As a former jewelry designer and business owner, Tracy Matthews understands the pressures jewelers feel to find and retain clients, master social media, and connect their story to the jewelry they sell.
That is why she wrote The Desired Brand Effect: Stand Out in a Saturated Jewelry Market With a Timeless Jewelry Brand. In her first book, Matthews says she wants to help jewelers and other creatives define their messaging, establish long-term customer relationships, and sell more jewelry in a meaningful way for both sides of the transaction.
The Desired Brand Effect, which comes out today, focuses on building brands that scale, Matthews says. That means examining every detail of your business—from the photos you use to your website to your core values—and thinking through how it resonates with customers.
“Jewelry is not something that anyone needs—it is something that people desire. The most important takeaway that I share is that the more you understand what people desire—especially from you—the better you can speak to those customers,” Matthews says. “As a result, the more you are going to be able to scale and grow your business.”
Matthews is host of the Thrive by Design podcast and cofounder of the Flourish & Thrive Academy, a business accelerator for jewelers, makers, and designers. She’s also the founder of Creatives Rule the World, where she helps entrepreneurs get their creative mojo back when they get bogged down with the day-to-day of running a business.
The Desired Brand Effect is her two-year labor of love, Matthews says. She developed her book and its ideas from her own experience—she ran Tracy Matthews Designs for more than a decade before the 2008 economic crash, which led her to bankruptcy in 2009. After winding down that business, she now serves as a custom jeweler.
Back then, other designers asked her for advice, so Matthews started doing business consultations and developed the Flourish & Thrive Academy. The book came out of 25 years of experience, those conversations, and many examples of the entrepreneurs she has worked with over the past decade, she says.
“(The ideas inside the book) helped me solve problems in my business back in the day but also helped me clarify and understand the reasons why people buy jewelry,” Matthews says. “Looks are a part of it. But you’re also selling them memory—which is more than a piece of jewelry.… You need to dig into those reasons that people buy jewelry and use that in everything.”
Jewelers also have to share why they are doing the work—the personal story, Matthews says. For example, her custom work grew when she shared the story of redesigning jewelry she inherited from her mother into new pieces—that message about her personal journey attracted customers who trusted her to do the same with their heirlooms.
“The maker story—the brand story. That means so much. That will separate you from someone else,” Matthews says. “The more you can refine your messaging, the more you can understand who you are selling to and build that audience, the more sales you’ll have.”
Top: Tracy Matthews has more than 25 years of jewelry-business experience, so she put pen to paper and wrote her first book in an effort to help other designers and creatives build up their clientele, social media, and sales (photos courtesy of Tracy Matthews).@jckmagazine
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