FEATURE: The Chrysalis Catalyst

94-95 Andy and David Maine

It’s been almost a year since British jewellery brand Chrysalis partnered with US-based manufacturer, distributor and marketer, Richline, and the company has certainly seen strong results from this collaboration.

While Richline is the outright owner of the Chrysalis concept, co-founders Andrea and David Maine continue to run the company with Richline’s support and financial backing. When the two joined forces, no-one could have predicted just how well the partnership would go and, furthermore, the snowball of success the brand would enjoy.

To give you an indication of its rapid growth Chrysalis opened 40 new doors in Latin America, over 40 new accounts in Spain and 11 Chrysalis shop-in-shops in Switzerland at the end of 2015 alone. At the recent Italy-based Vicenza trade show the brand’s Italian distributors opened 50 new accounts, while Portugal is set to have more than 190 Chrysalis shop-in-shops implemented before the end of 2016.

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While the co-founders are enjoying significant international success, and hope to push open more doors in new territories, their hearts are still very much grounded at home. Andrea Maine beams as she shares with Professional Jeweller the brand’s latest UK news.
“In the UK we have secured some really good and recognised jewellers,” Maine explains.

Before Christmas, the brand was ecstatic to secure Mococo as a stockist. The independent retailer installed a shop-in-shop in its Liverpool store and Chrysalis cabinets in its Wrexham, Ruthin and Birkenhead branches. Now Mococo is rolling out shop-in-shops into more branches. “They are over the moon and we are really happy with Mococo,” shares Maine. “They are really great and good at advertising and they really love Chrysalis and it is selling really well.”

At the time of talking the brand had just finalised a deal that will see boutique.Goldsmiths try out Chrysalis in a selection of its stores. Boutique.Goldsmiths will be taking on a wide selection of the product range, with the possibility of expanding this if the brand proves popular.

In addition, Chrysalis also had a successful time at the recent Jewellery & Watch event, which took place at the NEC last month. Maine says it’s the “best show” the brand has ever had at the Birmingham-based fair. The company managed to secure some important business leads, more commitments to shop-in-shops and interest from several international buyers.

When asked why the brand has been doing so well internationally and locally, Maine responds: “Obviously the partnership with Richline has helped us grow quickly, but also the trend is huge at the moment. It’s the right time, the right price and the right display.”

Maine continues: “We are doing advertising as well in each territory, which is having a brilliant knock-on effect with the consumer asking retailers for Chrysalis and then obviously the retailers coming to us to find it.”

Once in contact with a store, Chrysalis works hard to ensure life is easy for its retailers. Whether on a trial, or opting for a shop-in-shop, Chrysalis commits to helping as much as the company can, from fitting the shop to providing social media support and training staff. In turn, positive feedback from retailers discussing the brand has further strengthened its appeal.

Mococo managing director, Maureen Hooson, comments: “We have been more than impressed with sales so far. The brand was so quick and efficient with installation and training that we hit the ground running. The stock arrived set up on point of sale, allowing customers to purchase instantly and the back stock system has been well-thought out to allow a transaction to flow smoothly, which is vital for any high volume turnover brand.”

Maine adds: “We thought hard about the display and merchandising as well so it’s not complicated for the consumer either. The meanings are there, they read the meanings, they like it, they buy it. We price everything for the consumer and retailer to see.

“We try to do everything to support the retailer and back that up with social media and marketing campaigns and it’s very clear and easy for them to drive sales with simple competitions and promotions. We offer everything and it engages the customers as well.”

To keep up with the demand of such growth, Chrysalis opened a new factory in China exclusive to the brand. This is the brand’s second factory. In addition, Chrysalis is looking to take on more staff in its London, Somerset and Hong Kong offices.

“It’s now making sure we just keep up with demand and have enough support to look after all our customers,” explains Maine. “Obviously we have grown very quickly, and we are now recruiting for more people in the London office to look after the distributors.”

Alongside rapid growth, the brand, which started predominately just creating bangles, has now branched out into necklaces, earrings and rings. For AW15 the brand transformed its best-selling bangle collection, Good Fortune, into a set of necklaces. For SS16 Chrysalis has added rings to the Good Fortune range too. At Jewellery & Watch, the brand also launched a new range called ‘Friendship’, which offers twelve wrap-style bangles that can also be worn as necklaces. Maine says retailers have responded positively to the brand expanding into new products, especially as the rings offer easy gifting opportunities with its one-size-fits-all concept.

Moving forward, Maine wants to be careful where the company places Chrysalis now, making sure the brand keeps the best accounts for Chrysalis and offers stores a sense of exclusivity. For its growth in the UK, Chrysalis will be particularly seeking to secure jewellers, high-end boutiques and departments stores.

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