Selling jewelry at a time like this is challenging enough. With physical locations closed, getting customers to purchase online is one of the main components to running a business in this quarantine era. But what about when your jewelry’s story centers on an experience, and that experience is mostly related to travel? That’s the challenge for Dune Jewelry and its retailers.
On the bright side, Dune Jewelry is very much about keeping a special place with you wherever you go, so it couldn’t be more ideal for a time like this when customers are missing a certain locale—they can hold a piece of the beach, etc., with them even when they can’t physically be there. I’ve written about the brand and its cool Sandbank (a registered trademark of the company)—an arsenal of materials from beaches, mountains, sports venues, and more, from which Dune pulls to fill its jewelry with. It really is wonderfully personable and can create many a fabulous souvenir from beloved trips.
But therein lies the problem for many retailers that serve and sell to the segment of destination customers, sending them home from their travels with a memorable keepsake or two. Stores aren’t open and people aren’t traveling, so how can this product be moved?
For Dune, a virtual sales tool kit is its attempt at aiding retailers through these uncertain times, giving them the capability of selling their partner products online with a clear step-by-step guide. The idea is to help retailers, particularly the ones that aren’t necessarily web savvy, to salvage some of their sales opportunities without having to invest in an e-commerce-capable website if they don’t already have one (or, just to make everyone’s lives easier, because who couldn’t use that right now?).
With the Dune Retailer Online Partnership, a unique shopping code is supplied to retailers of Dune Jewelry, allowing them to promote the items to their customers and send them directly to Dune’s site. With use of this code, retailers receive credit for 50% of each sale—and Dune will drop-ship the item to the customer.At press time, 90 retailers have signed up for the program.
“For me, [the jewelry has] always been about transporting people to their happy place and giving them something to look forward to,” says Holly Daniels Christensen, founder and CEO of Dune Jewelry. “Now more than ever I think it’s important for people to be able to have a tangible reminder of their favorite places. We have so many customers purchasing designs made with elements from a honeymoon that’s been canceled or a vacation that’s been postponed or a summer beach home that they’re dreaming of. The response has been incredible, and I think that speaks to the hope that people still carry in their hearts during tough times.”
For Christensen, the pandemic has required her work return to the place it all started—her kitchen table. She, along with brand manager Lauren Behning, go live from the kitchen table every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:30 p.m. on Instagram and Facebook to discuss current events and share future design possibilities and inspirational stories from customers.
In addition to the retail program, Dune Jewelry is keeping up with its philanthropic efforts by donating $10 from each sale of its Touch the World bracelet to the Direct Relief COVID-19 Fund. To date, Dune has donated more than $3,000 to Direct Relief.
As for just living life in this weird and insanely unnerving time, I asked Christensen for her advice. “Start with the basics—get up, take a walk if you can, take a shower, and get dressed. I know this sounds insanely basic, but I have a significantly more productive and happier day when I take the time to put myself together. Let yourself have good days and bad days and understand that nobody is okay right now, no matter what they portray on the outside. We’re all in this together!”
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