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New To Permanent Jewelry? Start Here!

Co-Founder Q&A: Love Weld’s rapid expansion, tips for boosting permanent jewelry sales, and the future of permanent jewelry.

Read or Listen: Real Answers to Big Topics About Permanent Jewelry
  • Creating the biggest permanent jewelry brand in the world
  • Is permanent jewelry a good business?
  • Tips for boosting permanent jewelry sales
  • Permanent jewelry trends & the future of permanent jewelry
  • Advice for starting permanent jewelry
  • Do you need a storefront to sell permanent jewelry?

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Co-Founder Q&A Series: Part 1
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Co-Founder Q&A Series: Part 1

Part One 1. Background and Journey of Love Weld: 

Interviewer  0:00 

Hello, everyone. Welcome to the CEO sit down series. We have something very special for you today. For all of you looking at starting permanent jewelry or for those of you who are already invested and maybe need some help getting your investment off the ground. Wherever you are in your permanent jewelry journey. Tune in because we have an exclusive look at the story, tips, and advice for you from the best in the business. Sarah sides the founder and CEO of Love Weld is here with us today. If you think about the biggest global players in the permanent jewelry space Love Weld is at the top. Founded in 2020 Love Weld has grown nationwide with hundreds of welders trained and 1000s of customers served. Love Weld specializes in creating permanent bracelets, necklaces, anklets, and rings that often signify a special someone's bond or event in your life. Sarah, welcome!

Sarah Sides 1:14 

Thank you, Kate, I'm excited to be here today!

Interviewer  1:17 

We're so excited to have you. And also joining us today we have Hannah Wedeking, the co-founder and CEO of Permanent Jewelry Solutions (PJS)or PJS, welcome Hannah. Hello, the sister company of Love Weld PJS helps business owners and budding entrepreneurs grow revenue through permanent jewelry by taking the guesswork out of their investment through real life expertise, sharing everything they've learned from how to price bracelets and how to shop for chain and how to train a team member. We should be thanking them because Permanent Jewelry Solutions (PJS)is helping keep the permanent jewelry industry growing and thriving through entrepreneurs like you all. Thank you both so much for joining us. Sarah, we will start with you.

Interviewer  2:00 

As the founder and CEO of the biggest permanent jewelry retailer in the world. Sarah, can you share a bit about your personal journey and how it led you to found Love Weld?

Sarah Sides  2:10 

Yeah, I mean, it started back. I've been in the jewelry industry for over a decade now. Prior to Love Weld, I worked for an International Fair Trade Company and spent a lot of time traveling all over the world to really study master craftsmen and come alongside them and develop a product line for the U.S. And in that, kind of really saw a through line globally of what jewelry meant from generation to generation. And oftentimes in cultures, it was used to tell stories. And to… people would wear jewelry as a symbol of something that either represented their history or their own personal identity. And it was sort of that concept, that idea that combined when I saw early, trickling things of what is permanent jewelry today, actually, when Love Weld started permanent jewelry wasn't a term, it wasn't there was no curriculum on… “This is how you start a permanent jewelry business”. There was no training, there was no best practices. And so I first started seeing what was like the early parts of permanent jewelry when there was a gal in LA, taking a blowtorch in wrapping people's wrists in fire cloth and torching it on their wrist. And, to me, it was really cool. And it was the same as what I saw internationally, these women were getting these bangles put on to tell their story, or to celebrate or commemorate. And that was really beautiful to me. And so in doing further research, there was a place in Paris that was doing something more similar to what is permanent jewelry today. And that kind of created the full picture for me of like, oh, this is how you do it. And so it was the idea of chains and charms and using those to create pieces unique to the wearer, that they could wear over time to tell their stories. So that was the early process in origin for Love Weld.

Part Two 2. What is Permanent Jewelry?

Interviewer  4:41 

Thank you so much for sharing it. Could you, just for the audience who is newer to permanent jewelry, or maybe has heard of the term, but isn't really clear on what it is - Could you tell everybody once and for all - what is permanent jewelry? 

