Dutch value-for-money department store HEMA will start offering 3D printed jewelry as of Monday next week. The suppliers of these items is none other than jewelry customisation startup Zazzy, marking a great client win for the young company.
HEMA is about to start offering clients the option to personalise 3D printed necklaces and bracelets of stainless steel, nylon and gold. This makes HEMA the second large retailer worldwide to offer 3D printed jewelry to a mass audience, following in the footsteps of Neiman Marcus. This premium American department store closed an agreement with established Dutch 3D printers Shapeways.
The announcement is a great client win for Zazzy, the jewelry customisation firm which was part of Rockstart’s 2013 class. Zazzy had been offering its jewelry via its own webshop since August 2013, when it launched, fresh out of the accelerator program. The audience it can reach via its new partnership will help to get the startup to gain scale.
The 3D jewelry can be customised to a certain degree. Options include the various materials, a variety of colours and the addition of letters, words or signs. Founder Gert Jan Spriensma: “You can add a maximum of eight signs, like somebody’s name and symbols like an at, hashtag or heart. The result could be a bracelet with the name of a child or loved one.”
Zazzy doesn’t print the pieces of jewelry itself, but orders them from an American supplier. As the investments in the machinery required to print the various metals like RVS are very significant there are no Dutch alternatives. Spriensma: “The machines capable of printing RVS shapes require a minimum investment of around US$1 million, well beyond what people are willing to invest here.” The sourcing via the US adds to the delivery time of the bracelets and necklaces, making it rather significant with 15 to 20 days.
The connection between Zazzy and HEMA is a great example of the possibilities between large corporate and startups. Let’s hope it’s the first of many more cooperations to follow.