The internet is opening up new opportunities for enterprising creative businesses, with a new start-up launching a specially developed online jewellery design tool this month.
Sarah Freeman, founder of iRock Jewellery, says the development of the app was central to the business idea, an online platform that allows customers to design their own necklaces, which are then created by the team and mailed out.
“The idea was around that design tool,” says Freeman.
“We were quite keen to get into the tech area because the outlook for retail isn’t great, but there is a lot of promise in eCommerce. There is a much bigger market available because we can look international and it’ll keep our margins down.”
Freeman says managing the development of the design tool has been her biggest challenge as self-designed, handmade jewellery has always been a manual task.
“We did have a few problems with getting on the same page with our coder about this. I knew how I wanted it to work, and feel to the user. To get it to look and function like that took lots of revision,” she says.
The pendant necklaces sell for around the $50. Originally, Freeman had planned to launch the design tool for more expensive high-end jewellery but this changed during her validation process.
“The business was always going to be completely online, so we needed to be really clear on what market we wanted to focus on, and work out the price point from there,” Freeman says. “A more affordable price point gave us a more penetrable market.”
Developing her market is the next step for Freeman.
“As an eCommerce and purely online company, we’re using digital media a lot,” she says. “The visual mediums (such as Pinterest and Instagram) work best for us. We use all the platforms for different purposes so people can engage with us on multiple platforms and not feel bombarded.”
Freeman says her social media presence and having clear contact details listed on her site help her build trust with her clients.