EP331: Positioning Your Brand and Sweat Proof Jewelry with OXB
8:14AM Dec 21, 2021
I'm a huge fan of gold jewelry. Solid gold jewelry is obviously awesome. It is expensive and it's out of some people's price range. And while I do believe there's definitely space for like saving all your all your pennies and like saving up for the gold jewelry, I do want there to be space for people to wear something that means a lot to them or it's like sentimental and it doesn't totally break the bank but because they're buying the thing that sentimental I don't want it to be garbage in a few years, you know. So that's not like other joy. Yeah.
Welcome to thrive by design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching growing and scaling your business. So you can spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make money. You ready? Alright, let's do this.
Welcome to the Thrive by design podcast episode 331. Happy holidays, everyone Christmas is here. We're well into almost the New Year, which is awesome. I can't believe 2020 is wrapping down. And I'm excited to bring you this episode today I interviewed the ladies behind the brand Oxb Laura and Maggie. And I'm excited to talk a little bit more about Brand Positioning, they have a really unique angle because they basically position their brand around sweat proof jewelry. And while they're not doing an I hope ladies, you don't take offense to this, they're not designing something that a lot of people don't design their designing pieces in Goldfield. It's about their brand positioning and how they positioned it in the market that is blowing up their company. So we're going to dive in to this episode soon. And the reason why I want to talk about this is because if you want to create the Desired Brand Effect in your business, and have people coming back, you need to identify who your target market is and your audience, which these ladies have identified what you're going to see clearly in there, you're gonna have to partner with people who can help promote your brand and get you to where you want to be. And they did that because they focus on the fitness industry. And you got to position the messaging around your brand with what you're trying to create. And they've done such a good job in this. In fact, we are hosting our mazing boot camp in the new year called the jewelry brand makeover boot camp, I'm going to have a link in the show notes to the waitlist. We're not really starting enrollment for another couple of weeks on that. But I want to if you want to hear more about it and be notified, check out the show notes links, because I will have a link to the waitlist there. Because I think what they've done is brilliant. So I actually did this interview several months ago. But I wanted to save it towards this time because it's really in alignment with the conversation that we're going to be having in the new year. So before I dive into that, I want to talk about my book, the desire brand effect. And I want to thank everyone who's purchased the book, the sales are off the charts. And the feedback is amazing. And I'm just literally so humbled and overwhelmed by the response. I thought the book was good, but I didn't realize that people were actually hitting home I've having so many people just reach out to me and share with me their big takeaways and stuff like that. So I am so grateful to you if you haven't picked up the book yet, you can pick it up on Amazon. It's called the desire brand effect standout in a saturated market with a timeless jewelry brand. Or you can just head on over to desired brand effect calm all the information is right there.
And we are wrapping up the year right and so I extended applications, we are accepting new students into our momentum program. And our girl Natasha opened up a few more time slots. So if you're interested in trying to get in for our January cohort, this is an excellent time for you to really uplevel your business. Now. You know I share student stories, we've had some really successful members graduate and participate in this program. People who when they came to us, you know, they were doing everything themselves. And some of them are still doing everything themselves because they just want to have a lifestyle business but they wanted the coaching to have ease and flow and reduce the overwhelm and burnout that they were experiencing. So I used the example of Twyla del last week, and I loved her. I love her story so much because I mean I feel like we can keep adding to her case study and I call it a case study because her business just keeps growing and she's doing such amazing things with her life and her business and the girls happy all the time because our business is by design. She's making good money. Her business is growing. She's got a beautiful product she knows how to position herself. Her website is on point her online sales are growing like everything is in her favor. And so if you're ready to kind of align your business with the things that you want to create, awesome, so this program is really for people who have, who already have an established business or establish sales. They're most of the people who joined this program are already doing about six figures. Sometimes it's like, right, maybe right before they're hitting six figures or that six figure marker. And they've been doing everything themselves so far, but they just feel completely overwhelmed. We have people who come in with hundreds of 1000s of dollars worth of sales, or even millions who want to optimize the operation because they're struggling and they don't know how to do it. So it really is a great program for people who are ready to dive in scale, hire a team manage and lead a team to help them support what their vision is for success. So if that sounds interesting to you, I would love for you to apply and head on over to flourish, thrive academy.com forward slash momentum and work with us for the next 12 months or even longer, you know, some of the members of our program have been in it for about three years or longer. And we'd love to support you in that so let's do this if you're interested in learning more once again, flourish thrive academy.com forward slash momentum. Alright, so let me do a quick intro of Laura and Maggie the founders of OSB and the business partners, oh XP sources high quality hypoallergenic metals gold filled, not gold plated that won't rub off, irritate your skin and end up in a landfill after a few wears. Their goal is for their pieces to become everyday staples that can last the duration of time. All of their jewelry is handmade in Denver, Colorado by a team of Women Who Care equally about design sustainability and our fitness community.