Sarah Sides  4:54

Yeah, and I just like a side note, when trying to decide what to call what this is an early day. Like I said, it wasn't really a thing we used - I landed on for Love Weld “forever bound” and we actually use that quite a bit within Love Weld because the idea of permanent feels so big like a tattoo or you permanently get plastic surgery I don't know like it's just one of those things that like is irreversible it so I now use it because the world and TikTok has led us to use it and if you can't beat them join them. But essentially it is clasp-free jewelry that you wear. And it's bonded by an arc welder safely on the person. So no blowtorch. It's just a really neat modern technology that allows you to focus the energy that welds the bracelet together in a very safe and concise manner. And that is permanent jewelry. You can remove it if you want to or add a closure. But it is a fun idea that it lives with you for a long time.

Part Three 3. Rapid Expansion of Love Weld:

Interviewer  6:15 

Perfect. Perfect. Can you share the story behind Love Welds rapid expansion from a single storefront to over 15 locations in just four years?

Sarah Sides  6:25 

Okay Kate, How much time do we have? Because I have - so one thing I just want to really get across is that it's a lot of people's stories. And it was a lot of work and effort with a number of women that were passionate about storytelling, jewelry, crafting, and creating pieces and really hosting connections is really the heart of the Love Weld, brand and so. But for the sake of people curious and to do something condensed. When starting Love Weld, I did not start it thinking it was going to be a national brand. In fact, I started in my garage studio, I was transitioning from doing a full-time designer role. My husband was getting his MBA, I had a baby, and a toddler. It was COVID. And so for me, permanent jewelry was just this extreme curiosity. And this is like a new iteration for jewelry for me, but why it expanded and why it grew is that when really unfolding what the brand was the heart of it, like what it did, for not only my clients, but also my team was like this has to grow. And this is bigger than me. And my parents are entrepreneurs. So I'm very aware of what it means to own a multi-location, retail brand. And so there was a little resistance to expansion for the first couple of years. But it just kind of kept happening, like the right person came along wanting to build the business with me. And so it first started with my best friend and my sister in law and sister multiplying us from one to four locations. And we just loved the work. We loved getting to craft our own jewelry. We are a party brand. So we host lots of parties, there's always bubbly and food and good times involved. And that really resonated with our client and with the communities that we were in, as well as partners that we partnered with, through the way so before you knew it, within a year and a half, we had four locations, and there was an opportunity to partner with some innovative department stores. That took us from four to eight locations in a six-week period. And at that point in time was a bit of a crossroads for me and my team like where do we take this? How big do we make it? And we just thought in a world, in a society where connection and being able to converse and have something tangible physical, felt really important in the moment, especially post COVID  so we got to we kind of keep moving. We got to keep doing that. So before we knew it, we had 12 locations. And I think actually nine of them are store fronts. So our own four walls, retail level of experience.

Part Four 4.  Impactful Customer Experience:

Interviewer  10:11 

Wow. Wow. That's certainly impressive. I think I think anybody would say that the customer experience is central to the success of a permanent jewelry business, I think it’s fair to say. Could you share a memorable customer success story that highlights the impact of Love Weld's permanent jewelry services?

