Small businesses in the jewelry industry are all trying to target a new generation of savvy young men and women who were born with a computer on their lap. This is the generation that knows all about communications, media, and digital technology. How does an old industry changes to appeal to the millennials?
Josette: How and when did you feel an interest in the jewelry business?
Audra: I always loved shiny things: fool’s gold as a child, beads, my aunt’s and grandmother’s jewelry collections, but it was learning to macramé hemp necklaces during a hippie phase in college that really opened the door. The beads big enough for hemp thread got boring fast, which lead to learning stringing beads and pearls and wire wrapping. An expensive hobby eventually snowballed into what became a career.
Josette: Did your experiences working for jewelers help you define VVS Media?
Audra: Absolutely. I love jewelry and the industry is like a family. My initial dream for VVS Media was to use my fourteen years of experience to service it only. It was sad to learn so many brick and mortar stores closed last year. It feels more important than ever to bring jewelers into the digital age. Having been lucky enough to work with brilliant designers, goldsmiths, artists and store owners, I realized they don’t have the time or the desire to think about marketing their work. They are busy dreaming, creating and selling. It can be tricky for them to communicate their story, their process or whatever it is that makes them special. It’s easier for an objective party to help with that.
Josette: What role does social media marketing plays in today’s jewelry world and what is your best tip for social media success?
Audra: Today’s shoppers are smart. Depending on their demographic, most research a purchase online before setting foot in a jewelry store or buying online, especially if it’s going to be a large one. Having a strong digital presence legitimizes a store or designer.
To be successful it’s important to target your demographic. Who is your buyer? Where do they hang out online? Find out where they are and engage them. What do they need? How can you help them? Decide who you want to purchase your work and have a conversation with them. Don’t forget to always respond to comments or questions.
I also feel strongly that collaboration is the future. Reach out to peers you admire and ask what a collaboration might look like. You will be combining your market with theirs and double your reach. We have seen the fashion industry collaborate for years; it’s exciting to see it happening in our industry!
Thank you Audra for sharing your knowledge about the digital world, I wish you all the success for years ahead.