177 Lafayette St, New York, NY | Directions 1001340.720329 -73.998842
Neighborhoods: Chinatown, Downtown
Most jewelers that I’ve dealt with in New York have acted like salesmen, making me feel like I didn’t know anything and they knew all. I did not feel this way at Little King. Every interaction my soon-to-be wife and I have had with the staff has been fun and easy. We came in to get my fiancé’s antique engagement ring resized (which they did with ease) and the following day we went back to order our wedding rings. We didn’t really know what we wanted, but we did have my fiancé’s late father’s wedding ring. Michael looked at it, and immediately grabbed one of the rings in a display cabinet. “Something like this?” he said, showing us a ring that had been fused together from two different metals. We immediately fell in love with the idea, and they trimmed the edges off our platinum ring, and made two rings for us: mine from the body of our ring with rose-gold melded onto the edges, and hers from a body of rose-gold, with the edges of her father’s ring. The rings came out beautifully and we’re so happy to have wedding rings infused with so much meaning. Oh, also everyone that works there is the nicest. The men, the Jennifers (both women are named Jennifer) and the dog, A.J. Just a really great New York shop.
Incredible jewelry, awesome people – We love Little King, Michael and Jen!
They did our wedding rings, paying attention to every detail even with very simple design. And they have helped us time and again with repairs that other jewelers made necessary on my engagement ring! Their custom work is perfect and Michael's work is gorgeous- I honestly want every peice from the engagement rings to the punk silver. I cannot wait to go back when we have another occasion!
They think of every detail and know how to advise you when you're not sure, and they get everything right the first time. LOVE them!
A True SoHo Gem – I cannot say enough good things about Michael, the Jens, and the whole staff at Little King. They've been absolutely stupendous to work with, fantastically customer-focused, and extremely talented. They're thoughtful, great at following up on things, knowledgeable, and so much fun to be around that we honestly could've just hung out shooting the breeze with them all for hours. So customer-focused are they, that the last time we went to pick up our final products, they saw us pull up outside and had everything out and ready before we even walked in.
My fiancé chose them to create my engagement ring (much to my joyful surprise), and they worked with him at length to pick the right stones, the perfect setting, and even the perfect size (which he only knew because he'd secretly traced the inside of one of my rings). When it came time to shop for wedding bands, we went back to them in their beautiful new SoHo location. I went in with a very vague idea of what I wanted for my band, and I ended up with absolutely the most perfectly stunning complement to my engagement ring. They worked diligently to find exactly the right stones, and were extremely happy in offering ideas and suggestions.
Even better than my band, though, is my fiancé's, which was originally my dad's wedding band. It fit him perfectly, but was too thin, so Michael explained that he could add a millimeter of palladium to either side to give it a new unique look, but still maintain the original white gold band in the center. It is fantastic. It's absolutely one-of-a-kind, and it is such a perfect marrying (yuk yuk) of generations.
I could gush about everyone at Little King for paragraphs on end (and have), but the most telling thing I can offer is this: when we picked up our wedding bands, I was sad that the whole experience was over. They're simply magnificent, and I can't recommend them highly enough!
Incredible – I got my engagement ring at a local jewelry store in my neighborhood and it is antique rose cut that my fiance chose and had custom made. While I LOVED the ring there were a few issues that I had with the setting so I decided to go back and talk to the designer. I had met him briefly before and assumed that he would work with me and want to help me out. To make a long story short he was less than interested in helping me make any alterations. He simply tried to convince me that my ring was perfect the way it was and that it was what everyone these days wanted.
I left a little sad leaving my ring behind to be re sized and have the stone tightened as it was already moving around. When I got my ring back there were clamp marks left on the sides of the ring. I was so frustrated I didn't even bother go back. I was discussing my issues with a friend when she mentioned Little King Ltd. and began raving about their work. I e mailed Jennifer soon after and she responded right away asking me to come in so we could discuss my ideas. When I got there both Jennifer and Michael were extremely welcoming and friendly. Michel showed me around the store, took a look at my ring and listened to my ideas about settings. He told me to make some drawings and to sleep on it but that whatever I wanted he could make happen. I ended up back the next day ready to commit. Even though he doesn't normally work with 14K white gold Micheal ended up making a trip to pick up the materials just to make the adjustments to my ring.
