May 03, 2018
Designer Wendy Brandes to Debut Groundbreaking Retail Partnership Service at COUTURE Trade Show
Concierge Program Exclusively for Retailers With Exceptional Customer Relations
(New York) –A decade of change among both buyers and sellers of fine jewelry has inspired award-winning designer Wendy Brandes to look at the business in a new way – and to develop a breakthrough approach that brings benefits to the retailer and the designerand the customer.
The result: Wendy Brandes Concierge, soft-launched late in 2017, after more than a year in development. The concept was born during meetings with retailers at the 2016 JCK Luxury show. Store buyers would gravitate towards several one-of-a-kind designs, but felt their standard “browse and buy” customers weren’t ready for the full line.
Concierge allows select retailers to request individual pieces from Wendy’s limited-edition and one-of-a-kind collections to show to their special clients in an intimate setting. The customer can then purchase the piece through the retailer, with retailer’s added markup, or the piece can be returned to Brandes. The short-term (two weeks) loans of pieces help retailers to strengthen their relationships with their most discerning customers by providing creations that can’t be found anywhere else in the world, while adding a luxurious, intimate purchasing experience.
Since the financial crash in 2008, Brandes has seen a shift in her customers’ profiles: More and more are self-purchasing women, and the per-purchase price-point is climbing, as women look increasingly for unique items. Her response to these shifts for her own customers led to the design of some of her most important pieces to date, each of which takes months for her artisans to create – including her Maneater ring collection and the darkly romantic Queen of Scots snake tiara and ring.
Brandes is ready to bring her customer’s avant-garde attitudes to the masses – or to her super-select group of retail partners, anyway.
“My customers know me personally,” she says. “They’ve followed my blog for 10-plus years; they tweet with me until 3 a.m.; and they call upon me to make some of their most emotionally significant jewelry dreams come true, like their engagement rings or wedding bands. I want to partner with retailers who have the same level of closeness with their customers. And for those who don’t have that level of authenticity yet, I want to help them create it by giving them the tools to make those connections. We encourage our partners to keep tabs on birthdays, anniversaries, and other momentous occasions in their customers’ lives. When the time comes, treat them to a glass of champagne and a one-on-one try-on of something they truly can’t get anywhere else.”
Alexanders Jewelers of Columbus, Ohio, is the newest retail partner thanks to the COUTURE website, where store manager Shane Hampton first saw Brandes’s. Eight one-of-a-kind pieces were shipped to him in a matter of days. Hampton says, “Alexanders Jewelers was founded with the guiding principles of Exclusive Individualism and the Wendy Brandes brand fits those principles exactly. We could not be more excited to introduce the Midwest to her innovative and ground-breaking, one-of-a-kind designs.”
The first retail partner was Hummingbird Jewelers in Rhinebeck, N.Y., whose owner, Bruce Lubman, had discovered that atypical designs drew in new customers. He was soon joined by Steve and Melissa Quick of Chicago’s Steve Quick Jeweler, who find their customers intrigued by Brandes’s “poison” rings.
As the service expands, Wendy’s head of Brand Development, Eryn Patton-Decker notes, “We are keeping a tight list of partners because exclusivity is what has always driven our brand. Our customers outside of New York City are looking for our signature details, like hidden diamonds and secret compartments; as well as an uncommon level of workmanship. And we’re ready to work with retailers to bring it to them, with COUTURE being the ideal place to make new connections across the country.”
To learn more about Wendy Brandes Concierge, please visit, https://www.wendybrandes.com/Store/wendy-brandes-concierge
OTHER RECENT NEWS:
About Wendy Brandes Concierge: Selected retailers receive a magnificently printed, large-format lookbook to display in their store. Each retailer’s jewelry selections include a romance card describing the inspiration story and intricate design process behind each piece, downloadable social media content for cross-promotion, and the opportunity for in-store appearances.
