PS: Who do you think the AUrate customer is, if you had to sum her up?
SK: On the one hand we're very inclusive, so it's not one type of person. But in general, in terms of mindset, it's really important that she's someone that, while she cares about fashion and her appearance, she also really cares about more than just the outer layer. It's a woman who is intellectual, who understands what's going on in the world, and cares about where her products are made. Somebody that has a deeper layer. She might look great, but she also has something inside that she really cares about. I think that's what our brand is about.
Our entire production chain is ethically sourced [without] conflict diamonds. That's where we hope and we think that the society and the consumer is heading. Especially the millennials, that you care more about what you're wearing and how it's made. But [it's] also less about buying something and throwing it away. While she might not normally have considered buying a real gold ring, instead of buying five throwaway pieces that last for a couple weeks or months and tossing them, maybe [she's] saving and buying a real gold piece.
PS: What was your first design?
SK: One of the first ones I remember taking a really long time with and being very proud of was the geometric square ring. It's basically a solid gold 14k ring. We sell it now for $1,300. It's really heavy, and I always joke if there is a recession, you can eat with that ring for a very long time and survive. What's nice is that we wanted to make a chunk of gold. First it was way too square, and it didn't look good. It wasn't feminine enough. And when it was a circle, it looked like a napkin ring. So now, we have the perfect balance — kind of square, kind of circle. It looks really elegant. It took some time to design, but now it looks like what we wanted. It sells really well, it looks amazing on. That is one of our first ones that did really well.
PS: What are your best sellers now?
SK: What's been selling the absolute best is our flower earring back. They're very affordable. Those have been selling insanely, nonstop. It's unique. It's crazy, because one of my friends borrowed one, and then they all wanted it the next day. It sells itself in a way.
Obviously basic staples always do well. Whether it's the midi diamond bar earrings we have or a diamond bar necklace — because that's the other thing; in terms of our diamonds, the price that we're offering with the quality is unparalleled. Whenever people want diamonds they come to us, too. That's a very good place to be. We're starting with our pearl collection, which we only have one piece online. In our stores we have more. Those have been selling really well already — they're not even fully in our collection. That's [something] we use the pop-up stores for, is to showcase new pieces to see how they work. Do people pick them up or not? We have them there for a week. For instance, we had Sophia Bush come to the store, and she loved them. She borrowed them all and then she had a conference with Michelle Obama, and then she wore them [to the conference], so that was great. You can kind of see how these things work for themselves. I think the pearls are going to be a good next collection.
Flower Earring Back Small ($150)