You wouldn’t immediately think of jewelry and diamonds as a hot startup category.
In last 12 months, however, a series of startups are popping up in this area of consumer goods. To rattle off a few: there’s Tove which launched this week to help you gift good jewelry and Vrai and Oro to bring the Everlane model to jewelry. Swoonery offers a personalized shopping experience and Iconery brings a cool girl’s touch to the market. And let’s forget not Diamond Founry which is putting a large stake in the ground for the lab diamond market.
We are fascinated by this recent surge in the industry. Diamonds have long been thought of as a pretty traditional industry. The first wave of e-commerce players like Blue Nile and Brilliant Earth disrupted the market by bringing pricing transparency and purchasing online. The experience, however, seems targeted for a man making a data-driven, financial transaction. Slide the ruler to the optimize for the diamond grade you want and select your setting using checkboxes in a list of popular styles. It’s great for some people but doesn’t deliver magic in the diamond purchase. The newer companies are stepping up to address this opportunity.
This next wave of jewelry retail is clearly targeting a more feminine approach with curated shopping experiences and a touch of fashion and trend. Perhaps this marks a culture shift in for women? Women are starting to own one of the largest consumer good purchases of their lifetime and businesses are building retail experiences more tailored towards them.
We also think it also marks something in our culture that is shifting. Millennials are not as label focused as they are “style” and “value” focused. They want unique objects that express their personal style. They still covet consumer goods, but the things they covet must have greater meaning. Newer business are also addressing this need for style, value and uniqueness.
Jewelry is one of the best things to own to serve this purpose. Jewelry always comes with a story, a meaning, and an intrinsic value that does not go away. As our world moves faster than ever, a diamond purchase comes with a sense of stability that has been around for centuries. People looking to make a splurge purchase may believe you are better off buying a piece of jewelry that has long-term value versus a handbag that depreciates quickly.
We would love to hear what you think about the fine jewelry industry. Do you think it will continue to grow? Are these new companies going after the right opportunity? How do you think about buying diamonds and fine jewelry? Please tell us in the comments!