I am very excited to feature the amazing female entrepreneur Tamsin Ivy Gordon and her innovative business, Glitzbox!
Glitzbox is the UK’s first jewellery rental subscription set to revolutionise the way women buy and discover jewellery. The idea is based on the business model of “access economy” a type of business built on the sharing of resources. More popularly known as the sharing economy, the access economy suggests that “access” to goods and services may be more desirable than “ownership” of them. The result, in theory, is a lower environmental and cultural burden through mass consumption.
Glitzbox is all about giving the customers a choice! They can borrow and wear the items for a month which they can then return for someone else to enjoy (prepaid return slips included in the box). Alternatively, they can buy anything they love using the Glitzcredit discount.
I talked to Tamsin Ivy about her business, why renting jewellery can be the answer to fast fashion and the challenges she faces along the way.
What prompt you to create glitzbox?
“I created Glitzbox as a way to connect the offline and online experience of buying jewellery. I felt there were so many talented up-and-coming designers out there, but that customers were struggling to find them online. When they did find pieces they liked they were unsure about ordering higher priced items without seeing them first in person and then ended up going for established brands they trusted. Unfortunately, emerging designers don’t often have a retail space where you can go in and try pieces on so this was also a barrier to discovering these designers.”
Why renting jewellery?
“I believe that in the fast-fashion world we live in we are expected to regularly update our style and wardrobe. Newness is pushed on us from every angle and it can be not only expensive to keep up but also really wasteful. I too enjoy the excitement of trialling new trends and the novelty of wearing a new piece of jewellery or pair of shoes. So I wanted to offer that but in a more sustainable way. Jewellery is the perfect item to join the access economy because the pieces we use are long lasting and durable so can be worn again and again without ruining. It’s like modern vintage jewellery. Quality pieces are meant to last so you can enjoy them for a month and then send them back for someone else to enjoy. You don’t pay the full value of the item so you save money but still get new pieces to wear all the time. I hope it will encourage people to invest in pieces that they truly love and simply rent the rest! I also think that is the direction lots of industries have gone in (music, movies, clothing etc) and many others will follow!”
How important for the success of the brand are the artisans and the designers you work with?
“I have worked with about 20 different designers since starting Glitzbox and it’s been such an exciting experience sharing the concept with the industry and trying to make a service that positively impacts their business. So far all the brands I’ve worked with have been founded by females, which is unusual in a traditionally male-dominated jewellery industry. This wasn’t a conscious choice at first I was just drawn to inspirational and talented women creating jewellery and they were excited by and believed in the Glitzbox concept. I love working with designers and connecting them with new loyal customers who offer valuable feedback and potential sales opportunities. Without the founding brands who took a chance on me, Glitzbox wouldn’t exist!”
What are the challenges you face with regards to getting more women to subscribe to Glitzbox?
“I think the word “subscription” can scare people off as they feel they may get tied into something indefinitely. However, our membership can be paused or cancelled any time so it is really flexible! The other thing is they aren’t confident with the quality of the jewellery, but generally, once people subscribe they stay for a long time as it’s a fun and convenient way to continuously refresh your jewellery box whilst supporting independent designers.”
Where do you see Glitzbox in the future?
“We have been slowly testing the model and getting to know which styles and designers work well. As we get closer to our one year anniversary I’m going back through all our data, feedback and insights and building on those. I’m really excited to be announcing soon that we are growing the support on offer to designers we work with. From working with various up and coming brands we’ve seen their frustrations and struggles in great detail – everything from creating engaging content, increasing sales and receiving constructive feedback on their designs. These are all areas I feel Glitzbox can support brands with whilst growing the subscription side of the business as well.”