As you might know The Fashion Industry Database (FID) supports small businesses and locals where we can – but what does that really mean in this day and age where online shopping is enormous and many creatives don’t even have stores. They do pop-ups or have stockists, right? Is global fashion local if it’s a creative you support somewhere else, or does local really mean down on the corner only? That said, this week we make local fashion global and introduce you to the Canadian based Jewellery designer, Carla Kabbabe, with the business Claurete.
I have asked Carla 10 questions based on my knowledge about the brand and herself as a designer from browsing on her website.
Oh, and don’t forget to use the unique offers, which you will find at the end of the conversation.
- What is your vision and/or mission as a jewellery designer?
My goal is to create a brand that really focuses on solving the needs of jewellery lovers. Especially working women who don’t want to feel restricted by the jewellery they wear. You might be wondering what do I mean by feeling restricted? After chatting with 250+ working women, my team and I noticed that there were several issues they all commonly shared when it comes to jewellery. Quality jewellery that feels great and looks great, was lacking in the jewellery market. We also want to encourage women to buy jewellery for themselves, hence the pricing model.
We made sure to use quality materials like solid 18K gold, 925 sterling silver, and gold vermeil as they are the top premium materials in the market. We wanted every design to have a unique sense to it, meaning, bye bye to boring jewellery! The fit of the jewellery is also very important, our jewellery is dainty and feels great as it has a great fit and easy to control in public. Finally, we eliminated the high mark-ups that most jewellery companies charge.
To sum it up, my goal is to create a jewellery brand that really focuses on the consumer and to make fine jewellery accessible. In every step we take, we consider introducing fun and exciting new ideas and shift away from the traditional and saturated market. The new generation of jewellers is here to make an impact, and we welcome you to be part of the change.
Let’s get something straight. When you talk about gold, you say solid 18K gold, 925 sterling silver and gold vermeil. What does that mean exactly, just so everyone is following the quality standards?
To explain more about the quality materials, we have created a page that talks about these metals. As well as a blog post about the comparison between 14K gold vs 18K gold. In brief words, solid 18K represents an ideal balance between durability and quality in jewellery. As for 925 sterling silver, it is the premium standard for silver jewellery. Finally, gold vermeil is 925 sterling silver layered with an 18K gold plating.
- How many years have you been active making jewellery and what is the story behind where you are at now?
I have been exposed to the jewellery industry my whole life, it started as a family business and I learnt everything about jewellery from my family of entrepreneurs. When I was at a young age, I developed a strong bond towards sketching and creating (my creative mindset). When I graduated from high school I decided to study business management at Ryerson University (my business mindset). In between my years of studies, I took on multiple jobs in customer service and sales. I gained a lot of experience from these jobs as it strengthened my skills. During my last semester of university, I was in the works of creating Claurete. I came across an incubator called the Fashion Zone at Ryerson university. I decided to apply and submitted my jewellery sketches. I got accepted, and after many long and tiring nights that lasted for several months. I officially launched my company, and ironically enough I graduated from University and received my Bachelors of Commerce at the same time.
- Before we talk about the jewellery, what does Claurete mean?
Absolutely, the breakdown of Claurete represents both my grandmothers
names (Laura+Mariette) and the C stands for Carla, my name. I dedicated Claurete to them, since I love them with all my heart, I wanted Claurete to be a reminder
of how much my grandmothers mean to me. And that is why I chose the name Claurete.
- So, let’s talk about the jewellery. I find your rings very unique but also, I can’t help being attracted to the Zodiac range. Perhaps tell us more about your jewellery in general and Zodiac of course…
Thank you for the kind words! As I mentioned earlier, I wanted my designs to be unique and convenient at the same time. The Rollit ring as an example, came to mind when I was trying to solve my own problem which I had with jewellery at the time. I love wearing jewellery but I truly dislike the commitment that comes with it. I wanted to create a ring that I can just wear and forget about. After many experiments and countless sketches, I created the Rollit Ring.
As for the Zodiac collection, I am happy you liked them. There is a funny story behind the creation of the Zodiac collection. Prior to creating them, I was brainstorming some ideas at the studio for the entire week… I remember towards the end of the week on a Sunday night, the idea just came to me, and I remember I zoned out as I held my pencil and sketchbook. 16 hours later of ongoing sketching… I had 12 pieces representing each sign from the Zodiac collection. And what I really love about the Zodiac collection, is that each jewellery piece represents the star constellation sign thus making them represent something meaningful.
Zodiac: according to the dictionary, zodiac is defined as: “Astrology a belt of the heavens within a
bout 8° either side of the ecliptic, including all apparent positions of the sun, moon, and most familiar planets. It is divided into twelve equal divisions or signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces). • a representation of the signs of the zodiac or of a similar astrological system. The supposed significance of the movements of the sun, moon, and planets within the zodiacal band forms the basis of astrology. However, the modern constellations do not represent equal divisions of the zodiac, and the ecliptic now passes through a thirteenth (Ophiuchus). Also, owing to precession, the signs of the zodiac now roughly correspond to the constellations that bear the names of the preceding signs.”