Let's dive in to this amazing interview with Lauren Maggie of OSB. All right, I'm really excited to invite some special guests on the show today. Laura dragon Allen and Maggie Kyle of Oh XP. Thanks for being here. Ladies. Thank you. Well, I was pitched you by a podcast, PR person named scout and I worked with Scout last year for many months. And she booked me on a ton of shows. And I thought it was interesting. She was pitching you as sweat proof jewelry. I've never heard jewelry described as that. So I'm like I have to talk to these girls and find out like curious but more than anything. Like this is really a brand positioning thing. So I really want to talk about like how you're positioning your brand as a workout brand. Because that's not really what jewelry designers typically do. So with that being said, I'm just I'm really curious, just to start from the beginning, like how'd you guys meet? How do you decide to start a jewelry company like tell me everything.
So my background is actually in metals and jewelry. I am like a classically trained metalsmith I did an apprenticeship with a goldsmith for a while and Denver which is where we're based. And I originally got my roots in the jewelry world through yoga, which is kind of like a interesting connection. But I met Laura in her spin class. She was a spin instructor for a long time. And and that's where we decided that we needed to launch this brand.
Awesome. So that was Maggie speaking if you get a noun and spin instructor. I'm going to mention that since there's two people speaking just like make sure that hey, this is Maggie or right. Yep, so Laura. So when Maggie approached you about this, what were you thinking?
We had worked together on a project for her other jewelry company prior to us starting OSB together. So we kind of knew that we could work together, but I really didn't have a lot of thoughts. But like, yes, let's do this going through my head. And I had never thought about starting a job. And my background was in fitness. And then I did freelance web marketing and websites for a long time. But it's you know, our two worlds collided and made a great partnership. So that was three years ago.
That's awesome. I really like to dive into the business partnership thing because a lot of people want to bring on a business partner especially when they're more like the metalsmith creative person like Maggie is but I people know from personal experience. Number one it's really hard to find someone who will technically go into partnership with you. It's also like hard to work with someone else because you guys I'm sure you have different opinions about things how things should be done. So I'm curious like or maybe you're always in sync I just so I'm curious to know like how do you balance business partnership and what are your roles in the company?
So not to sound like everything is like peachy all the time but we do have a really great like respectful business relationship and we know Not every business partnership is like fortunate to have the like relationship that you have. But we started off not as friends, but I have developed like a best friendship out of it. But I think we started off like a real business like respect for each other because I had worked for on a project with Maggie and for her other company. So it started off with like, work first. And we're going to start a company first rather than like, a friendship and feelings first. So I think it's evolved over that. But we do get along very well. A lot of it has to do with that we don't really work on the same thing. It's like, of course, our business things we have to do together, but she is a creative and product genius. metalsmith knows everything about jewelry. And then I work on the marketing and business side. So our like world cross, but they don't interfere.
That's awesome. And I think that's really the best thing is to know, like, what is your natural skill set? And how can that balance out with someone with an opposite? kind of scares? Right?
What I think that that sorry, go ahead. No, go ahead. We're gonna say, Oh, I was just say that makes for our like, our duo working so well, like Laura was saying, I think there's just a baseline of respect that I have for Laura, because she does all these jobs that I don't want to do could never do. Like, I'm really not tech savvy, and more machine savvy. And so it's really nice to have that support and partnership and someone who does like all of these jobs that I look at, kind of with heart eyes. I'm like, Well, how do you do that? You know, likewise.