About Wendy Brandes Jewelry: Wendy Brandes’s 18K gold signature line — inspired by the true stories of powerful women —is known for its one-of-a-kind designs, world-class workmanship, intricate detail, and “covert luxury.” The latter element often involves hidden gems and figures, as well as surprising mechanical elements. Brandes's designs have been featured in publications including InStyle, Elle, W Magazine, Paper, and British Vogue, and spotted on Rihanna, model Bella Hadid, Britney Spears, and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Skylar Grey. Brandes received the Women’s Jewelry Association Awards for Excellence in design in 2017 and Fashion Group International's Rising Star Award for fine jewelry in 2012. Her work has been honored by the AGTA Spectrum Awards; JCK's Jeweler's Choice Awards; the InDesign Awards; and the American Jewelry Design Council New Talent Competition.For inquiries, including high-resolution images:Eryn PattonBrand Development, Wendy Brandes Jewelry(917) 289-0676 x email@example.com
March 15, 2018
Wendy Brandes to Partner with 1stdibs, a Leading Resource for Online Art & Jewelry Collectors
The designer’s move will also support an expanding international presence
(New York) -- Award-winning jewelry designer Wendy Brandes launched her 1stdibs.com storefront this month, serving two key objectives in one stroke.
1stdibs.com specializes in bringing together the best furniture, fine art, jewelry, and watch dealers from more than 600 cities around the world. Brandes’s artisanal use of metal makes the intersection of collectibles offered by 1stdibs an ideal location to offer her one-of-a-kind and limited-edition designs.
Thus, Brandes sees the partnership as a venue that strengthens the direction her collection has progressed in over the last five years, to more dramatic and yet more intricate pieces with whimsical or historical stories driving the designs. She says, “Placing my work alongside fine art made sense to me, since lost-wax-cast dragons and pink-sapphire pachyderms don’t appeal only to discerning jewelry wearers; I’m also aiming for rare art collectors.”
Secondly, the new venue expands the international market for the Brandes, because she says, “1stdibs gives dealers exceptional access to the world’s best shipping and customs teams, making private client relationships across the globe even more accessible.” In addition to the helpful team coordinating shipment of Brandes’s prized goods, the site offers round-the-clock guidance for collectors who are in the market for something unique, even facilitating requests for completely custom designs.
“We are thrilled to welcome Wendy Brandes to our growing jewelry division, and look forward to supporting their business goals,” said Cristina Miller, Chief Commercial Officer, 1stdibs. “The Wendy Brandes collections represent high-quality, timeless beauty that offers a bold statement, making them an excellent addition to the 1stdibs dealer community.”
The addition of 1stdibs as a selling venue is another iconoclastic move for the 13-year industry veteran. Last year, Brandes announced Wendy Brandes Wedding, a wedding jewelry collection that specializes in one-of-a-kind pieces, including gender-neutral designs. Brandes says, “I’ve had many customers who originally didn’t think they wanted wedding jewelry, just because they’ve been exposed to too many similar designs marketed to one type of couple. I’m excited to offer unique designs that appeal to clients who feel left out of the traditional jewelry scene.”
To view the Wendy Brandes storefront on 1stdibs, please visit, https://www.1stdibs.com/dealers/wendy-brandes-jewelry
About Wendy Brandes Jewelry: Wendy Brandes’s 18K gold signature line — inspired by the true stories of powerful women —is known for its one-of-a-kind designs, world-class workmanship, intricate detail, and “covert luxury.” The latter element often involves hidden gems and figures, as well as surprising mechanical elements. Brandes's designs have been featured in publications including InStyle, Elle, W Magazine, Paper, and British Vogue, and spotted on Rihanna, model Bella Hadid, Britney Spears, and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Skylar Grey. Brandes received the Women’s Jewelry Association Awards for Excellence in design in 2017 and Fashion Group International's Rising Star Award for fine jewelry in 2012. Her work has been honored by the AGTA Spectrum Awards; JCK's Jeweler's Choice Awards; the InDesign Awards; and the American Jewelry Design Council New Talent Competition.
About 1stdibs: 1stdibs is the world's leading online marketplace for rare and desirable objects. Founded in 2001 to bring the Paris flea markets online, the website today is the go-to source for those who have a passion for the most beautiful things on earth. By bringing together the best furniture, fine art, jewelry and watch dealers from more than 600 cities around the world, 1stdibs offers an exclusive inventory not available anywhere else online.
For inquiries, including high-resolution images:
Brand Development, Wendy Brandes Jewelry(917) 289-0676 x 2