Having just returned from a successful outing to Baselworld with a string of new accounts, Chrysalis is a jewellery brand that has gained serious traction since its inception back in 2007. MICHAEL NORTHCOTT caught up with director Andy Maine.
Consumers love a back story. Everything from a restaurant with a quirky theme to a rags-to-riches celebrity, we like to feel that there is more than meets the eye. And that notion of history, brand identity and story is why relatively young brand Chrysalis is enjoying success in the global market, according to one of its directors, Andy Maine. She says: “We launched Chrysalis as a brand in 2007, as we had got a lot of ideas from travelling, and from all the different countries we had seen. The brand touches on a lot of different sentiments and meanings and life experiences.
“This is where we got the inspiration from to do Chrysalis: beautiful things emerge form the chrysalis in nature, and that story is about connecting with people. Each bangle has a different story, every collection has special meaning, and everything comes with a story card explaining the background. Customers love it because they can really connect with why the person bought that present for them.”
Maine explains that point of sale is one of the key reasons retail jewellers are enjoying strong sell through of the products, which are now shifting in the hundreds of thousands. “With our experience in the jewellery trade,” she says, “and because we had another brand before that, we know that you need to try and make it easy for the retailer to convey those meanings across to the consumer. The display is very clear in the store – we go for a one size fits all approach, so by stacking them and layering them up, you can create your own story and unique design and create different looks.”
Maine says sell-through is going so well with many retailers that they are now asking for shop-in-shop options in gorwing numbers. Sales of Chrysalis are 5-6 times higher when the jewellery is presented in cabinets. “Some of our customers are actually asking for a whole area of the shop to be given over to Chrysalis because of how well they are doing with it.” She also explains that there is a waiting list for cabinets and the shop-in-shop options. It’s all part of the excitement of a fast growing international brand.
Chrysalis has partnered with one of the largest jewellery firms in the US, Richline, to handle distribution. Naturally the popularity of brands in the US does a lot for consumer perception elsewhere around the world. Maine says that the US market in particular is showing potential for Chrysalis-branded shops in the vein of Links or Pandora. “It would be amazing if we get to a point where we have these branded shops popping up in key locations around the world,” she adds.
What does it cost?
The price point for Chrysalis is between £25-35, so it is right in the middle of the ‘volume’ area of the market. Gold and diamond jewellers want the traffic flow to their more expensive shop as it is helping to get a younger customer into the store. “We appeal to the mums and the grandmothers buying for their loved ones – it appeas to all ages.”
So what is the secret to the growth in popularity? “We’ve had a lot of success in the stores we’re in, a lot of word of mouth, and people in some countries are acually searching after us – people have come to me asking how they can get involved. I’m inundated with leads. We have chains in so many countries who are interested in starting to work with us. Buyers from these national chains are spotting the trend in other countries that they watch for trends, and then they’re seeking us out.”
Chrysalis currently has around 300 doors in the UK, but more are being added. But what about the job itself? Maine says the best thing about the job is travelling and meeting people so much. “It’s one of the reasons we went into this business 25 years ago. It’s about life experiences, and we love the travel element. However the last couple of years have been so full on with work, which has been quite touch, but we are rapidly expanding and that is exciting.”
There are plans to expand into rings and earrings in the coming year or two, and there is also a children’s collection feature neon enamels, soon to launch. With 1,700 accounts globally, and counting, Chrysalis is one to watch.