Since its founding in 1988, Carat & Co. has been serving the watch and jewelry needs of its hometown of Flushing, New York—and beyond—offering exceptional service and an extensive array of well-chosen products. With Allen Mon at the helm, the store has grown from a small hotel shop selling primarily jewelry, to a full-scale boutique that carries some of the best brands available. And as the first luxury watch retailer in Flushing, it has become a destination for the local, national and inter- national clientele.
Today this family-owned and operated business includes such respected brands as Blancpain, Breguet, Omega, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin and Cartier, all engagingly displayed at the company’s recently completed boutique, which includes a variety of shop-in- shops. This new Main Street location is a four-level, 17,500-square-foot store decorated in a contemporary style, and it is the first of its kind in Flushing. The lower level includes mid-range timepieces, accessories and a service center, while the main level showcases luxury watches. The second level is designed to display haute horlogerie timepieces and jewelry, and the top level is home to the Carat & Co. jewelry boutiques and event space.
“By building a boutique-style shopping experience, each brand can showcase its products into a beautiful story,” says Allen. “My goal is to have each brand tell its own statement so customers can appreciate the history and luxury behind it.”
High-end jewelry brands like Hearts on Fire, Christopher Designs, Bulgari and Chopard, as well as accessories from Vertu, Montblanc and S. T. Dupont are all featured at Carat & Co., with each retaining its distinct personality. “It is a great way for the clients to learn and experience all that each brand has to o er under one roof,” comments Melissa, Allen’s daughter and store manager. Allen’s son and business manager Derek agrees, saying, “People don’t buy watches to tell time, people buy watches to tell stories.” He adds that, “The average watch sale at Carat & Co. is in excess of $5,000.”
Watch enthusiasts make Carat & Co. a frequent stop on their road to luxury timepieces because they know Carat & Co. will deliver the best timepieces and service. The company has built trust within the community by being a family-run business, and customers regularly stop by to converse with the family and the highly trained sales team. The store’s Chinese customers in particular love the family business aspect because in the Chinese culture family is an important value. In general, their clientele comprises Flushing residents who come in to buy a watch for themselves or as gifts. Life-long friends of the store who own many timepieces often refer their friends and family interested in purchasing a commemorative gift for occasions like graduations and anniversaries.
According to Tiffany, store manager and second daughter of Allen, “The success of our store has been the determination and relentlessness of our father, Allen,” she says. “He is a great businessman as well as salesman, and he was able to grow a small flea market shop into the biggest watch and jewelry store in Queens.”
Melissa concurs, adding that none of this would have been possible without the support and help of their late mother, Lisa. “Working together as a team, they built lasting relationships and mutual trust with their clientele, creating the customer foundation for today,” explains Tiffany. In addition, their continued growth would not have been possible without their hardworking staff, who dedicate their time and energy to maintaining client relationships and keeping up with the latest news and trends.
Philanthropy is never far from the minds and hearts of Carat & Co., and the store’s generosity is shared through such local organizations such as the Flushing BID, whose mission is to unite the leaders of the community to improve business, safety and the city’s overall success. Cycle for Survival, in partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Equinox gym, is also a philanthropic commitment of Carat & Co. This cycling event held across the country, helps to raise funds and pioneer research to discover new and better treatments for rare cancers worldwide. One-hundred percent of every donation goes to funding research for these patients—many of whom have few or no treatment options. It is a charity that hits close to home for Carat & Co., with the recent loss of owner Lisa Mon, who passed away from sarcoma last year. This national fundraiser has raised over $30 million worldwide, with $105 million total to date.