Sarah Sides  10:34 

Yeah, um, so many. One that really stuck out to me and actually ended up creating some program which I'll also share about within Love Weld. I was in New York and welding and there were these three mothers that had come in from Australia. And they found us wanting to get permanent jewelry to commemorate their mom's trip and they were really funny. I think Australians have a really kind of fun personality or not all of them but in general, the Australian people I've met know how to have a good time. So they brought the good time with them and we're just chatting and having fun and one of the gals who looked about six months pregnant, kept joking around about me giving her free diamond she's like, I'm a mom, I don't have money like give me a diamond and you know, in my mind, I'm like, No, I'm not giving you a free diamond but she was cute about it and we just, you know, interacting. Retail - you always get these sorts of customer interactions and her two friends went to grab a drink from the bar, and they're getting her soda. And as they're gone and I was welding her. And she goes, you know, actually this bracelet, this trip means a lot for me. I was asking about her pregnancy. And she goes, you know, this pregnancy has been hard. And I just asked why, as a fellow Mom, I'm thinking there's lots of reasons pregnancy is hard. And she shared about a miscarriage that she had had just a year prior. And this was her rainbow baby. She was fairly far along in her pregnancy, and so not only did she mourn the loss of the baby, but her kids, her young kids mourn the loss of this baby, her husband and the community. And so with that, there were a lot of emotions to process grief, combined with this new pregnancy. And I just felt compelled, like, I want to give her this diamond and I want her to have this diamond. Yes, it's hard right now. But there's a rainbow. There's a rainbow here. And there is something to celebrate. And to just have that reminder. So I gifted her the diamond. She's crying, I'm crying. By that time her friends had come. And they're crying. And so we get a lot of that at Love Weld. There's something really special about being able to tangibly with a diamond say, I see you.I want to celebrate what it is, whether it's hard or good in that moment, I want to celebrate that with you. Here's the token to represent that right. From that we talked as the team, it's like, Okay, Sarah, the owner can give away diamonds whenever she wants. So we ended up incorporating in our development curriculum or program for our team members, like once they hit a level of welding and interacting with customers, they're able to give away a free diamond once a month. It could be for many things. We've had girls give away because it's like, Hey, I keep seeing you everywhere in New York City, like the nightclubs, the dinners out like there's something here, I see you in this busy city. Here's a diamond, or, you know, there was another welder who was actually doing a nonprofit project for Love Weld for the Ronald McDonald House. Then a mother, who was in Austin and staying at the Ronald McDonald House happened to just walk in. While she was that was top of mind, and she ended up gifting that mom a diamond. That's one of my favorite memories, and that is 100% my favorite part about permanent jewelry. And that is why we've grown the way we've grown and the reason to be a national brand.

Part Five 5. Reasons Customers are Drawn to Permanent Jewelry:

Interviewer  15:06 

That's beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. It's very clear that getting a permanent jewelry piece is a very personal experience. What in your mind - what are the primary reasons why customers are drawn to permanent jewelry?

Sarah Sides  15:21 

Well, and I'll be honest, there's also a good portion of customers who just think it's fun, and it's cool, and it's novel, and they'll just get a piece so maybe this sentimentality never comes or it comes after the fact. But, um, you know, people get them for so many reasons. I've had BFFs, who had failed tattoo experiences come in, like where one got the tattoo, the other one chickened out. So they decided, you know what, maybe we'll do the next thing. Let's get a permanent jewelry bracelet. So it's almost like a step down in commitment. For the new tattoo, so we do it, we call it the 14k tattoo. I've had a lot of treat yourself moments with clients celebrating oneself. Those are some of my favorites since it is so deeply personal. Mothers & daughters, lots of generational welds. We've done a lot of commemorating a lost loved one. And yeah, there's the same reason you would get a tattoo right could be a reason you would get a permanent jewelry piece. And people do that for so many reasons. Some people it's because they're addicted to having gold on their arm and they want to have more of a stack. And in fact, I'll see a lot of people stacked with welds and stacked with tattoos. And it's just like they're constantly loving to express themselves on their bodies. 

Interviewer  17:02 

That's interesting. It makes me think, you know, when you think about permanent jewelry, and you think about business owners, you know, thinking about starting permanent jewelry, it's like if somebody comes in and gets a permanent jewelry piece, is it one and done? Are they ever going to come back and get and get another piece? What would you say to that?

Sarah Sides  17:19

We have quite a few repeat customers. I think you have to set yourself apart by creating a reason for people to come back to you whether that's developing your product or ensuring that your customer service is top notch, that it's not just transactional. That helps with people wanting to build their stack. But yeah, as a woman who loves jewelry, there's a lot of practicality to permanent jewelry that keeps them coming back. So yes, some people it's one and done. But I would say the majority when they leave the door, they're already thinking about their next piece.

Part Six: 6. Strategies for Sustaining Permanent Jewelry Sales: 

Interviewer  18:06 

So for those businesses that have invested in permanent jewelry, they're sort of up and running, but they may be experiencing a decline in their sales for permanent jewelry, what tips or strategies would you recommend for them?

