Vasi Jewelry

Story: (Also posted on KickStarter, link at the bottom!)

My Dream of Creating Something Real
Hi! I am a student at Ohio State University! My goal is to create beautiful pieces of gold-plated jewelry and start my own online store, but as a college student, the start-up costs aren't cheap. I need your help and I am so excited to share my plan with you! First, here is a little more info on me:



About Me:
I am a current Undergraduate Logistics major with a minor in Communication Technology at Ohio State and my dream has always been to start my own business. I am an entrepreneur at heart, starting my own eBay business in middle school, reselling old things in my house no one had any more use for. Since then, I have been creating drop-shipping stores and selling items from overseas online. I have made over 5+ Shopify stores, the later ones being profitable. More recently, I have become interested in the market and started to options trade, involved with creating a business based on subscriptions to a Discord group. Through all of this I have gained extensive knowledge of web design, become quite familiar with shipping and logistical matters, gained more Excel and accounting experience, dealt with returns and customer service/product quality issues, as well as an extensive background of marketing through Facebook Ads/Pixel and Instagram Ads. I have always wanted to create my own real business selling a product (not drop-shipping someone else's products) and creating this jewelry business would mean so much to me. I am ready to put in the hard work and long hours that come with it because to me, this is what I am most passionate about.

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The Idea:
I had been discussing with my close friends how we had so many outfits in mind but we wanted nice jewelry to go with it. We wanted nice pieces but they weren't always affordable, buying Tiffany and other designer brands were not really in the budget. We also were tired of buying from fast fashion places like Zara or H&M, where the rings were cheap and turned our fingers greenish colors. I figured there had to be an in-between solution and the idea of Vasi was born.



The Research:
The best products are made with sound science in mind as this enhances their quality. I started doing research in the gold plating industry and found that there are products that can be made that would provide high quality and also a competitive price. I have researched how certain metals will react with skin and clothes. With this knowledge, I would make pieces that I know will not react badly to people's skin and be long-lasting against rust etc. Stainless steel is a great metal that most people can wear without any bad reaction. Creating a thick gold Vermeil layer over it would be ideal for people like me that want long-lasting high quality gold pieces. I believe this business has the possibility to create high-quality jewelry that will please its consumers, while also providing competitive pricing that will earn the company a spotlight within the industry. 

The Budget:
Gold isn't cheap and sadly neither are the start-up costs. I have a vision for how I think this could work, and I would love for you to help me make it a reality. I am ready to work hard towards my goal of being a successful online jewelry store, and with your help, anything is possible! 


Budget Needs:

- start-up kit (ranging from 3k-6k+ the better the kit the higher the costs)
- jewelry pieces (sterling silver metals to plate) (1k)
- marketing budget (FB and Instagram ads etc) (1k)
- shipping and packaging help (1k)
Total: 8k-11k 


My goal is set to $5,000. I have never done anything like this and I don't want to set an unattainable budget that will never get funded! (5k already feels crazy high!) I think in reality $5,000 would be the minimum I can actually start working on this project. With all the fees, taxes, and everything I know the ideal range for me to truly get this project really running and would be 8k-11k. But if you all helped get me to 5k I would truly be so so grateful. 


The main concern is getting the best start-up kit possible, which I am looking at buying from a jewelry company that specializes in these machines. The machine is so key for these reasons:

- It plates things at professional grade quality. 
- It is something that can be learned since I would simply need the tools and materials, the gold and everything involved with the process of plating is apart of the kit and easy to follow instructions. (I will not need to be welding or learning to melt gold haha)
- This kit can plate all types of jewelry! (Rings, necklaces, earrings, etc) Meaning this business would be easily expandable.
- It is portable and can fit on my desk. I could work from anywhere if I needed to!
- It comes with all the scientific materials and chemicals needed (no extra costs for beakers, etc)
- Temperatures for ideal gold plating are able to be easily monitored.
- Wattage taken to use the machine does not require a lot of power (cost and energy efficient.)
- The kit comes with instructions for all types of metals, and YouTube videos to instruct through the entire process while I learn.
- Provides very great customer service to help get acclimated and answer all questions. 

