977 at the the bill. It marked the end of Henrys relationship with his girl- Retail Jewelers of America show in New York (now JA New York), friend and the start of a new one, with Marie Helene. was a true innovation. Continued on page 27NATIONAL JEWELER 25'