Designers / Industry

Blend a Golden Charm and Summertime Nostalgia and You Get Karat Jack


Imagine that childhood treat featuring crunchy, caramel-covered popcorn along with some peanuts and a little toy surprise inside. Now, replace that cute toy with a piece of jewelry, and you have Kimberly Doyle’s summertime sales surprise, Karat Jack.

Talk about a tasty boost in sales: Karat Jack started as a fun idea to sell her Kimberly Doyle Jewelry pendants—but with its first round selling out, it has become an unexpected success that Doyle says she plans on repeating as soon as the holidays.

Doyle is a Los Angeles–based traditionally trained bench jeweler. She previously worked for a few jewelry companies before launching her own brand in 2020. She describes her jewelry as focusing on natural gemstones with refined touches that allows her work to become one-of-a-kind, handcrafted heirlooms for her customers.

Kimberly Doyle
Kimberly Doyle calls herself “a total gem nerd” and loves the work she does as a jeweler, crafting most of her pieces at her design studio in Los Angeles.

“I take great pride in my ability to take an idea from start to finish and turn it into a physical piece of jewelry using my own two hands,” Doyle says.

Doyle spoke to JCK about her Karat Jack promotion, why she created it, and how much fun she had with this process. Right when I saw her Instagram posts about the promotion, I thought it was inventive and surprising—just the kind of thing that moves me as a consumer and, clearly, a reporter.

Have you ever done this before? If so, when? Why do it now?

This was the first time I made and released Karat Jack. In the past, I had played around with the idea of a snack and a piece of jewelry, but I found it hard to express that they went hand in hand. I also felt they lacked that element of surprise that I think people really enjoy. I decided in the summer of 2022 to release the first KJ for a few reasons. The first being that I always associated this type of snack with baseball games, even though I am not a baseball fan, so I wanted to release it during baseball season. The second being because summer seems to be so nostalgic—when we were younger it was a time with limited responsibilities and maximum fun. Lastly, summer is usually when people travel for vacation, and, while I know a lot have ventured back into traveling, many haven’t, and I wanted to create something that could spark a little joy and create a fun summer memory.

Why Karat Jack? A favorite to eat or just fun because of the surprise inside?

I chose to base my Karat Jack on a popular American popcorn snack because it is known for having a prize inside. To me, the prize is more attractive than the actual snack, but as anyone who has had the snack recently knows, the prizes were always pretty unexciting. Now, my dad, on the other hand, experienced “good prizes” when he enjoyed this snack at a young age. To this day, you can find vintage versions of the good prizes available on various auction sites. So I knew that I wasn’t alone in a desire for a noteworthy prize in a snack! I suppose for me a lot of it goes back to nostalgia or rather the desire to experience the ideal prize in a snack box–the prize I always wanted to get but never did.

Karat Jack popcorn
Nostalgia plus some summer fun were the inspirations behind Kimberly Doyle’s successful Karat Jack promotion, which turned out to be one of her biggest hits, she says. The charm is made in 14 karat yellow gold with a sparkling rose-cut champagne diamond.

Did you expect it would sell out? I love when people really respond to something fun like this.

I never know with these things! I wasn’t sure how well it was going to be received, but I’m absolutely thrilled that so many people loved this project! I’m so grateful for the response, and felt bad that I didn’t have enough for everyone who wanted one. However, I have exciting news: KJ is coming back for the holidays! So everyone has another chance to snag one in a few months and be an official member of the #karatjackclub.

How did you design the pendant, and was it made for this project?

The style of the charm is something I designed to be part of my Light collection. It’s called the Infinite Lucky Star charm. I thought this would be a fun way to introduce my new design. I wanted it to have a special introductory price, and I wanted it to have a limited-edition aspect that was only available through KJ. I met with one of my stone dealers and saw this small parcel of sparkly champagne rose-cut diamonds, and I knew they would be perfect for this project.

Top: Kimberly Doyle has brought some of the fun of childhood along with the joy of receiving something surprising to her customers with a special charm promotion she named Karat Jack. It sold out, proving Doyle had a strong idea that moved people to buy.

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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