Gem Prive launches second annual design contest

Charm-picture-Gem-Prive.jpg

Winner of public vote to get design created and sold by Gem Prive.

Jewellery manufacturing business Gem Privé has launched its second annual design contest, in a bid to connect jewellery designers directly with consumers through a global crowd-funding platform.

With the title ‘It’s a Charmed Life’ entrants are requested to “think small” and create a miniature charm masterpiece that will add to Gem Privé’s library of charm designs.

Entrants can develop up to three designs in sterling silver, 9ct yellow gold and 9ct rose gold to create their designs, ensuring they don’t exceed the 5g weight limit. Gemstones and decoration are encouraged.

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Initially launched in 2013, the concept asks designers to submit CAD designs for fine jewellery products which are then voted for by an audience of jewellery lovers, with the winning designs then manufactured and sold through the Gem Privé website.

The UK-based company will provide the winning jewellers with 10% royalties for their design and PR and marketing to promote their products.

The concept is the brainchild of jewellery designer Miranda McCarthy, who has previously worked under her own brand London Bird, as well as creating designs for the English National Ballet and Paul Smith.

In 2013, McCarthy explained the thought-process behind her business to Professional Jeweller, arguing that the fine jewellery market had previously been “stagnant” in its approach to new products. The concept ensures designs are presented to consumers to allow them to choose and comment on what they would buy, rather than the costly process of producing collections first, which might not sell.

McCarthy said: "[I thought] why not use the internet to get feedback from the public to tell me if my designs would sell before I put them into production?

"I posted a 3D CAD image of a ring I had designed onto my Facebook wall and asked the question ‘Do you like this design – should I make it?’. The response was overwhelming. Luckily most were positive, but interestingly, comments on the colour of the gemstone ultimately changed the design before I produced it."

Now in its second year, McCarthy aims to "democratise the fine jewellery industry" by harnessing the voice of the consumer. Only the designs that win approval from visitors to Gem Privé.com will be produced and sold.

McCarthy hopes that, by providing a risk-free platform for designers to test the market, Gem Privé should lower the barriers of entry for a new wave of designers looking to turn their creativity into a career.

Gem Privé is working with a network of manufacturers that use a made-to-order system, meaning they only produce a design when there’s demand; thus making it an inventory-light business concept. By using crowd-sourcing the site aims to reduce waste and with it gain valuable feedback from the online community about the designs offered.

The site also strives to give global designers an equal opportunity, and hopes to support designers in emerging markets where the money earned from royalties could be life-changing.

Entries will be accepted on the company’s Facebook page until the closing date of Friday September 26 2014.

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