July 1st, 2018
My ‘secret project’.
I’ve teased this for a bit, and today my brand Maì is launching!
Take a look at what I’ve been doing in the past month to make it happen.
I had the idea of creating my own brand – where I control 100% of what goes into it – back in February.
I’ve worked with other brands and have a whole team helping me out with my Marzia shop as we sell large amounts of products and would be impossible for me to follow everything by myself.
They do a great job and are always on top of everything, but I’ve always felt like I wanted to be able to get hands on with certain things that I make. I wanted a place where I put 100% of myself into and create whatever I felt like.
So a few months back I spent some time focusing on what I wanted Maì to be, drawing out a website and the overall look of the brand.
Last year I had worked with my cousin Veronica (and her company) to create a fine jewellery line. It sold much more than anticipated, and for the first time, that project was something I had looked over from start to finish: I had to be on the phone (which, prior to that experience, was a big no for me), meeting the people sourcing the gold and figuring out the details involved with the production of the line.
Normally I delegate things to my team, as they are much more experienced than I am, but because I was working with an Italian company, I had to step up and do things myself.
I was scared of the idea of having to talk to people and explain my ideas, especially because jewellery was a field I knew very little about; but I was taught useful informations and realised I could do this.
So I sketched the line, asked my cousin what she thought about it, and she introduced me to her boss. Once I was happy with the samples they were providing, they asked my cousin to hand-make all the jewellery.
My team then took care of selling it in the shop and shipping it out. There were hundreds and hundreds of orders and I wasn’t going to be able to do that on my own.
With Maì, I’m keeping things small. I’m starting with a total of 100 items for sale, so that I can prepare each order with care myself, and ship it out as they come, without feeling overwhelmed.
Another difference with my past line, is the fact that it’s ready to go: previously, we decided to go for a made-to-order kind of deal, so that once we knew the exact amount of buyers, we could create all the jewellery; this saved the risk of not selling (since it was the first time I sold something like that) and also covered us from a price point, as we didn’t need to invest huge amounts before selling.
This time I invested personally on the gold pieces, so they are all ready to go. I have them all in my office, individually packaged in these small craft boxes with a black velvet cushion and the Maì logo stamped in the front.
I also listened to the feedback from the passed line, about adding a silver option: I want these pieces to be timeless and made out of real gold, so instead of going for silver, I opted for white gold.
In order to keep prices affordable whilst being fine jewellery, I picked 9kt gold this time.
I saw some of you requested rose gold, and that’s something I will look into adding for future designs, if the brand grows.
As you may have spotted, I did bring back this moon and sun design, but in white gold: it’s the same as the previous line, but because lots of you wanted to see it in white, I made sure to make it available.
The hoop earrings are made slightly smaller.
But the newer designs are about the Foglia line, which means leaf.
I always enjoy a dainty look for my jewellery, so I opted for something small and classy, with small hoops, and a leaf and clear gem holding onto it from a thin chain.
There are also Foglia necklaces, with pink and green gemstones.
And midi/pinky rings.
So these are the first jewellery options available in the shop, and as I said the quantities are quiet limited, but as things sell out, I will keep putting new orders through as well as adding new designs as time goes by.
A new line is already in the works (they always take a few months), and I plan to have new products always coming to the website.
Something else I wanted to offer was some home decor. My dad has worked with iron basically his whole life, and is a crafty handy man, so I asked him to create me some planters.
I sketched my idea for him, and he quickly created these products. I wanted to start with planters because I love to decorate the house with plants and look after them. I haven’t seen planters holding two pots before and figured that would look very pretty!
These Guro planters come in black and white, and again, I only have a small stock available but my dad works fast and if they go, we will be able to remake them quite quickly.
I wanted to have some handmade pots ready to go in the website, for the launch today, but unfortunately my kiln is nowhere to be seen.
I have more than a dozen pots ready to be fired, so the second I get my kiln, I will be busy working on them and once they are ready, they will be up on the shop.
I’m making planters and candles at the moment, but I will try and make mugs and vases as well. Or even sculptures. Will see!
The 3 categories I will keep as a base are fine jewellery, pottery and decor, but I think every so often I will add some ‘odd’ items that don’t necessarily go under any of these.
I’m beyond excited about this project, and I’m hoping you are liking the concept and the products!