It seems many people in the jewellery industry are starting to wise up to the size of the potential market waiting for them online. Combining this with recent advances in the portability of sales tools, virtual catalogues, increasingly flexible 3D printing, and the myriad array of new business models, it seems we are seeing new approaches for reaching customers and delivering product every month.
Just in time for holiday shopping, I’ve gathered here three very different online businesses I haven’t mentioned before but definitely deserve more attention from jewellery CAD designers. The first is primarily for professional CAD modellers (but does offer some services to anyone in the jewellery trade), but the other two are for both CAD modellers and general shoppers:
Considering it started in 2014, you could consider JewelryThis.com to be an early adopter of the combination social network/CAD model marketplace. Unlike the more recently appearing CADFolio, however, JewelryThis focuses entirely on letting individuals sell CAD models for others to use, as well as offer their services as bespoke jewellery CAD designers.
One of its most interesting and unique draws, however, is their monthly CAD modelling competition (in partnership with Solidscape). Indeed, the current competition could get one lucky designer’s work seen at Baselworld 2016. They’re calling this latest competition: “The Spotlight is On You 2016“.
What sets them apart, however, is that Aoku3D serves as an intermediary between the customer and the maker. According to them, they “serve to convey consumer preferences to designers so to enhance creativity and productivity as we let customers personalize premium-grade products.” By helping determine customer needs and encouraging up-and-coming designers to design their interpretations for profit, they seek to help both sides get the best deal. It’s a bit like Iconery, although for a broader market including other types of accessory design.
It is also interesting to see how seamlessly and naturally the 3D printed models are mixed in with the other types of accessories and fashion sold in the site.
I’ve been a fan of Boticca‘s daring approach to mainstream fashion jewellery for a while. When I found they had merged with Wolf and Badger, I had to take a closer look at their new parent company. If you haven’t heard of them, this company has very much become an online contemporary jewellery gallery, featuring both edgy and daring fashion jewellery design alongside somewhat more experimental pieces.
For those who still seek the more traditional tactile gallery shopping experience, they also have two boutiques in London.
Some Thoughts on These Sites
Between Wolf and Badger and other sites like the above-mentioned Aoku3D and Stilnest, it’s easy to get a feeling for how CAD-based jewellery design now fits within fashion retail. Perhaps this type of retail is now the new normal for designer-makers.