How Iconery Uses 3D Printing to Accelerate Fast Fashion Jewelry Trends to Market
In the world of fashion, personalization is everything. As consumers, what we wear is who we are – especially, perhaps, when it comes to the eye-catching delights of jewelry. And so, in 2015 when former eBay executive Ivka Adam founded Iconery – an online state-of-the-art fine jewelry marketplace – she wanted to create an experience that puts customization and personalization at the fore, and indeed change the way professional women purchase the most sparkling items in their wardrobes.
Partnering with fashion veteran Andrea Linett, the pair built Iconery as an online destination where a curated selection of high-end jewelry designers could sell their luxury creations at accessible prices. What truly sets the ecommerce retailer apart, however, is its utilization of the latest 3D printing technology, which enables new pieces to be designed, manufactured and shipped to customers sometimes in a matter of hours.
“It’s a very rapid process,” Adam says in Internet Retailer. “Within a couple of hours, a couple of days, we can have a collection produced, which is great because it allows us to jump on some fast-fashion trends. If there’s someone that wears a piece at the Grammys, the next day we are able to have a similar piece on site.”
(Image source: iconery.com)
Reinventing an Industry
Importantly, Iconery is not simply in the business of flogging “cheap” 3D printed replica jewelry. On the contrary, only the precious metals that have been traditionally used in jewelry manufacturing are utilized by Iconery, and the pieces are designed by renowned and popular designers, such Melissa Coker and Daryl K.
Nonetheless, 3D printing is key to keeping prices accessible at Iconery. This is due to the fact that molds have traditionally been the most expensive part of the jewelry fabrication process – 3D printing immediately eradicates this cost. Iconery products range from $95 to $7,000, with the majority of items costing under $500. As Adam explains in Forbes:
“We're applying technology to reinvent an age-old industry. Iconery.com sits at the intersection of fashion, e-commerce, and the latest 3D printing technology. Collectively, the team has spent a lot of time and resources to figure out a way to apply 3D printing to jewelry e-commerce at scale, an area practically untouched thus far. 3D printing is exceptional for manufacturing single or small batch items, and provides the flexibility to produce everything from fine micro-pavé pieces to bolder styles. It’s the magic behind the curtain. The 3D printing technology is quietly there and allows the customer to get what she wants. The minute she hits the “buy” button we start making the jewelry.”
It’s a business model that has benefits on both sides of the market. Whilst the buyer gains convenient access to a wide range of high-quality, on-trend jewelry items at lower price points, designers gain access to a complete end-to-end production platform, enabling them to bring their products to market quickly to meet rising consumer demands, all while spending less time and money on manufacturing and marketing.
Iconery also handles customer support and fulfillment on behalf of its designers – such assistance that allows them to spend more time on the creation of new jewelry designs. “Iconery has allowed me this seamless progression and an exciting opportunity to create the pieces that will further the Daryl K. design philosophy without having to handle the challenges of fine jewelry making and marketing. It’s a perfect partnership,” says Daryl K.
Connecting Consumers with Designers
The final piece of the puzzle is found in Iconery’s content marketing efforts. On top of providing a marketplace which serves to benefit both buyers and sellers, the company also aims to be an educational resource for consumers, providing, through its blog and other digital outlets, entertaining and informative styling and buying tips. From designer spotlights to bridal jewelry advice, Iconery adds value to its platform through the provision of targeted articles penned by industry professionals that help buyers make the right purchase decisions on the site.
“Through our editorial stories,” says Linett, “we teach women how to wear and pair jewelry – we have stories on everything from how to layer necklaces and stack rings – even how to wear an earcuff. For instance, imagine you are a corporate lawyer and you want to wear something classic with an edge that’s not going to get you thrown out of the courtroom… we have that kind of jewelry. A professional woman can wear a diamond earcuff and look cool yet still polished. We’re here to help you complete your overall jewelry wardrobe and build a collection – something you will want to put on day after day, year after year. And something that will put a little excitement in your look.”
Iconery’s commitment to servicing both sides of the market creates a unique focus that encompasses both buyer and seller, drawing attention from all angles. As designers are given access to a complete end-to-end platform to design, manufacture and market their wares, consumers are benefitting from personalized designs, accessible prices for top-end trending items, and fashion tips and advice from some of the most important players in the industry. It’s a business model that not only fosters an innovative connection between 3D printing technology and jewelry, but a connection between customer and maker – additional value that’s worth its weight in gold.
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About John Waldron: John Waldron is a technology and business writer for markITwrite digital content agency, based in Cornwall, UK. He writes regularly across all aspects of marketing and tech, including SEO, social media, FinTech, IoT, apps and software development.