Yeah, I know it's are you doing a lot of the product production? Still naggy?
We do. Personally, I'm not doing as much as I probably would like to be doing. We have a team of three women downstairs that do everything in house. And that's great. That's yeah, yeah. And we trained them all. They all went to metal smithing school. Actually, one has not gone yet. But we have sent them to actually learn like the basics of metal smithing. So yeah, they're wonderful. Okay, so
I know people are this is totally off, like the topic of the podcast. But I know people are like, how do you find these women to work for you? Because I know a lot of people want to work in their manufacturing. And so I a little background about me, I don't know what you know about me. But I used to have a jewelry company. I had 13 employees at one time we did manufacturing in house. And then when I moved to New York, we started outsourcing it to other factories, because it was harder to find people to actually work for you. So we did some of the production in house, some of it was outsourced, right, and all the things so like, how do you find these people and train them?
Well, we had to find them initially, because sort of we the line has evolved a lot. But initially, it was a lot of just customizable pieces, like simple gold bars that were you know, fully customizable. We launched with like our basic sayings and things like breathe or you know, something, something feel good or whatnot. But so we had a need for to bring them in to make the products like pretty much because every order was customized. So we hired our first hire outside of Laura and I disastrously trying to do absolutely everything was in I think May of last year. So we have been growing and we've liked having the production team in house. Especially because it does give us that flexibility like with our product, but to find them initially we honestly just put it on our social media. One of our she's now our manager actually knew Laura as well from her spin class. And I was super hesitant to, to hire her and she's like the best thing that ever happened to me but I was hesitant to hire her because she was like, just such a fan of Laura's I'm like she gonna she's gonna be able to like, you know, be coachable on this end. And she's been wonderful. So Denver has kind of a small community and especially within fitness. So that's been where we've like, put our you know, work out first and then we either have gotten referrals or people have found us which is wonderful. And we hired you know, all of our employees during pandemic so awesome. Very thing. Yeah, so we're pretty much post every job on Instagram.
Yeah, yeah. Awesome. That's awesome. So I want to kind of dive into this brand positioning thing because you you guys kind of you started this business about three years ago, and you have your call it sweatproof joy, like I've never heard anyone call jewelry that even though you know if you had solid gold it was it's sweat proof. Like I only wear it I like that. But this is a great brand positioning. So how did you come up with this? And how was this whole concept started and how have you sort of evolved along the way?
Okay, so there is the kind of backstory here. I before I really got into metal smithing. I had finished my yoga teacher training. I had made a really nice connection with some like studio owners and things and I wanted I was waiting to hear In bartending full time, I wanted to make a piece of jewelry that was I was going through, like, you know, the personal hard time you go through your mid 20s. And I wanted to make something that was like sentimental to me. I've never been like a mala bead where people have interesting positions on that. But that was sort of not like my self care yoga practice. And so I started making little Goldberg necklaces that really said things like I am enough or breathe or nama state or whatever. And I had a nice community of my yoga friends. And we, like, you know, came up with some cute sayings and things to put on them. And then my friend sold them in their studios. Then I, and they were all made out of gold foil, and it was all just cold connections. So you know, like, I actually grew up making jewelry with my mom, which is kind of awesome, but story for another day. Um, and so I was pretty good with like pliers and things like that. So it was all cold connection. stampings super simple. I rented out of my parents laundry room. And then I kind of like through a random yoga class, got into core power yoga. And they are a nationwide company. Yeah, their classes are awesome. I had never heard of them at the time, I had just moved to Denver. And I went into a class and I was like, hey, like, you know, would love to talk to your retail manager. I didn't even know that was the name of it. And she was like, Okay, I'll put you in contact. I emailed her she had me into had me into their office, which ended up being like a