Maybe you’ve wanted to design and sell jewelry yourself, but have no experience working as a jeweler. And taking your design to a jeweler to see how it would look is a calculated risk – perhaps things won’t turn out as you intended, which would cost time and money. And having jewelry made to custom specifications could anyway be quite expensive. Zazzy.co is a platform that allows people design jewelry, get instant renders of the design and launch a campaign to sell it through social media. The jewelry is 3D printed, hand-finished, packaged and delivered to the end customer by Zazzy, thus eliminating the headaches associated with jewelry design, whilst still allowing your creative enterprise to flow. To compliment the platform, they’ve developed an editor where the user can upload a sketch, drawing, logo, whatever, choose their material and see it instantly rendered as a piece of jewelry. It’s highly, highly addictive and fun. This sits alongside their other, simpler editors. Their Origami and Honeycomb editors, for example, let the user move lines or shapes to create something unique. And there are various text editors, where the user only has to type the word or words of their choice, choose the font and material and end up with something unique. They even have a good old-fashioned Pixel editor, which allows users to click pixels on and off to create a pretty retro pendant for a pretty retro €12!
Zazzy started life as Zazzy.me, a site that allows you customize a selection of jewelry. Founders Martijn van der Veen and Gert-Jan Spriensma both had experience with 3D printing before it became popular, and saw an opportunity to allow mass-customization in jewelry without the enormous mark-ups many jewelry brands apply to personalized pieces. The recent excitement about 3D printing has been both a blessing and a curse, since most consumers are exposed only to the low-quality, plastic prints from domestic printers. At best, those look cheap, at worst, nasty and off-putting. Zazzy uses professional 3D printers, which can print in nylon, steel, and even sterling silver and gold. The quality is phenomenal, and on par with any traditional jeweler, with the added bonus of being able to produce intricate shapes very quickly. If you’re in a hurry, you can probably launch a campaign and start earning in less than five minutes. Zazzy’s long-term goal is to create a community of designers, design-lovers, marketers and influencers who can create and sell their own pieces to their audience. The platform, still in Beta at the moment, allows just that: the user designs a piece using our various editors, chooses the material they’d like it printed in, sees an instant photo-realistic render of their design, decides on the profit margins, and starts sharing, selling, and earning.
The team itself is pretty diverse: four from the Netherlands (Martijn, Gert-Jan, Patrick, and Rianne) – unsurprising since both of the founders are Dutch, and the office is in Amsterdam – the developers (Lucas and Anna) are French and Russian, their growth hacker (Minha) is Korean-American, the design intern is Portuguese (Inês), and their creative director (Niamh) is Irish. Niamh’s parents were jewelers, so he was exposed to the trade from an early age, going on to study fashion design. He was a fashion stylist and editor before joining Zazzy, and quickly rushed to Amsterdam upon hearing of the concept. But like any successful startup, the entire team is creative and passionate about what they do, with meetings becoming a high-pitched frenzy of ideas to be converted into concrete plans.
Zazzy offers people, even people without design or 3D modeling experience, the chance to engage with this new technology, push the limits of it, and earn a profit from it. Allowing people to bask in their own creativity without any investment is a major selling point, for though there are many wonderful things about Zazzy, nothing excites consumers like a free offer. At this point, Zazzy is making the market, and as such, competitors aren’t hugely important to them. However, the other important players in the field are Materialise, Shapeways, and Sculpteo; as well as a few niche players like Mixeelabs (recently acquired by Amazon).
Zazzy’s vision is for the world to become aware of the technology they develop and that anyone can design jewelry themselves, no experience required. The main goal in the coming years is to reach more people and to keep building and improving the tools that allow people engage with cool, self-designed jewelry. They want to become a powerful resource for designers, bloggers, and influencers looking to monetize their reach while engaging it, not alienating it. And the team at Zazzy is always open to ideas from the community.
Zazzy’s target audience is pretty much anyone with a clever idea, an iota of creativity, or a large reach who is interested in seeing their designs come to life, starting a brand or simply earning some money. They’ve already seen a good reaction from designers, charities looking for novel ways to fund-raise (all that charities pay are the manufacturing costs), and bloggers who are interested in merchandising. The business model is quite straightforward: Zazzy takes a platform cut of 25% on top of the production costs. For this, everything is completely hassle-free, without any upfront investment needed. For the consumer, they know the quality is guaranteed and the customer support is top-notch.
30% off your first design at Zazzy.co with the code “Dopeness”.