Gem hunters Jamie Rubin and Arnold Kovelman scour little-known spots for DIY and vintage jewelry.

Jamie Rubin and Arnold Kovelman

Photograph: Wenyi Huang

After friends introduced them in 2005, jewelry designer Jamie Rubin, 26, and Web developer Arnold Kovelman, 28, started dating—and then went into business together, launching Max & Chloe (, a site specializing in hip accoutrements. The couple finds fresh ideas at these insider boutiques.

“We love items that have a foundation in history and culture.”
—Jamie Rubin and Arnold Kovelman, founders of Max & Chloe

Reconstituted chrysocolla, $28 per strand; Buddhist amulet, $48; both at Beads of Paradise

Photograph: Erkan Said

Beads of Paradise
The pair recommends checking out this imported-beads outpost since, according to Rubin, “you’ll look like you’ve been shopping at bazaars in Thailand, Bali and Mexico.” What’s more, “the staff can help you create a one-of-a-kind piece from start to finish.” DIY necklaces and bracelets start at $5.
16 E 17th St between Fifth Ave and Broadway (212-620-0642)

Photograph: Wenyi Huang

Kovelman jokes that ambling through the vintage accessories at Pippin is like “shopping in Grandma’s closet,” but you won’t have to suffer through Nana’s boring stories and mothball perfume. Many of the shop’s goods look au courant: “They could be from current designers’ collections,” Rubin says. And the best part is that the selection here never goes stale—new items arrive every week.
112 W 17th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-505-5159)

Photograph: Wenyi Huang

Bored with the all-too-common necklaces at Forever 21? Kovelman and Rubin visit this medieval-meets-glam-rock bauble space for its bold, statement-making pieces: “Everything in this store is heavy metal but chic and not too trendy,” explains Rubin. Kovelman also touts Exhibitionist’s subtle, streamlined wares for dudes who want to sport a chain or a bracelet without looking like a Gotti kid.
177 Orchard St between E Houston and Stanton Sts (212-375-1530,

Photograph: Wenyi Huang

Toho Shoji
“If you see something you like in a magazine that you can’t find anywhere or can’t afford, you can usually come here and re-create the piece,” says Rubin, who designs two of Max & Chloe’s featured brands: Blu and Brian Danielle. In addition to plundering the jewelry-supplies joint for charms, Swarovski crystals and pearls, the pair discovers up-to-the-minute items like a wooden chain, and trimmings such as turquoise-colored leather strips to use in lieu of typical jewelry clasps.
990 Sixth Ave between 36th and 37th Sts (212-868-7465,