Episode 437: How to Partner with a Manufacturer to Grow Your Jewelry Company with Jennifer Carey
If you've ever felt like you're limiting your own creativity because you’re struggling to keep up with the demands of your growing business, you're not alone. In this episode of Thrive by Design, we've got Jennifer Carey, a fellow Flourish & Thrive community member and a fourth-generation jewelry maker, sharing her incredible journey with us.
Jennifer and her husband used to handcraft all their beautiful pieces right out of their garage. They were rocking it, but it was no walk in the park. The constant hustle to meet demand, long turnaround times, and handmade jewelry struggles finally took their toll.
Then life threw a curveball when Jen got sick, and they had to shut down the shop. But don't worry, this story has a happy twist!
Jennifer now works with Riyalto and helps jewelry designers get their designs made using the same larger manufacturers that brands like Tiffany and David Yurman use.
Riyalto has also negotiated lower pricing and lower minimums on behalf of their smaller brands and makers.
Why It’s Hard for Designers to Let Go of Manufacturing
When you're handcrafting every piece, there's only so much you can create with the time you've got. Jennifer and her hubby hit that wall, too, and they had no clue where to turn for help. Like many of us, the idea of outsourcing manufacturing can feel overwhelming, but it's often the key to scaling up.
The challenge is that many designers don’t know where to go for help. And their needs are just not big enough for a lot of manufacturers. Plus, there can be language barriers and time zone differences, which can make it difficult to communicate and build trust.
How Riyalto Helps the Smaller Jewelry Brands
Think of Riyalto as a jewelry manufacturing broker. Coming from a jewelry business background, Jen understands the challenges of smaller brands that don’t have a ton of volume.
There’s a perception that if you want to work with a manufacturer, you have to have 100 units per style, and not everyone needs that much volume or depth.
“The reason I joined the company is because of their passion and my same passion for helping small jewelry designers or emerging jewelry designers gain access to the same manufacturers that, you know, larger brands do.”
Riyalto is bridging the gap between larger manufacturers and smaller jewelry designers.
Their technology-driven platform enables designers to see where their project is in the manufacturing process.
When a designer works with Riyalto, they have a dedicated team, with an account manager or jewelry professional who is the liaison between the jewelry designer and the manufacturer. That person handles all the communication with the team of CAD designers, merchandisers, and buyers and not only finds the best partner for the job but also sees the project through to completion.
They’ve also negotiated lower rates with all of these manufacturers so that they can produce jewelry for small brands without breaking the bank.
Anything the jewelry designer needs, Riyalto goes out and sources it for them, removing the barriers to production that often hold a designer back from growth.
Riyalto Allows Designers to Be More Creative
Many designers feel limited creatively by time or by their skill sets. So, while they may imagine a design but not have the time or the training to create it, they’re held back creatively and stay within their current skills or knowledge.
Time and skill constraints can put a lid on your imagination. But when you outsource production, you're free to dream big. No more limits on materials, stones, or intricate designs.
Transparency in the Manufacturing Process
On Riyalto’s platform, a designer can log in and see exactly where their job is in production instead of feeling out of the loop.
“We really just handhold the jewelry designer’s project from start to finish, and it alleviates a lot of headaches for them.”
A Step-by-Step Look at the Process
Working with Riyalto is a breeze:
- 1. Share your design, be it a sketch, CAD, or a doodle on a napkin.
- 2. Get a free production estimate in about three days.
- 3. Your design gets transformed into CAD.
- 4. Once approved, they create a sample.
- 5. After sample approval, your piece is crafted. It takes roughly three weeks, depending on complexity.
How Riyalto Keeps Your Designs Safe from Theft
Understandably, a designer may be concerned about their designs being ripped off, so Riyalto has an NDA in place so that any sketches, drawings, CAD models, samples, finished pieces, or anything is the intellectual property of the jewelry designer and cannot be reproduced. This includes the manufacturers as well, so they're completely protected.
Ready to Level Up?
If time's got you in a chokehold or your skills can't keep up with your vision, don't let that hold you back. This episode is a must-listen if you're hungry for growth in your jewelry business.
You don't have to figure it all out yourself. Tune in now!