Published on October 29, 2020, at 5:25 p.m.
By Katelyn Lambert.
“The guy/girl that you know that has the looks of a celebrity, but the heart of a saint” is how Bryce Scruggs, one of two PR marketing managers at Kristalize Jewelry, describes the company’s brand.
How it started
Krista Lovelady is the owner and founder of Kristalize Jewelry and started the company in 2012 with her husband. She has always had a love for fashion and wants to make a difference by being a strong female influence in the industry. Lovelady started making jewelry at her kitchen table and made efforts to get her products in-store while also doing trunk shows at her house. Fast forward to 2020, Kristalize has been featured twice in Vogue, once in Southern Living and named Best Jewelers in Birmingham, Alabama, by Expertise and Best of Birmingham. Lovelady and her husband started their company to reach the goals they set for themselves and now own a major brand.
They currently have a showroom called Uncommon Fashion Showroom and have road reps all over the Southeast and Southwest. So one could say they definitely met the goals they set for themselves.
Lovelady’s original plan was to open a Kristalize boutique later on to sell jewelry and clothing, but she realized this idea was not consistent with her brand. Lovelady noted, “I think it’s so important to your customer to stay true to your brand, and I think sticking to jewelry design and manufacturing proves to our customer base that we have trendy, professionally designed, high-quality products.”
“High-end” and “luxurious” come to mind when Betsy Cates, PR marketing manager, thinks about Kristalize’s brand. Scruggs said, “Kristalize Jewelry is ‘something different’ in the best way possible.” It encourages customers to step out of their comfort zone and feel their best in the jewelry, she said. When it comes to branding and sticking out from other companies, consumers want something nice, but with a little touch of reality as well.
In the beginning, as things started to take off, Lovelady and her husband did all the PR and marketing themselves. They created their own ads for Facebook and Instagram and started sending products to celebrities and influencers. Influencers are huge in today’s marketing plan. They can connect to consumers in a way that companies cannot.
According to Lovelady, “We had a lot of success early on with influencers, but we weren’t getting the ROI that we wanted with the social media ads so we decided to hire a digital marketing company.” Insert Scruggs and Cates who now help run social media and marketing for Kristalize. Cates built the first online store on WordPress and WooCommerce and has been working with Lovelady ever since.
Relationships with customers come easy to Kristalize Jewelry. Having the owners’ name in the company name creates a sense of connection with Lovelady. Most of the company’s copy on its social media is conversational, as if Lovelady is talking directly with the consumers. A simple tip from Scruggs is to just be human when trying to engage an audience.
Kristalize also increases customer engagement by giving customers an option to sign up for its newsletter to receive 10% off their purchase. This simple action keeps customers up to date with the business and helps keep them interested. Cates noted, “We maintain consumer relations and involvement by being consistent with posts daily on Instagram, posting on the story, and reposting tagged posts from customers.” This type of interaction creates a sense of community among consumers.
Business during COVID-19
Coronavirus has affected small businesses all over the country. Cates said that “instead of cowering down, we shifted our strategy to thrive in one of the most anxious climates in the history of the world.” To give hope to customers during the pandemic, Kristalize offered a discount code and a free gift with purchase. Customers got to see something positive on their feed to balance out all the negative.
Lovelady said, “We are very fortunate to have prospered during the pandemic. However, it has posed some very difficult circumstances. Competition and imitation are routinely our biggest challenges.” Kristalize is constantly pushing out new designs to continue to serve its customers and beat the challenge of imitation.
How to build your brand
“My advice to someone trying to build a brand is to be persistent, set realistic, short- and long-term goals,” emphasized Lovelady. “Stay TRUE to your brand and what you are trying to create. There will be many tears, sleepless nights and very hard work that only you will appreciate. It’s also a job that is very rewarding and something you’ve worked for and no one can ever take that away from you!”
Kristalize Jewelry is continuing to climb in popularity. From Bachelorette and Bachelor contestants rocking the jewels on TV to country music stars Carrie Underwood and Kane Brown wearing its products, the brand is here to bring out the fashionista in its consumers through long-term relationships and consistent branding.