Lighten Up | Page 2 of 2

Lighten Up

Pastel jacket picks for spring, plus a Potomac-based jewelry subscription service

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A Potomac-based subscription service sends new accessories to your mailbox each month


Photo by Laura Chase de Formigny.

Deb Shalom wants to help women up their jewelry game. Early last year, the 59-year-old Potomac resident and veteran jewelry buyer reinvented Leila Fine Gifts & Jewels as an online subscription service she calls LeilaBox. (She closed the brick-and-mortar store in 2017 when the Cabin John Shopping Center changed hands.) She aims to share her knack for finding off-the-beaten-path baubles with a wider audience—and to encourage women to experiment with their accessories.

“Everyone has their special pieces that they wear every day, but this is a great way to try different things, wear them for a few weeks, then ship them back and start all over again,” Shalom says. She describes LeilaBox as a Rent the Runway (an online dress rental company) for jewelry, and calls her service “the ultimate try-and-buy” for women who want to test trends and change up their accessory wardrobe without making commitments.

Here’s how it works: For $22 a month, you receive a customized selection of earrings, bracelets and necklaces based on your lifestyle and preferences. Wear whichever items you like for however long you want, and when you’re done, send back the shipment in the prepaid return envelope, keeping any items that you’d like to purchase. Most items retail for $50-$125 but are offered at a 25 to 50 percent discount.

Photo by Laura Chase de Formigny.

Each shipment, which arrives in a wrapped-and-ribboned box, contains three items (and often a bonus fourth item) that Shalom selects based on an initial “style profile” that you fill out and any feedback you send from subsequent shipments (each delivery contains comment cards). You can also request jewelry for special occasions; Shalom welcomes pictures of outfits or hairstyles to help her find the right piece.

Shalom seeks out lesser-known and up-and-coming American designers. “I stay away from the department store brands and trendy designers,” she says. You might even find a little something that nudges you outside of your comfort zone. “I sent this woman a giant red leather cuff,” Shalom says. “She wasn’t sure it was her style, but when she wore it, she told me she’d received more compliments on that piece than she’d ever imagined. She was thrilled, and now she’s willing to experiment more.”

LeilaBox ships anywhere in the continental U.S., and Shalom says her target customers are women who like to “get a little dressed up every day”—and men who want to buy those women something special but don’t know what to pick out.

LeilaBox; 202-798-1085;

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