It’s amazing how quickly time flies—it defies logic, really. Somehow, even on the days when time feels like it’s standing still, you turn around and wonder where the day, the week, the month went.
In the best of times, this is good, if bittersweet. We celebrate milestones and accomplishments while wistfully looking back, welcoming nostalgia when it may visit, but nevertheless charging on. In the worst of times—the ones we’re experiencing now, in particular—the speed of time is sort of amazing and also challenging. It’s hard to charge on when everything else seems to be stuck—even if time isn’t.
To call this a major hurdle for members of the industry is an understatement. Designers and vendors must strive to meet demand—which can be unpredictable—at a time when materials and manufacturers might be much less reliable than before. I don’t need to describe all of the challenges in detail—JCK is covering it almost daily, but more importantly, you might be living it.
Which is why, when a company like Dune Jewelry announces it’s celebrating its 10th year in business, it’s a big deal.
Dune Jewelry has built its business on the experience of a destination. When it was established in 2010, it focused primarily on bottling the beach in its jewelry—its signature Sandbank contains a vast variety of sand from all over the world—but has since evolved to include other elements, too, from hiking trails to ballparks to golf courses.
In a way, that’s an ideal premise to have in jewelry at the moment. Dune has something special to appeal to customers who can’t be traveling right now, allowing them to customize their purchases to include sands and other materials from their favorite places (and they can order online), so the idea that one can wear a piece of their favorite place if they can’t physically be there, is a mighty appealing one.
On the other hand, Dune also relies on its destination jewelers, where a traveler might purchase a piece in any location as a souvenir of their trip. Obviously, most people aren’t traveling right now. And even those who are won’t necessarily be able to access local jewelry stores without an appointment. This has, as would be expected, caused some setbacks. “When COVID first hit, we lost 70% of our revenue because the majority of our business was coming from retail partners,” says CEO and founder Holly Daniels Christensen. “We quickly developed a program where our retailers could continue selling Dune via Facebook and online to ensure that they still had revenue coming in. In retrospect, it wasn’t a huge amount of money, but I think our partners appreciated it. Sales are still down year-over-year, but there’s no quick fix for the situation. We need to continue creating high-quality, unique, experiential jewelry for our customers and take joy in the fact that we’re connecting people to their favorite memories and places they may not be able to visit during the pandemic.”
Still, 10 years in business for this company that started at Christensen’s kitchen table is a milestone, indeed. Ten years of fun jewelry that brings people happiness is one thing to celebrate, but the brand’s charitable efforts are equally noteworthy. “In 2016 Dune started hosting online giving events where we offer a free gift with every purchase over $100 and donate 10% of sales to a designated charity,” explains Christensen. “Over the years we have donated over $100,000 to multiple organizations including the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, Joslin Diabetes Center, and All Hearts and Hands. The free gift is a great sales driver, and our next event will be held throughout the upcoming Labor Day weekend.”
To mark its 10th anniversary, Dune will roll out its first-ever brand refresh—including new logo design and color palette—on Sept. 28.
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