“This is a tool to make custom design possible for the sales associate,” says Matt Stuller, founder, president, and CEO of Stuller. “When the customer is part of the design processes it fuels the passion and excitement of jewelry. It’s not a commodity anymore.”
The new software, tentatively called “Counter Sketch” was previewed for 50 select retailers at the inaugural Stuller Owner’s Conference in Lafayette, Louisiana on July 14. A beta version will be released to 100 retailers on October 12 this year and the software will be available in wide release in January 2010. Pricing hasn’t been set yet.
“We want to create an experience where the customer doesn’t have to ask for custom design, it becomes part of the shopping experience,”
Take a three stone ring design, for example. A salesperson, or even a customer, can use simple sliders to change the finger size, the center stone size and type, the size and position of the side stones, the angle and height of all the stones, the width and profile of the shank. As one attribute of the piece changes, all the others seamlessly adjust proportionately in real time to change the look of the piece to suit the customer’s requirements.
Once the customer is happy with the design, the sales person can calculate pricing and send the model to Stuller for manufacturing. Stuller offers the design as a casting, as a polished mounting, or set with gemstones from Stuller’s inventory, delivered in 5 to 7 days.
Although Counter Sketch allows jewelers with little or no custom design experience to offer the service, even jewelers who specialize in CAD CAM said the new program would improve the custom design experience for their customers. “It’s a game-changer that makes custom the new normal: the biggest change the jewelry industry’s seen since the introduction of CAD,” says Jim Tuttle of Green Lake Jewelry Works in Seattle, the largest Matrix user in the country. “This is the beginning of the mass customization revolution. In what other industry can you essentially design something yourself and get a good quality product? Who would have thought that the jewelry industry would lead the way in the democratization of design?”
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