Sarah Sides  18:21 

Yeah, I think, you know, there's a lot of pieces. I would probably ask the individual owner what's happening? Are they doing any follow up marketing? Are they reaching out to previous customers? Even for the Love Weld business, there's different avenues that we work to continue to grow our sales or have repeat purchases. So one [option] would be partnerships. Is there a fun partnership or collaboration that you could be a part of in your community? That could be anything from a nonprofit to a market. In Love Weld, we host a lot of creatives coming in. That has been a way to just kind of grow your crowd. Digital Marketing, depending on how established your business is, digital marketing makes a lot of sense. That could be through ads. That could be through your own current customer base. Thinking of the reasons why people get welded in marketing with that, I think as the permanent jewelry market expands and grows and there's more competition, I think you have to get past the novelty of the experience for marketing and start stepping into marketing and talking about the reasons people get welded so that they're like, oh, yeah, grandma's birthday is coming up, I should definitely go get a birthstone piece with grandma. That's the other thing is, you know, initials, different stone charms, all are a great way to tell people's stories. So ensuring you have that in your product line as well.

Part Seven: 7. Future Trends in Permanent Jewelry and Innovation: 

Interviewer  20:18 

That's very interesting and very helpful. I want to move on to the future of permanent jewelry. What emerging trends do you see shaping the future of the permanent jewelry market? And how does Love Weld work to stay ahead of the curve in terms of innovation and adaptation to industry trends as it continues to grow and expand?

Sarah Sides  20:40

I love this question, because this is where I live. The majority of the time. Even when I started Love Weld years back, permanent jewelry looked very different than it is today. I think it's going to only continue to evolve. So when I see it right now I think the expression of permanent jewelry can be like a very, I would say it's like its first round iteration. It's its first draft. So like a simple chain, a simple charm. I see as it becomes more prevalent in the marketplace that companies will begin to start thinking of their own adaptation of permanent jewelry. So where things get a little more customized, a little more unique. Where they're thinking about developing the components to tell their brand story. I know this is where Love Weld very much is. And I know for PJS, this is as well. I've been working with Hannah on their customization project, and how we can help businesses create more custom components and things that fit their brands. So it goes beyond just like your basic chains and can be a little more developed. There's a lot, I have been talking to some tech companies about ways to apply technology to permanent jewelry. I think there are niches of permanent jewelry. Love Weld is not going to speak to every single reason why someone would get permanent jewelry. I think there could be religious reasons, reasons people get welded, I think they could be very practical. I could see the medical sort of evolutions of permanent jewelry. I think it's endless. I think we're just at the very beginning of what permanent jewelry is going to be. And I'm excited for those innovative minds that latched on to this because I think there's a lot of open frontiers to create your own pathway in this space.

Part Eight: 8. Founding Permanent Jewelry Solutions:

Interviewer  23:07

Beautiful, thank you so much for sharing. Sarah, and Hannah, many people may not know this, but you to our sisters. Could you tell us about what inspired you to establish Permanent Jewelry Solutions (PJS)together? 

Hannah Wedeking  23:25 

Yeah, absolutely. So I joined Love Weld kind of near the beginning, not at the very beginning, but near the beginning. I come from a different background for sure. I don't come from jewelry. I come from more people, positions and things like that, which is what drew me to Love Weld. I think through that we just established so many connections with different people. By different, I mean, my very first pop up event, I was in Austin, learning how to do all of this with Sarah. And we're at this amazing local art Austin designers shop. And just I loved hanging out with the people that were working at this shop. And so I think just these establishing these connections

Sarah Sides  24:08 

It was Miranda, Miranda Bennett.

Hannah Wedeking  24:12 

Thank you. I couldn't… Miranda Bennett. Yeah, I bought a dress. I mean, just loved, loved the women that were working there. Everywhere we go, I feel like that's just kind of what happens. We establish connections with different people. This happened with different business owners and businesses. They were reaching out to Love Weld, we want this in our store, how can we get this permanently set up? These sorts of things, because permanent jewelry was very new, and we were there. We were doing the best that we could, and so people were reaching out to us. So through that, Sarah and I really started thinking about okay, what does this look like? What does - How can we partner with business owners and get permanent jewelry into their stores? Because there is an opportunity and Love Weld, as Sarah mentioned earlier in the conversation, is not going to be the permanent jewelry brand for everyone. So how can we walk alongside people using our experience? The things that we've learned. How we failed, how we've succeeded. How can we take that and really partner with other business owners and so that's where Permanent Jewelry Solutions (PJS)came from. Was really this desire to connect with business owners, and whether that be they have six locations, they have one location, maybe they're just starting, but anybody who's wanting to get started with permanent jewelry, how can we take all of our experience, box it up and assist them with that and make that an opportunity for them to really take permanent jewelry by the horns, if you will.

