Ten Days of Holiday Innovators, 2018: Day 5 – AUrate New York
To kick off the 2018 holiday shopping season, Coresight Research is featuring daily profiles of 10 innovative companies that span health and wellness; apparel, footwear and accessories; and, beauty. Each of our Ten Days of Holiday Innovators profiles gives you a company overview, insight into what makes the company innovative and the company’s recommended “must-have” gift for 2018. In the fifth report in our Ten Days of Holiday Innovators series, we look at AUrate New York.
- AUrate is a New York-based, handcrafted fine jewelry brand founded in 2014 by Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn. The company launched as a direct-to-consumer fine jewelry brand that “checks all of the boxes,” focusing on designing high-quality fine jewelry, made with ethically sourced, sustainable materials at fair pricing. Today, the company operates as a fine jewelry, direct-to-consumer brand plus five stores.
- The cofounders, formerly businesswomen at Goldman Sachs and Marc Jacobs, said that they saw a white space in the “middle” of the jewelry market for the millennial woman, like themselves, who were buying quality jewelry pieces and building their own collections (and not waiting for someone else to buy it for them).
- The company offers Curate, a try at home service, for consumers to try up to five fine jewelry pieces free before deciding on a purchase.
53% of Consumers Surveyed Would Like to Receive Accessories or Clothing this Holiday
This is the fifth report in our Ten Days of Holiday Innovators series, which offers daily profiles of innovative companies offering distinctive holiday-suitable gifts. In this report, we look at AUrate New York.
According to a Prosper Insights & Analytics holiday survey, 53.0% of all adults over 18 would like to receive accessories or clothing this holiday season, and 66.3% of millennials aged 18-34 said they would like to receive accessories or clothing as holiday gifts.
AUrate New York
AUrate Cofounders Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn
AUrate is a New York-based, handcrafted fine jewelry brand founded in 2014 by Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn. The company was founded as a direct-to-consumer brand, focusing on designing high-quality, fine jewelry for the “middle market.” The cofounders saw a white space with the industry polarized with the high-end dominated by the big players and the lower-end dominated by mostly costume jewelry brands. They found fine jewelry used to be an item that was gifted, but today, consumers—particularly millennials—are building their own fine jewelry collections.
AUrate’s founders set out to design fine jewelry that could “check all of the boxes.” All its products are made in New York by local craftsman, and its materials are made from sustainable and ethical sources. The company stands behind its sourcing and quality standards. The founders said many consumers often do not understand the fine jewelry industry because there is little education about products, and consumers may believe that they are buying gold, when in fact they are purchasing brass-plated jewelry, as one example. The company said that they wanted AUrate jewelry pieces to be of the highest quality and for consumers to understand where its materials were sourced. They also wanted pricing to be fair. Its jewelry is designed for women “like us” the founders said.
Aurate is one of few fine jewelry direct-to-consumer companies to establish a successful physical store presence. The company sells successfully through its own channels, and does not distribute wholesale. The company continues to innovate with new retail models, including its curate at home try-on service.
Company Items of Interest
The company gives back to Mastery Charter, a literacy charity in New York, donating one book for each purchase made at AUrate.
Bouchra Ezzahraoui, the company’s co-founder, said the company’s name, AUrate, comes from “AU” meaning “gold” on the periodic table. The company’s name can also be pronounced “orate,” meaning each jewelry piece will have its own story for the owner.
Fine Jewelry Market
According to Statista, global revenues in the luxury watch and jewelry segment totaled $85.2 billion in 2018. The market is expected to grow annually at a 0.9% CAGR from 2018 to 2022, to reach $88.2 billion.
In 2022, 17% of total luxury watch and jewelry market revenue will be generated through online sales, compared to 11% in 2018, Statista predicts.
Industry Collaborations / Awards
AUrate was the first direct-to-consumer fine jewelry company to launch an at-home, try-on service, called Curate, with customers keeping up to five items that they like and returning the items that they do not want.
Must Have Gift Recommendations This Holiday
The Mini Stackable Twist Diamond Ring is cast from fine, strong gold, with a small radiant diamond. It is sized to fit any finger both low down and above the knuckle and can be minimal or maximal for each consumer’s taste.
Mini Stackable Twist Diamond Ring
Source: AUrate Website
The Short Gold Bar Necklace features a single short bar pendant in 14K gold. It is versatile and can be worn in two lengths, and customised with engraving.
Short Gold Bar Necklace
Source: AUrate Website
Social Media This Holiday
AUrate launched an “Ode to Women” holiday collection designed to celebrate inspiring, real women. Each series in the Ode to Women collection features an inspiring woman, her story, and the holiday pieces designed and dedicated in her honor. There are currently seven women featured, with new editions dropping throughout the holiday season.
For example, The Infinity Edition is dedicated to Sutian Dong of Female Founders Fund, “symbolizing an infinite loop of women empowering other talented women.The Infinity Edition holiday collection includes three pieces: an Infinity Ring, Infinity Cuff Earrings, and an Infinity Ear Cuff.
Sultian Dong, Partner, Female Founders Fund
Source: AuRate Website
Where Products Are Sold
AUrate operates five stores: three in New York, one in Boston, Massachusetts, and one in Washington, DC. AUrate merchandise may also be bought online at its website https://auratenewyork.com/