big office. I walked in with a cigar box, like full of trinkets, basically, like, I can't I kind of like can't think of it now. But so I pitched it to her. And she was like, great, you know, we have 117 Studios come October, can you like ship out to these, whatever. And so I was like, Yes, I stopped serving and bartending switched to this full time. And worked with core power, like pretty closely for two years and then decided I really want to learn like the art of metal smithing. So that's when I got more into like, gold smithing and lost wax casting and that so that was the backstory of that I moved my line, which is also called Oxbow over to like a completely fashion based line. It does not hold any, anywhere. It's in the fitness world. But I kind of missed it like the fitness. I've always been self employed. So the works outside of restaurants. But as a jewelry, I've always been self employed. And I missed my community that I had made for like the fitness community. And I hadn't thought about bringing it back. I sort of hate selling things. So I was like, I'd have to find the right person to do it with. And then I had a really bad injury on I started taking a lot of spin classes. And that's when I met her and I was like, I remember telling my partner at the time, I was like, I think I maybe met the person that we've been talking about this for a year. And he's like, you also only met me a year ago like you know, but um, so yeah, I basically like business proposed to Laura. And I was like, I really want to bring this back. Like I see. I'm a huge fan of gold jewelry. Solid gold jewelry is obviously awesome. It is expensive, and it's out of some people's price range. And while I do believe there's definitely space for like saving all your all your pennies and like saving up for the gold jewelry. I do want there to be space for people to wear something that means a lot to them, or it's like sentimental and it doesn't totally break the bank. But because they're buying the thing that's sentimental. I don't want it to be garbage in a few years, you know? Yeah. So that's not to call like, you know, other. Yeah. No,
never tarnishes. I mean, that's just what happens people have high pH. I mean, I used to design gold for made jewelry, and I loved it. Because I don't I particularly wasn't a fan of gold plated, but it would for certain people would turn like black and a couple of days. Like do can
I do that too? Yeah, my other jewelry line. And I would never wear my rings to exercise. So like I'm gonna take them off, right? So yes, goldfill jewelry, obviously. It's like, it does also have a lifespan that's usually between like 10 and 30 years depending on how you care for it and whatnot. But the manufacturing process of the actual raw materials is meant to be really durable and withstand daily wear. And, you know, I Laura has her grandmother's chain from almost 80 years ago and it's stunning. It's called, it's called fell Sorry, that was why I brought that up. Yeah, um, yeah, so when we met each other, yes, business. Yes. Um, we were like, immersed. I was fully immersed in the fitness industry, Maggie was with her community that she existed in. And so we designed this product and this business specifically for the fitness community. So it's like the community came first and the product came second due to Maggie's knowledge or they kind of like coincided together. We didn't start a jewelry company wondering who our customer was. We knew where customer was, and we worked from that.
Yeah, that's awesome. So how are you kind of like getting the word out to the fitness community about the jewelry?
Yeah, initially, um, was the studio that I really embraced us first and kind of the people that we knew, in the fitness world embrace us first. And then early pandemic, we started building an ambassador team. Cool. Because we were selling in fitness studios prior to the pandemic, we lost all of that business kind of overnight as fitness studios shut down. So we started hustling the E commerce side of things, and building a really cool team of like athletes and fitness and wellness professionals on our ambassador team. And so that's really how we got more widely known in the fitness community is because fitness people are so tied to kind of know each other, they follow each other on Instagram. And that's really how we built an initial following when we couldn't pay for advertising or pay for really far reach. It's like, the fitness community picked us up, we found them. And it kind of happened organically to start off with. Okay, so
I love that. Like, we actually were having an event next week this the event will be far from over when by the time this podcast interviews, but if we're teaching Ambassador programs, I'm curious, like, how did you guys like build that? Like, group of ambassadors or affiliates? I don't know. Do you pay them a commission? Or is it just people promoting for you? Or how does it work?