Another big cost is getting the materials I would gold plate. I have found US-based wholesalers as well as some overseas for the sterling silver base. Reducing my carbon footprint would be ideal, so I am leaning towards the US-based suppliers, though they are a little more costly. Over time I could see my relationship with these suppliers getting better and then being able to expand the line to more than just rings and necklaces, and then start partnering with local jewelers for finer pieces. 


Finally, other costs would be marketing my product, packaging, and shipping. These costs are key to creating a brand and getting the word out there. These costs may not seem as important now, but creating a brand and marketing is almost as important as the products themselves. People will want to return to a brand that has quality packaging and product care. Since I am looking to create professional-grade quality pieces, I want to give every customer the best quality and overall experience I can, from opening the product to wearing it with joy. 


The Value:
Gold is very valuable and even more so in fashion currently, and it is a staple to most wardrobes!
Even as the trends change, this would be an adaptable brand!
While I am crazy excited to start on women's pieces, this brand can also create mens rings and jewelry as well, so it is very versatile.
Jewelry that doesn't rust or tarnish is a need that many people want to fill, but do not always have the means to. I offer an in-between solution, quality for a cheaper price point that fits more budgets
I know the competitors and can compete with them. Drop-shippers aside, there are not that many hand-made gold jewelry stores online or in the US, especially with high selection. There's plenty of fake imported ones, but not the kind of gold that can pass an acid test! Places like Jared or Kay are not always trendy since they are more a mainstream basic jewelry store and carry the same products nationwide. Both the costs and style is not ideal for trendier fashion forward people. 
My products would prevent more fake jewelry from filling up landfills!
I have the advantage of being flexible, if I run into any problems, I can directly fix it since I work hands-on every step of the process.
Helping the economy recover from COVID in my own small way :)

The Final Product:
My vision is for the pieces to look the opposite of the cheaper made ones from my intro video. Classy, elegant, modern, still beautifully gold, even after multiple wears. Picture slim gold rings, think bands and thin bands, men and women's collections! The machine allows for both gold and rhodium (silver) to be made so this brand could be worn by both people that prefer either look/color! I intend to market through online ads on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. The packaging will be nicely made (and hopefully sustainablly with recycled material!) created to give the buyer a great experience start to finish. I am working to find suppliers for this as well! So picture all those tarnished gross rings from the header video, but instead shiny real gold. Packaged in beautiful classy packaging, able to be worn in the shower or on an everyday basis, and still not tarnish. 


The Timeline:
Beginning of October:

30 days of Kickstarter/GoFundMe, the project gets funded and I can begin !!!!!! :)
Mid/End of October:

- Within a week of getting the funds, buying the equipment needed, including the first shipment of rings. All shipments appear to arrive within 4-10 business days.
- Test all materials for quality using acid tests etc.
- Learn to dip rings and manage equipment over the course of 1 month (I think it will be faster but leaving extra time) 
- During this time, begin Instagram and online site to build followers and increase awareness, possibly having customers immediately after launching 

Mid/End of November:

- After creating a beautiful set of rings, launch and begin marketing
- Thank my sponsors and backers for all their support and send them their rewards!
December:

- Continue to grow !!!! 

I AM SO EXCITED AND I THANK YOU SINCERELY FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!!! :) 


Risks and challenges
The main risks I see are: first, the learning curve. I am doing extensive research to make sure I do not waste materials or gold plate things incorrectly and thankfully there is plenty of resources online. Getting the best kit I can afford will be something that really really affects the learning curve. The better quality and efficiency I can create the jewelry with, the faster I can get up and running and continuously put out new pieces! Another risk that I could see investors worried about is how I will stand out and beat the competition. As I mentioned, most other places are not making their own products. People want to know where their products came from and how they were made. The last risk would be my school schedule. I do not want to drop out currently, but taking advantage of my online class schedule with COVID, I believe I would have the time it takes to create, start, and build this. After figuring out how to efficiently plate and having a consistent metal to plate I will be on my way!



Environmental commitments

Long-lasting design:
My rings can be used over and over and minimize buying cheap rings that end up in land fills!

Reusability and recyclability:
Landfills will not be containing my products!

Environmentally friendly factories:
My home "factory" will not be polluting the earth, all waste and chemicals will be disposed of properly in a lab facility on campus.



More links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007486756887

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessica_pirro/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-pirro-76119b174/

http://kck.st/3d3VeMZ  (Also posted on Kickstarter!)
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