Many jewelry designers find inspiration in history, but few immerse themselves in it as deeply as Brooklyn-based Erica Weiner. In addition to designing their own vintage-inspired pieces, the company carries an extensive selection of vintage jewelry, which they source from around the US and Europe. With 2 local stores and an established wholesale and online business, Erica has built a loyal following by sharing the stories behind each piece of jewelry she sells, both vintage and new.
Erica wanted a new e-commerce site that would allow visitors to experience the full beauty of each piece of jewelry, while also immersing themselves in the details and history of each piece. The customers for this type of jewelry tend to be sophisticated and unafraid to combine a vintage piece with a modern outfit, so the site had to balance a classic style with a clean, almost museum-like presentation."
As self-professed “jewelry nerds”, Erica and her team write unusually detailed descriptions for every item. Like all fashion items, the real value of a piece of jewelry to its wearer is only partly based on the metal and stones from which it is made. Each piece is a token that carries a whole package of emotions and memories that the wearer puts on and carries with them when they wear it. Where the piece is from, where they were in life and who they were with when they bought or received it, and for vintage pieces, what lives might it have been a part of before.
The jewelry was photographed and retouched according to new guidelines developed for the site. We worked with the team and their long-time photographer to establish the new photography style, in order to present the jewelry in a clean and consistent manner. The parchment-like background color gives the site warmth and a slightly historical feel, while remaining neutral enough to enhance both clear and colored stones.
One of the customizable items offered on the site is acrostic rings, where the first letter of each gem’s name spells out a “secret” message. These rings were popular in Napoleonic France and later in Victorian England. Napoleon Bonaparte famously commissioned many acrostic pieces for his first and second wives and their children. A custom-developed product page lets visitors build their own acrostic ring, and preview the sequence of stone colors that spell out their secret message.
We implemented the new design on the company’s existing Shopify site, in order to minimize any disruption to their operations, and to take advantage of their team’s familiarity with the platform. We also extended the new visual direction to email and display ad campaigns, and are continuing to work with the company to solidify their position as the place to go for lovers of vintage and historically inspired jewelry.
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