Jewelry Tech startup melds technology with beautiful craftsmanship
INQUIRER.net BrandRoom / 12:32 PM September 09, 2021
MANILA, Philippines – “Jewelry pieces are very personal and tactile. Clients want to see, touch, and try them on before making a purchase. All that changed because of the pandemic. Lockdowns and the need to reduce social contact have changed the industry,” says Germee Ronirose Abesamis, founder of Dearest Jewellery.
The 36-year-old millennial entrepreneur who specializes in customized luxury bridal jewelry shares that her company has had to pivot in order to survive this crisis. “There was a 3-month period when workshops were closed, and the international supply chain was broken. But the industry has adapted well. Online sales have increased exponentially. Now we can do our work without leaving our studios.”
Future-proofing her business through technology
Germee uses technology to push her business forward. Dearest is a jewelry tech startup that wants to create its clients’ dream pieces. Her vision for the future is scalable personalization. Since it’s mobile-first, everything is done online.
With this in mind, Germee and her team launched their digital ring sizer, the first-of-its-kind using machine learning. Clients simply download the app on the Appstore (Dearest Fine Jewellery) and they can get their ring size by just taking a photo of their hand. They are also working on their AI Curation Tool. “We want to make our clients feel special curating for them by getting to know them and their personality. You just have to go to our website, take our personality quiz (that’s so much fun!), and our app will curate an engagement ring for you or your loved one. We want to further expand that to other types of jewelry,” she explains.
A third-generation jeweler, Germee is passionate about designing from scratch. “I wanted to share the excitement of co-designing dream pieces with our clients, from classic to quirky designs,” she enthuses. This is what Dearest is all about. “We love to curate for personalities, and make having their dream piece hassle-free for them! So, why don’t we create technologies for design that make us feel more human?” Hence, their hashtag- #AIforhumans.
“Our pieces are really beautiful, well-made, and loved by our clients. We have never had a single return, and we have garnered only 5-star reviews on our FB page! World-class artisans from different countries create pieces for us. This is what differentiates Dearest. We offer the best sustainable diamonds that match our clients’ requirements,” she adds. “We are innovating to create bespoke pieces for our clients, and building technology that can help us deliver the best and most personal products to our clients.”
Passion drives her
A Business Administration and Accountancy graduate from the University of the Philippines (7th place in the CPA Board Exam in October 2006), Germee did her Masters in Finance at Università Bocconi in Milan. She was an investment banker, and a financial strategist and taught Finance and Accounting at the University of the Philippines. She also did courses for entrepreneurs in collaboration with DTI and ISSI in UP. All these before she ventured in jewelry design in 2014.
Since she is very passionate learning about business models, how founders do things, and how companies really work, Germee holds free 40-minute webinars on Financial Visioning to help pave a clearer direction for budding entrepreneurs on how to run their company . “It’s important to know yourself, what you’d like to do, and where you see yourself in relation to your company. I have always believed in mentorship. Having mentors in business myself, from my parents to other founders, who have done it before me, I would like to do more to help Filipino entrepreneurs reach their dreams,” she says.
Germee has grand plans for Dearest. But in the midst of the pandemic, she believes that the overriding considerations for startups and big businesses alike is to survive, attract the right clients and remain cautious with investing in new ideas. “I’m building Dearest with a disciplined strategy around cash flows, and considering my strengths and my team’s,” she says in ending.
Dearest’s jewelry tech tools are easily accessible to anyone. Clients can simply message their FB page weardearest or Instagram page @deareststories or go directly to their website www.weardearest.com.