When it came to choosing a business model, one that made the most of a manufacturing process while optimizing sales, Jewlr wanted the best solution possible. Creating a customized, online shopping experience with detailed attention to customers is their forte, and it has paid off!
Jewlr (based at www.jewlr.com) performs at the top of their game, fulfilling their production ambition through 3D printing. With machines from EnvisionTEC, Jewlr customizes pendants, rings and earrings in a variety of metals, with the options to add stones and engravings. The experience is one that is truly personalized from beginning to end – a priority for CEO, Tony Davis.
Davis, with a background in software engineering and no prior experience in the jewelry industry founded Jewlr on the concept of personalization and a seamless shopping experience. He and his partners began experimenting with internet marketing ideas. They chose to sell personalized jewelry online as it entailed a highly interactive experience that was very different from shopping for jewelry in traditional retail stores.
Customers quickly began buying from the website, and the venture started to garner a happy, loyal customer base. Jewlr.com began cultivating suppliers and expanding its’ network. Once the company had begun to establish itself within the jewelry industry, the manufacturing and need for constant product line demands grew and the need for change to accommodate this became apparent. “On the internet you’re dealing with what we call ‘internet time’ – things happen much more quickly,” said Davis. To put it simply, Jewlr needed a production system that could keep up with hefty online demand and changing trends.
“We started looking at how you make jewelry — we knew nothing about it.”
Initially Davis wasn’t interested in the manufacturing processes, but rather simply creating his own line of products. He decided to experiment with CAD programs on his own before hiring CAD designers. At this point, Jewlr.com used service bureaus to 3D print their pieces.
“We were still paying 60 or 70 dollars for one wax…It was a big process and it wasn’t achieving what I wanted to achieve.”
Tony began looking into the economics of buying a 3D printer. He took a 3D design course and also met EnvisionTEC jewelry re-seller Shele Letwin in Canada. Davis said he researched the market and EnvisionTEC’s competitors. There was some disagreement among the partners which aspect of 3D printing was important to focus on. Some perferred a wax printer in order to cast more easily. “We really needed volume and speed,” Tony said. “And the [Aureus was the] best way to do that.” After deliberation, Tony and his partners purchased a Perfactory® Aureus machine.
With the Aureus, Jewlr.com began printing designs and sending the waxes to casting houses. They printed every order on the machine. Davis explained how 3D printing from EnvisionTEC optimized Jewlr.com’s manufacturing and design processes:
“It allowed us to really broaden our investment, and to offer a much wider range of items basically. That’s what we wanted to do: test new design and see what works. Ultimately, we grew, adding more items and going into definitive areas.”
While 3D printing technology means designs may be customized and altered fairly easily, Jewlr.com goes one step further by allowing its customers to completely personalize each piece of jewelry. Once the masters are made a customer may view the design online, order the piece in one of a variety of metals, decide laser-etching for the item, and finally choose precious gems or Swarovski Zirconia.As the company continues to grow, it has invested in more 3D printers. Jewlr.com now has three EnvisionTEC machines: a Perfactory® Aureus and two Perfactory® 4 machines. Jewlr.com has a team of operators in charge of working the Aureus and the two P4s, generally without problems in the production process.
“The support is great. We’ve never had a problem.”
It certainly would seem that things are running smoothly behind the scenes of Jewlr.com; the e-company received the Canada Post E-Commerce award for most innovative large retailer in 2013 and they receive over 300 orders daily, exceeding the total amount of orders the website received in all of 2009.