Sarah Sides  25:52 

So essentially, PJS is us giving four years of hard knocks, packaging and what we've learned, and hopefully, people will not have to have the same customer safety product, problem solves, that we have had and we want to expedite it. We think that this concept in jewelry is really important and empowering for the people providing the service and so we're excited to be able to do so through our wholesale arm.

Part Nine: 9. Collaboration between Love Weld and PJS:

Interviewer  26:30

How do Love Weld and Permanent Jewelry Solutions (PJS)work together and collaborate? - You know, on an ongoing basis to provide solutions that are comprehensive to business owners - whether you know they're only operating permanent jewelry or whether they're operating another business and are adding permanent jewelry to their business. How do Love Weld and PJS work together and provide solutions so that the solutions are evolving over time with, you know, with the growth of Love Weld and everything that it's continuing to learn over time?

Sarah Sides  27:03 

Yeah, so Hannah has a very strong operational, systematic bend. And so, for me, I work primarily in the Love Weld space, and Hannah works primarily in the PJS space. And so I would say how Love Weld supports PJS is through the learnings that we have being a multi location, all over the US sort of view into the customer side of jewelry. That is where Hannah really comes to the Love Weld team to really understand what that looks like. Also to understand, we're working with some larger companies, that you know, there's a difference between having a solopreneur permanent jewelry business versus the operations of having a multi-location business where you have to have operational standards that go beyond just one or two people, right? And so that is we test a lot for PJS, we try things for PJS. PJS has helped us with the curriculum so that we can activate and lift 100 Plus welders and be able to work with a variety of customers. PJS helps us with the supply side for a Love Weld and harnesses the main warehousing and supply chain management so that we can focus on building a brand in our experience. Hannah, is there anything else you would want to add there?

Hannah Wedeking  28:56 

I think you've covered a lot of it. I think the big thing is that Sarah and I talk probably every day, and so I think that we are able to kind of really look at this together - look at both Love Weld and PJS together. And I think we've learned so so much through Love Weld and just trial and error and so things like pop up events and we any type of pop up event that any of our customers at PJS are going to be attending, we've more than likely done it or we've tried to do it, or any of those sorts of things. So I think really, it's just, it's more of just the crossover of experience, we've been there, we've been able to operate as a retail company. We've learned so much. A lot of it is just exchanging that information.

Sarah Sides  29:46 

Yeah, for example, if you think about the technology side, right, so when you start, you're like, I want to do permanent jewelry, and what welder do I get? And I will say, there's not one size fits all in welding machines. And so we have within the Love Weld brand strong opinions on what technology is preferred, and preferences. And it's not all the same. And so there are nuances in the welding technology. And we have various suppliers, various types of machines within the level of business. And we utilize that. We have one machine that we utilize for popups, one that we do for a certain type of volume, one that we do for maybe a lower volume, location, or, or something of that nature. And so there's a lot of nuances that you don't realize are in this craft. I think there is a degree of knowledge that we've tested lots of products with 1000s and 1000s of customers, and hundreds of types of creatives and welders in, have regular feedback and understand some of those nuances.

Part Ten: 10. Advice for Entrepreneurs in the Permanent Jewelry Industry:

Interviewer  31:08 

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs or business owners that are looking to enter the permanent jewelry industry? Whether it's starting their own business in permanent jewelry, or adding permanent jewelry to a business that already exists? Yeah, what advice would you give them based upon the lessons that you've each learned through the success of Love Weld and PJS?

Hannah Wedeking  31:28

I can, I can kick us off. I think the one thing that I would say is there is a level of you just have to start at some point. You do have to just kind of go after it. Even if you don't know the answers to all of the problems that exist or will come up, I think there's something about just being brave. And doing that I have so many consultations with PJS customers that I feel like that's just what they want to hear is you're brave, you can do this, and you'll have problems and you'll be able to overcome them. I would also say that it does take work. It's not going to be permanently trendy, and it's flashy, and a lot of people are flocking towards it. And I think that being able to work hard and show up for your customer in a consistent way. I would say consistency is a really big thing, at least in my experience. So those are the two things that come to mind right out of the gate, I'm sure there's other better advice I could maybe think of but those are the first two things. Just doing it and showing up. Then working hard at it and knowing that it's going to fluctuate, you're going to have pop up events that you make no money.You make $0, but you also have really successful ones. And it's all part of it. Yeah, what about you?