We always wanted to build an ambassador team that felt good to us, the people that we wanted to, like know directly that are like, really going for it in their community. It started off as just people we knew in Denver. So we had close relationships with people that we knew here. And then we grew it outside of that. And yes, we do have different levels of Ambassador some just, you know, no XP and trade for jewelry, some do it for commission on the affiliate side. Our team is about 60 men and women right now. And we just hired someone to like run the program. So it's growing. Yeah, Ambassador programs are kind of better than any advertising. Advertising could do. Because they build your community into your business, they gather great content, right? They gather trust from your customer, which I think was, again, it's like a new brand positioning is interesting. You don't think of sweat proof jewelry. So we got a bunch of really sweaty people put the jewelry on them. And like a year later, they're still here. How do I get more involved?
That's so cool. I love it. So how do you structure that? Like, it sounds like you have someone managing the program? But like, what was your initial like, outreach? Outreach to those people? Oh, yes. Like what that looks like and how you kind
of for sure, circumstantial, okay. There's circumstantially it was the pandemic, we did a when everything shut down, we did like a support your studios promotion. And that was if you bought a gift card, or sorry, if you bought a drop into a studio. for future use, we would issue a gift card for whatever you paid for that drop in Oh, and you can use that. So because we have a ton of friends, we're studio owners and you know, we were just feeling the weight of everything. So then Laura had the great idea of, we're extending this to, you know, also a lot of our friends or trainers. So they were hosting their own thing on their own platforms, like let's do if you support your trainers as well, that will issue that same gift card. So that was like the initial relationship we had with a lot of them. And again, like they're still here, which is amazing. And then from that a lot of it has been word of mouth will slide in someone's DMS, like every now and then. But we get mostly like people applying for us. We had an application on our Oh, we took it down to
your application on your on your website.
And we're working on building we're not we're a fan of quality over like quantity. Obviously, if you build an ambassador team of a million people, you'll sell more jewelry. But we tell the fine line between like wanting to build a really like great ambassador team without it being like just a code trade that people promote. We want a connection to the brand. Always. So I know that's not how every brand works, their ambassador affiliate programs, but it's how we work ours because this community is like, and our connection to them is really important. So we we know that Ambassador teams can drive revenue, but we also are careful with how we approach it. Yeah.
Yeah, it's hard if you aren't totally trained on how to sell and you don't have strong parameters on what needs to happen. One of the coaches in our community, she's a really successful business kind of more the Mall of Ed stuff we're talking about earlier, but she has a company called Horsefeathers gifts, and she has built this really robust ambassador program that she teaches our community and the way that she's positioned it is like you have to be a customer first. You have to act as if you're an ambassador, before you are proof for the ambassador program. And then there's like strict parameters on like how much they have to post, like what that posting schedule looks like the incentives that they get. And then the tears, right. So like if they're, if they refer X amount of people then or X amount of sales, and they get this amount of commission or this amount of credits towards jewelry, whatever the arrangement of a person, so super cool. I like that, and made that. I mean, that was like a really good idea. I think that you guys really thought out of the box, like on how to, we had so many amazing success stories of people who really recoup their sales during COVID. And there's a significant difference between the people who leaned in versus those that were like, Oh, my company's over kind of thing. And this is a great strat. I'm just giving you guys a compliment. Great strategy. Thank you. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. So my next question actually was going to be like, how do you pivot? But you just answered that is that you went in and created this around? So what are some of the other ways that you market your brand to like get outreach out there? You mentioned? Are you do you do any advertising now or no?
Yeah, we do Facebook ads, email list. Organic. We don't do any Google yet.
We're in free people, which has been amazing for our brands, birch. Awesome. Yeah, we've done sort of a partnership with moving more towards like pre people movement, which is, like their workout line. So
that's awesome. And how, like, what what do you think's the most effective strategy that you're using for digital marketing? Besides the ambassadors,
besides the ambassadors? email list, I think is the most effective digital strategy kind of always in forever. Yeah, I think having a database of the customer data that they willingly give you and want to be marketed to is the most valuable tool like any business can have, um, you know, marketing,often.