I picked the ring up yesterday and was blown away. It was exactly what I wanted and envisioned. A very small setting change has made all the difference in the world for me and I am so grateful to have found people that are such a pleasure to work with. I will definitely be getting my wedding band here and I could not give a higher recommendation if I wanted to. If you love antique jewelry, unique settings and stones as well as phenomenal craftsmanship, please check out Little King. They can custom make what appears to be anything and are so open to whatever the customer envisions. Thank you Little King!!
Run, don't walk! – I really love Little King. My fiance and I had our wedding rings made here (mine had diamonds for $2k and his was a custom band for $1k) and keep coming back! (Christmas earrings, and Valentine's Day/birthday necklace & belt buckle.) We didn't have a large budget, and they were so nice and accommodating every step of the way. (Like when we bring our gigantic stroller, and little guy : )
I just finished reading '3 Strikes and You're Out' and I thought that I'd take a minute to maybe respond to some of her complaints because I thought they were unfair. This is a small business and they seem to get a bit of walk in traffic. Sometimes you need to look around on your own for a min while they greet others. It's really not that big of a deal.
Another time I asked Jennifer (via email!) if she could get us a couple boxes. Lo and behold there they were the next time I came in. True story :)
And thirdly, I always felt very comfortable with the amount of money we've spent and the service we've been offered. It is intimidating, especially in NYC, to go into a jewelry shop and not have a large budget. We were upfront and honest and they were totally cool with what we could afford. (WAYYY under $20k!!!)
See you at Christmas Little King!
Awful Service - 3 Strikes and You're Out
I really wanted to work with Little King. They are extremely talented and have great taste but there are only so many disappointments a girl can handle! Getting a custom engagement ring made is suppose to be a happy joyous experience and Little King just ruined for me.
Strike 1 - First Impressions Count
As soon as we walked in, the place was buzzing and we were eager to talk to someone about designing a custom engagement ring that my boyfriend would design. However, when we asked the tall blond woman about custom engagement rings and diamonds, she simply pointed to a bunch of boxes and said go look over there. Her cool attitude was unexpected especially given the positive reviews on yelp. We were looking to spend $20K and she acted like she couldn't care. We were completely taken back but shortly afterwards Jennifer, the owner came by. She was warm and eager to help so we decided to put the first impression behind us and give them another chance.
Strike 2 - I Don't Read Email
A few weeks later we started to swap emails with Jennifer, telling her what type of diamond we wanted, and made an appt to come see her. Via email she assured us that she was going to get some diamonds available for our Sat visit. My boyfriend confirmed that week that we were coming in and she said sure! I was really looking forward to it but when we arrived - not only did she not recall swapping emails with us but she did not get any stones and had nothing prepared. Her only defense was that she is bad with emails! WTF. Not only did she say specifically that she would get diamonds that week but in a followup email confirming our visit, she said Sure! How many emails does she respond to a day that she can completely forget about swapping emails with us? I was soooooo disappointed that I had to fight back tears. As soon as I left the store, I broke down in tears because I was really excited about starting the process. But once again Jennifer promised that she would have a few diamonds if we came in during the week and so I bit my lip, and decided to gave her one more chance.
Strike 3 - When is 2 a Few?
When I came in on Tuesday night, all Jennifer had were 2 diamonds - when is two "a few?" A few means more than 3. How does she expect us to decide on such an expensive purchase by looking at only ONE diamond. The reason why I said one even though she showed us two was because one did not meet our requirements which made it irrelevant. The second was a cushion diamond but every cushion is different. ONE diamond gives us nothing for comparison. When my friend shopped for diamonds in the diamond district, they showed her 15 diamonds that met her requirements. I don't expect Jennifer to do the same, but come on, when is 2 a few? 3 would have been the minimum we needed to see for comparison - I am SURE there are more than 3 cushions that meet our financial limits. Her defense was that she could not take more than 2 at a time - Why didn't you say that in advance to set our expectations? Also did she not feel the need to redeem herself after completely forgetting our first appointment? Once again, I was so disappointment that I had to fight back tears. This is suppose to be a happy joyous process. So I tried to be polite and said maybe we will find some in the diamond district and bring it back for her to put in the setting that my boyfriend wanted to design specifically for me.