Sarah Sides  32:47 

So I think for the early on entrepreneur, when I first went into this business, it wasn't an industry and there was there was not a confirmation of would people even want this but - How I started is one and just really kind of understanding like, what is the your overall spin or version of this, right? So what, what is going to connect permanent jewelry to you? Are you a yoga enthusiast and so you're going to do Montra jewelry and you're going to create a permanent jewelry brand. And you have a yoga studio and you're going to do a permanent jewelry brand that allows you to weld their clients with their mantra of the time right. So what is your unique spin on the concept? And it doesn't have to be like, blow your mind, no one's ever heard of it before but just like something that you can get behind and be excited about five years down the road, or a year or like two months. I don't know, our attention spans can be really short. So there's that. And then too, I mean, the way I started out is I was able to get, I don't know how this would work today with today's market, but I was able to get a 0% interest card to finance my permanent jewelry business. And in fact, Love Weld is self-funded, and it was funded on a $20,000 limit, 0% interest credit card, and I had 18 months to make my money back. And that was my financing. It's hard, it's hard to get a loan, all of that. That is what I started. I had a spreadsheet. And I was like, This is what it's going to cost for me to get started, I have to sell 50 or 20. Or it's probably like 25 braces, that's 25 bracelets to get my money back. And that 25 felt really scary, but it was like, you know, I have three sisters that are probably going to purchase so there's three bracelets right there. And so, how do I accomplish those 25? That was my focus. And that's what I went after. Then it would be what's the next goal? How do I get my first pop up? How do I not only weld to my friends and family? And it was almost that stair step where we grew. But it started very simple. And it started with how do I make my money investment back which is not hard. And actually ended up doing that fairly quickly. So I would say use the resources you have. You can dream big, but give yourself very tangible, achievable goals and it's consistency, like Hannah said, so just do the next thing.

Interviewer  35:55 

If somebody were to come up to you and say hey, I don't have a storefront you know, I'm not there yet. Can I offer permanent jewelry? Can I invest in permanent jewelry? Does that even make sense? Or do I need you know, do I need a storefront to operate what would you say to that person?

Sarah Sides  36:10

I mean, one of the biggest permanent jewelry brands out there is Linked x Lou, and it's all through home shows and pop ups. So they, like Love Weld, are very early on the map and multiplied very quickly. It there's no storefronts and they're in multi states and have a lot of women welding in that business entity, and they haven't invested in any storefront. So I think it's what's nice is you could kind of pop up anywhere. 

Hannah Wedeking  36:46 

And the nice thing about permanent jewelry too is, if you've never even been around it, just very practically, the equipment is very easy to transport, and to put in your car. Jewelry is, you know, chain is pretty small. It's not like you're having to lug around an entire storefront. But you actually only need a table to be able to weld and to do this. So you definitely do not have to have a storefront to be able to have this service.

Part Eleven: 11. Buying Quality Products and Metals for Permanent Jewelry:

Interviewer  37:17

So we're going to move on to quality assurance. You know, people are out there they're thinking okay, I feel pretty good about permanent jewelry. I'm interested in this, I think I'm ready to go ahead and get started. When shopping around for permanent jewelry providers – I ask you this - how does Permanent Jewelry Solutions PJS)ensure the quality and standardization of training and services provided?

Sarah Sides  37:43 

This is so important. Having been in the jewelry industry for over a decade in doing production, development, working with craftsmen, all over the world quality of production, which the welder in this instance is producing the piece so that means the training for the actual welding process is very important and thorough, and it's important to know all the nuances of creating your piece. And our curriculum has been developed on lots of feedback from customers from welders and evolved and tailored so there's that, and then the product piece is essential. So I would say the trends aren't going to get you so far. So if someone comes to you and they get excited about the permanent jewelry piece, but then the quality of the weld or the jewelry piece isn't as promised, that will greatly decrease the chances of someone coming back, right? If you want to create a sustainable business with a loyal customer and a brand that people want to share with their friends and family, it is vital that you are working with quality products. That is something that in Love Weld, we were very slow to roll out products because we want to test, we want to make sure we've been thorough. We're very careful about our suppliers that we work with. And the same with PJS. With it not being able to come off, it's very vital that it is of high quality material.

