Custom jewelry design is about to get much easier. Stuller, the industry’s largest just-in-time supplier, has partnered with Gemvision, the company that created Matrix, the most popular computer jewelry CAD-CAM program, to create a new program that enables salespeople to create true custom designs at the counter that Stuller will then manufacture and deliver in less than a week.
“This is a tool to make custom design possible for the sales associate,” says Matt Stuller, founder, president, and CEO of Stuller. “We want you to sell your brand and we’re giving you the tools to do that, creating one-of-a-kind styles for your customers. When the customer is part of the design processes it fuels the passion and excitement of jewelry. It’s not a commodity anymore.”
The new software, tentatively called “Counter Sketch,” was previewed for 50 select retailers at the inaugural Stuller “Owner’s Conference” in Lafayette, Louisiana, on July 14. A beta version will be released to 100 retailers on October 12 and the software will be available in wide release in January 2010. Pricing hasn’t been set yet.
“We want to create an experience where the customer doesn’t have to ask for custom design, it becomes part of the shopping experience,” says Jeff High, founder and president of Gemvision. “We tried to take the barriers and the overhead away to allow everyone to create the custom jewelry that we know there’s demand for in the market.”
The design process in the new software starts with existing models of solitaires, three-stone rings, and other popular basic classic jewelry styles. The goal is to launch with 1,000 to 1,500 different initial models. Each model can then be modified and adapted to suit the customer’s needs through an intuitive easy-to-use interface, creating an infinite number of possible customized designs.
Take a three-stone ring design, for example. A salesperson, or even a customer, can use simple sliders to change the finger size, the center stone size and type, the size and position of the side stones, the angle and height of all the stones, the width and profile of the shank. As one attribute of the piece changes, all the others seamlessly adjust proportionately in real time to change the look of the piece to suit the customer’s requirements.
Once the customer is happy with the design, the salesperson can calculate pricing and send the model to Stuller for manufacturing. Stuller offers the design as a casting, as a polished mounting, or set with gemstones from its inventory, delivered in five to seven days.