- I also noticed you have a personality quiz on your website – perhaps you want to tell the readers what that is all about?And of course, I have already completed the quiz (Out of Formal Claurete’s, Casual Claurete’s, and Cozy Claurete’s – I got the result ‘formal’ which I’m not surprised about but my favourite ring wasn’t in the range for that fit (the Rollit ring). However, I looked through all the products anyway but a fun little exercise.
Haha I am glad you participated in taking the quiz! The reason behind creating the quiz is fairly simple, we want our consumers to have fun while shopping on our website. Quizzes are fun, and the personality quiz we created is fairy easy to take. We put each item under three categories: Formal Claurete’s, Casual Claurete’s, and Cozy Claurete’s as mentioned. As the name suggests, each item fits a certain occasion/persona. By taking the quiz, the participant can identify with their favourite type of jewellery which is a reflection of their own personality type.
(Mathilde: I’m sure if I do the quiz again another day, I might get a different result – I mean, I’m not a static person…).
- You ship worldwide, right? But what else do people need to know if someone for example wants to order from you and having a product shipped to, for example, Australia? Do you do free shipping promotions?
Yes, we do ship worldwide. Claurete is also focused on creating a hassle-free online shopping experience for jewellery.
We offer a 30 days exchange or return on items that are unused and in original condition/packaging. Shipping cost would be subtracted (about $25 USD) from the total value of the returned item.
We have been maintaining a fairly attractive rate for our return rate percentage. The reason behind the number is explained by our ability to work with talented photographers who capture an image that represents the jewellery piece very well. We avoid retouching the image intensively to maintain it’s real authentic sense. We even repost and share images posted by our current consumers which can be found on our Instagram page.
Earrings, bracelets, pendants and necklaces are easy to purchase online since they have a universal fit. Our current bracelets have two sizing options, meaning, size can be adjusted if needed. Some of our necklaces have the same option as well.
As for the rings, it is easy to shop online for rings when you know your ring size. Which is why we prepared a ring size guide which can be downloaded online and printed from home. Pretty easy, right?
It costs $25 USD to ship to Australia. And yes, we sometimes offer free shipping during major occasions. Simply sign up to our newsletter and stay posted on our latest promotions.
(Mathilde: I am about to try the guide, so all you out there, ask me anytime if you are curious about how it turned out – also as I might order the Rollit Ring. I’m still considering…)
- When people buy jewellery online, what should they think about? I can imagine it would be hard to order the correct size and in fact that has stopped me from buying a ring a little while back?
You are absolutely right, online shopping has some risks associated with it. But it depends on the angle you are viewing online shopping from. Shopping online can save a lot of time, and gives the shopper the ability to browse comfortably and a minute to think about the item they want to purchase. It also provides the consumers with images of other people wearing the product, which can help the shopper get a sense of how a piece looks like in person.
A client of ours told us several weeks ago during an interview we had with them, that they love shopping online for jewellery at Claurete because it replaces the need to converse for hours with sales people in person, which can be overwhelming.
They were shopping for a ring at the time, and they knew their ring size in advance – size 6.5. With a few clicks at Claurete they chose the ring they liked, adjusted their size under the drop-down menu from the description, added the item to the cart, and voila. Their package was shipped to their home hassle free.
Normally, companies have a high return rate, due to many reasons including misrepresenting the items they are selling with the content they are delivering.
My goal is to provide real and authentic images that represent the brand accordingly. Consumers are always encouraged to leave a real and honest feedback as it helps us understand what our consumers truly want and love about their jewellery.
You make a valid point regarding not buying a ring online in the past, which is why we created a ring size guide and a necklace size guide which can help the shopper find their sizes more accurately online as mentioned earlier.
Finally, our customer service team is here to help. We are always ready to chat and help our consumers find the products they need. We can be reached at email@example.com.
- What is your most popular piece at the moment?
I would say the Rollit Ring is one of our most popular pieces. Thanks to it’s glamorous features, convenience, and uniqueness.
(Mathilde: interesting, that was the first ring that I actually thought of buying. For me it seems to be a ring that can go with almost everything and the fact that you can stack it is a feature I like).
- Where would people most likely get the chance to meet you outside of Canada?
We are always considering any opportunities that may arise, including pop-ups, fashion shows and other jewellery expos. So far we have hosted events in Toronto and Vancouver in Canada. We have sold online to various locations including the UK, Australia and Dubai. The best way to know about our future events is to follow us on social media and join our newsletter. We normally post our news and events on there.
- What are you currently working on and what’s next?
I am currently working on a new collection, which I will be sharing with everyone shortly. All I can say is that: it’s edgy, unique, and makes a statement. So stay tuned.
Thank you so much Carla for chatting with me, it has been a pleasure and for all you readers out there, please see the links to Claurete’s FID profile below or use the links in this article. And you are lucky today because Claurete now offers 10% off any purchase when using the code” FID10″. When you sign up to the e-news, you will also get a free guide about how to clean your gold.
Mathilde Bach Stougaard is the Founder and Creative Director of FID.