Designers / Industry / Technology

Gemist Launches Design Experience Collab as a “Platform for Creativity”


Design-and-try jewelry tech company Gemist is launching its next phase, going from a direct-to-consumer jewelry brand to a platform for jeweler partners to leverage Gemist’s customization technology and let customers design their own jewelry.

Gemist announced on Thursday its first design collaboration with Ragen Jewels to create a partnership that allows Ragen to offer a charm experience for its clients. With this tool, clients can design a charm with their choice of gemstone, metal, and chain, says Madeline Fraser, Gemist’s founder and CEO.

Fraser says she hopes to recruit additional jewelry brands and partners on what she calls Gemist’s “platform for creativity.” Because technology may not be a jewelry designer’s specialty, “the want for this has been overwhelming,” Fraser says.

Ragen charm necklace
Ragen Jewels is working with Gemist on its charm-design tool, which uses three of its most popular charms as the base for the design: the star, hamsa, and evil eye.

Initially,  there are no upfront costs for partners, Fraser says, as everyone profits together through a revenue share model. Additionally, each company works together to co-market the experience to their consumers, Fraser says. The goal right now is to get customers using the platform, find out what they do when they’re online designing, and add more options and opportunity as it evolves, she says.

“As we see what consumers are liking and what feedback we’re getting, we can consistently add more, whether that’s more stone types or features,” Fraser says.

Ragen founder Negar Nadimi says this is her brand’s first fine jewelry collab.

“We have created an engaging jewelry buying experience for everyone to enjoy from home, allowing our clients be their own fine jewelry designer for once,” Nadimi says. “We hope everyone enjoys the process and will be equally delighted to wear their forever heirloom jewels they designed for themselves.”

JCK tried out the Gemist x Ragen site, and the system is easy to use. The customer can see each iteration, changing the gemstone or metal along with the charm design. A customer also can choose a chain. The price changes accordingly, so the customer can see what the completed charm necklace might cost as they are designing it.

From here, Fraser says Gemist is working toward an August launch of the collaboration platform with the Natural Diamond Council. This partnership will allow its Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative cohorts to use the platform, likely starting with Dorian Webb.

Madeline Fraser Gemist founder
Gemist founder Madeline Fraser says she is recruiting other jewelers to work with Gemist on customization and “design-your-own” tools that the platform can create.

Fraser says she has been a tech founder since she was a sophomore at George Washington University, coming up with ways to make things easier for consumers. She studied which industries needed “a tech lift,” Fraser says, and jewelry felt like it was prime for such a shift.

She realized the opportunity when she got engaged. Fraser says she assumed she could go online, design her ideal engagement ring, see it come to life on an app or website, and try it on before buying it. At the time, the result of her searches for such an online offering was a big nope.

She launched Gemist in January 2019 as a way to “solve that pain point,” Fraser says. Previously, Fraser was cofounder of Hutch, an app that lets people try furniture at home before buying it. She was also a cofounder of Zoom Interiors, an online interior design platform.

“We wanted to test [the concept] with a direct-to-consumer brand,” Fraser says. “It’s hard to build a new platform from scratch, but we also wanted to be able to take this when it was complete to the industry.”

Fraser had also been raising funds for Gemist during those two years. In February, Gemist announced it had received $3 million in seed funding from Entrada Ventures and coinvestor De Beers Group Ventures, allowing Gemist to scale and prepare for its transformative journey, Fraser says.

Top: Ragen Jewels is working with Gemist on a tech collaboration that allows Gemist to create a charm-design platform, giving customers the ability to dream up any combination of gemstones and metals on three charm options (photos courtesy of Gemist). 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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