Store 5a Opening Short North Storefront

Photos by Walker Evans.

“Intapreneurship” arises when an individual gets the chance to innovate like an entrepreneur within an existing business. That’s exactly what’s happened in the case of the Diamond Cellar and its offshoot concept, Store 5a.

Store 5a gives second life to all of the jewelry that is bought from customers at the Diamond Cellar. And, it all started as a simple idea from the owner’s son, Jesse Johnson.

“Truth be told, initially I wasn’t planning on going into the jewelry industry,” Johnson says. He wanted to be a musician, but spent summers helping out at the family business. Now, he will be manning his own jewelry store at 765 N. High St. in the heart of Short North.

“The Diamond Cellar, for a long time, was buying customers’ jewelry and then that customer would have some disposable cash where they could either upgrade their jewelry and buy some new piece, or just get rid of old stuff,” Johnson says.

He saw the bought collection piling up and asked his dad if he could sell it online.

“Initially we really didn’t think anything of it, we just thought it would be a good way to do it,” Johnson says.

At first, the sales were managed through the Diamond Cellar website.

“It became more and more clear that the customer was a little bit different than the Diamond Cellar customer,” Johnson says. The vision was also different. That’s when the side project branched into its own website.

Before long, cases at the Diamond Cellar were being dedicated to 5a product.

“The number one question we’re asked is, ‘Where can we see the product in person?'” Johnson says. 5a started buying jewelry and the inventory and concept grew enough to warrant its own storefront.

When Johnson heard that Milk Bar was closing, he jumped at the opportunity to nail down that retail location as quickly as possible. He thought Short North’s growth and energy would be a great fit for the more accessible concept.

“I think that the culture down here is eclectic,” he says. “It seems very open to new concepts.”

Johnson is very interested in the stories behind the pieces.

“I think storytelling is incredibly important,” he says. The reclaimed story seems to be everywhere now from furniture to clothing. People want to find unique pieces that say something about themselves, and Johnson wants jewelry to be included in that market.


Shoppers can still expect to find high-quality pieces of jewelry with the price point to match, but Store 5a will also stock fashion jewelry that will range from $40 to $400 dollars.

“We’ve also introduced pre-owned handbags,” Johnson adds.

He says the collection isn’t necessarily an introduction to the Diamond Cellar, but an introduction to luxury.

The Diamond Cellar has been incredibly supportive of the concept from the start Johnson says. Having their backing has also added an extra level of credibility to Store 5a. The jewelers, craftsmen and gemologists from the Diamond Cellar appraise, authenticate and refurbish all of Store 5a’s pieces.

Store 5a will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. They’ve already had a soft opening, but a grand opening party is slated post Pride, Comfest and Boom.

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