So how often are you email marketing? And like, what's your strategy for that
we send, there's kind of two things happening, we send everyone through a flow depending on how they've interacted with the business. So if you've purchased something, you get a certain flow post purchase. If you've bought something, once you get a certain Thank, you probably even bought something more than once you get another thank you card. So there's all these automatic flows, depending on if you purchase something. No matter how many times if you just visited our website, you get sent through a flow, and abandoned cards and all of that, and then we send a like two to four to three campaigns per week. Wow, that's good. That's a lot of focus, or and there's like a once a month newsletter, so we're starting to beef up the content right now. So we're gonna send a lot of newsletters about like six a month, kind of highlighting different ambassadors in different parts of our business and our retail, our new retail store on the receiving end. Um, oh, yeah, that's kind of that's so cool.
So if you had to give like a designer or maker who's listening to this show, who wants to kind of really like angle their positioning in, in like, a real like a niche? Like, because that's kind of what you guys have done? Like, what would be your best piece of advice? You can each answer that yourself.
It's so hard, and I can't imagine knowing a lot about the jewelry world before we got into it, I think it can be so overwhelming, no matter what market you're in, you can always find everyone else that can feel like you're going to drown, you're going to like drown in it and are not shine. So I think my piece of advice from like a marketing perspective, the less you know, the better and kind of just like stay in your lane and whatever niche you have, or they think it's weird, or you think it's cool, just kind of go for it. What do you from a maker perspective.
And I think identifying that community is really, really helpful and important. Like you don't have to appeal to everybody, you can appeal to a group of loyal people. And that's really awesome. I think what I've learned a lot from Laura too, is that like, letting them know what's going on behind the scenes is actually kind of cool. I think when you're starting you feel it's a little different. I think with Instagram, everyone's sharing so much but you want to feel legitimate right? And I think that there is that feeling when you first start that like no one will like it or take it seriously or whatever. But I think that people actually like tracking the journey.
Yeah, so you mentioned community a few times like how are you building community outside of your ambassador program or staying connected with people like on a broader perspective?
Yeah, we kind of jump in the fitness community whenever we can. I mean, a lot of it was virtual last year taking classes or partnering with studios. Now the studios are open we take our like oh XP HQ team. To like teams to lots in the community so we can meet more young fitness studios, the online community. It's kind of easy to easy to meet them. Now everyone's online all the time. So you can interact with people via Instagram, Tik Tok, whatever it is, um, that's, you know, the easy part for us. Yeah, the other. So we are opening up a retail store. And part of the reason to do that, again, is to sort of bounce out this physical space where we can meet or host people. So that is an evolving arm of our business. And I hope it's as, as exciting as we think it's gonna be.
Are you going to do fitness classes in your store?
Yes. So we have one planned already. We have one planned already for like two weeks out, we actually also have a personal trainer who's like, in part of not for us, he has his own business and clientele, but he's right. They're always so we're like in their garage of our space. Yeah. He's attached to us. So so we can't escape the fitness community.
So cool. Okay, awesome. So this has been like super informative. I'm sure that people are getting a lot out of how you've really developed like position your brand and really leaned into like a specific niche and avatar that is actually quite broad, which I think is smart. Where can everyone find you? They want to like, check out more about oh XP or find you on Instagram, etc.
or Instagram is our exercise brand. Our stores our exercise store. And then our website is shop. Oh expedia.com.
Okay, awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here, guys. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening to the show today. What was your key takeaway? And I would love to know, how are you going to position your brand for success in 2020 If you need a little support with that, we are here to help. We are hosting our brand new jewelry brand makeover boot camp, its newly revisited and revised and upgraded. We are bringing it back from the archives from a couple of years ago. And I think you're gonna really enjoy it. So if you want to really dial in your messaging your market and what you're doing over there with your jewelry brand. Please come join us for this challenge is happening in January, we're going to have a link to the waitlist in the show notes. Thanks so much for listening to the show today. This is Tracy Matthews signing off. Until next time, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. A happy new year and happy holidays, whatever you're celebrating. Ciao for now. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. It's my mission to help 1000s of creative businesses inside and outside the jewelry space. use their creativity to make money. Make sure that you're subscribed to thrive by design on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and wherever podcasts are played. And we'd love to hear what you think. Please rate and review the show and if you're inspired, please share this with your friends. Cheers to seeing you flourish and thrive.