Esmeralda Lambert had a plan: She was going to get her MBA at Babson College and bring a winning business idea back to her native Dominican Republic. But after meeting her future husband, Matt, at school, she decided to stay put—and ended up bringing some of the DR to Boston. “Everyone in the U.S. asked me, “Where did you get that?’ ” Lambert says, recalling how her signature bling, made by artisans back home, had long earned compliments. “Once a woman literally wanted me to sell her the necklace I was wearing.” So she founded her namesake line of lightweight, light-catching statement jewelry, hand-woven by entrepreneurial women and studded with Swarovski crystals, semi-precious stones and silver and gold findings. Tapping Matt as the brand’s marketing strategist and her mom as her DR liaison, she soon had her line in 30 boutiques.
Now, she has one of her own: the recently opened Esmeralda, a bright boîte in Harvard Square filled with finds from her line and other small accessory brands, including seaglass jewelry by North Carolina’s Austin Design, Nepalese roll-on bracelets from Aid Through Trade and delicate gold and silver necklaces by Beverly Hills husband-and-wife duo Charlene K. It’s also filled with Latin music and the scent of rose candles and Dominican coffee. “If you come, I want you to enjoy your time in the store,” she says. “I want you to feel at home.”
Esmeralda, 54 Church St., Cambridge (617-661-0900) esmeraldalambert.com