However after we left the shop, she had the audacity to email us and say that she does not want our business. I am speechless. I really wanted this to work out. We were really excited about working with Little King but after 3 strikes and a bonus, one of the happiest moments in my life so far was filled with nothing but tears. Thank you Little King.
My first and only stop for the perfect engagement ring – It was a rainy night earlier in the summer. A couple I know purchased their wedding bands at Little King and had a great experience. I made my way over to their East Village shop, down some small steps beneath a giant ring hanging out in front of the building. A four-story brick apartment building built in the 1950's. If you have never been to the East Village look it up. Home to beatniks, counterculture , protests and riots. It is also known as the birthplace and historical home of many artistic movements, including Punk Rock. It's a classic New York neighborhood and the owners of Little King fit right in.
Upon entering I was greeted with a great attitude. Truthfully this was my first stop on what I thought was going to be a long search for the best engagement ring. A research project into a field I know little of. A business of countless magazines and theories. Constant opinions on top of opinions. My biggest fear was that I was going to be given the hard-sell. Pressured into buying something by a salesperson monthly quota. I thought that this small couture East Village jewelry shop would be over priced and elitist. I could not have been more wrong and I'm ashamed that I even had that assumption.
The small shop is run by artists. In the back is their little workshop. You can see the silicone molds on shelves of all of the rings with brass castings made of most of them. I had a real conversation with them about everything from the neighborhood to motorcycles. One of the owners rides and is the master of the workshop. They do everything onsite except casting of the metal and of-course the mining of the diamonds. I was able to review settings, inspect the molds and even review diamonds straight from their suppliers. No pretense or posturing. No attitudes.
I walked in expecting to be taken for a ride (not on a motorcycle) because I knew nothing and instead I was treated like a person. I had an interest in learning about their process and they were willing to share. I did not feel like a customer.
I like a hands-on process. I was able to be as involved as I wanted to be. I did not waste their time and vice-versa. They are true artists running their own business in a town where many independent businesses fail. They'll work with your budget and produce an excellent product that is as good as you want it to be. If something can't be done, they will tell you.
Little King was recommended to us and since I've recommended it to others. We've brought antique jewelry in to be repaired. That day I walked in and walked out with a setting purchased and the ball started rolling on my engagement plans. My fiancee and I are now planning our wedding. Most importantly, dear reader, she gets a lot of compliments on the ring.
wow. thanks so much for your kind words! we are quite proud of what we do, and the way we do it, so to hear that people GET it makes all the rest worth it. I can't wait to start the wedding bands!
Lovely jewelry and people – After a lot of research my husband and I went to Little King to get my engagement and wedding rings remade. The originals weren't really to my taste, which tend towards the very delicate. At first I was a little concerned by some of the pieces on their website that wouldn't suit me at all - like giant skull rings- but it is a testament to the Little King's versitility that I now wear some of the most lovely and delicate rings that get tons of compliments. The two owners Michael and his wife (Jen?) are very helpful, friendly and unprententious. They understand if you are on a budget and were very supportive of the fact that I actually wanted a very small ring even though that might cut into whatever profit that they could make.If I had any criticism, it would be that the process went a little slow, but since we were already married I wasn't in a huge hurry. Ended up going with one of their existing designs and the lovely rose gold that they sell. Really, we've never had an experience with a jeweler that made us feel remotely comfortable before this point and that really makes all the difference. I hope my husband goes back!
Personal touch – FYI: I have not yet purchased from Little King. I met these guys at a wedding salon in midtown. My partner and I visited their shop and were impressed with the range of styles and personal touch you can apply to your ring. The on site workshop and interactions with the craftsman gave us a good indication of their skills and personal touch. We are very excited to work with them and create our rings =)
The perfect wedding band – My fiance wanted a band to go with a leaf-and-vine estate ring that we chose as our engagement ring, and after conferring with Little King, we chose an exquisite rose gold version of a white gold ring they had on hand, delicate with intricate floral designs and a personal inscription. It is just perfect and bridges the New York scene where my fiance has spent her career with the Missouri farm (leaf-and-vine) where she grew up. We were looking for magic, and we found it, and creation of the ring and delivery was very prompt. Magic again.
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