Hannah Wedeking  39:33

Yeah, and there have been examples, I mean, we could give you example after example of a chain or product that we have not sold, or we've taken off of the market, because we didn't feel good about the quality. We're monitoring both Love Weld and PJS very closely. And if we don't feel good about a product, it's not going to be put on our website.

Sarah Sides  39:54

Yep. So we're slow to adopt. I mean, even when starting out with our initial product lines, we went through 100 plus various chain samples, and they might all look very similar. But there's more to it. There's the look, there's the nuances, the finish is really nice and looks very rich and lux. Is it durable? Is the material what the supplier says it is. So we went through lots and lots of prototypes to land on our offerings.

Interviewer  40:27 

I was going to reserve this question for Hannah, but I want to open it up to both of you. Can you use gold plated material or gold plated metal for permanent jewelry?

Sarah Sides  40:40 

You can use anything for permanent jewelry, or realistically, you can weld on a stainless steel chain. You could do anything. Um, would I recommend it? In my customer service experience, beyond just Love Weld, but in the jewelry industry, metal tarnishing is going to get you customer service inquiries, upset customers quicker than anything else, as well as a broken chain or component. So you can. There's a likelihood where clients are going to come back to you and be frustrated about their piece is going to greatly increase. There are different metal qualities. I think sterling silver is an amazing option because it's polishable, it's a low-cost metal. Also, gold fill is an amazing hybrid. Vermeil for more customized components that are one of a kind. Gold fill has a lot of limitations because it has to be done in a factory setting. And so it's usually for more mass produced products. So then you have vermeil, which is a sterling silver base that has a very, very thick gold plating. So it's kind of your artisanal gold fill in a way, and is a great alternative. Gold plated, vermeil and gold fill are actually gold plated. Gold plated is a very vague term. When someone says something is gold plated, there's no regulation on how much plating is on that piece. Usually what it means is that it is flash plated in gold, meaning that whatever factory or producer has applied just the minimal amount of gold. Oftentimes on a base mixed metal, it could be copper, brass, just like a hybrid. It could contain not such great metals that you might not want to put on your skin. So there's no regulation around that term. It could be just like, just like a teeny tiny piece of gold that could wipe off in two days. You know, so I would recommend someone who really cares about the quality of the piece to step away from gold plated. But you can do it. Yeah. And there's probably instances where it makes sense. 

Hannah Wedeking  43:20 

Yeah. And I think it's really important to set the right expectations for your customer as well. I think making sure that they know what they're purchasing so if they are getting a gold plate piece just making sure that they know what gold plate means those sorts of things can help alleviate some of those customers' complaints. However, I do think people want these things to last their investing in something that they want there. So and then I would also say that with what you're actually welding during the welding process is a jump ring. Most of the time, sometimes you're welding the chain, but it's a jump ring. And so we do recommend in that instance, that jump ring only welding 14 karat gold or sterling silver, something that's less of an alloy, because it's going to give you a more consistent weld. If you're looking to like a gold fill, it has an alloy of metals in it. So maybe it is some brass, maybe there's some whatever, that can mess with how consistent the quality of your welds is if you're welding that jump ring. So you can weld whatever you want. But we do highly, highly, highly recommend welding, either a sterling silver or 14 karat yellow or white gold jump ring. Which is fairly minimal in cost. But that will just help make sure that your customers walk away with a high quality weld.

Sarah Sides  44:39 

Yeah, and the reason why is that each metal welds at a different heat, right? It's all about you wanting to make sure you have the right heat setting for the metal alloy that you're doing. And so when you start getting into mixed metals, plated metals or gold fill, you do not have so much control over what heat materials you're using. So you might be welding too hot, not hot enough. It might be oftentimes a superficial weld, where it looks welded on the outside, but it's actually not all the way through. And so that's the reason it becomes inconsistent.  

Interviewer  45:17

Well, thank you both so much. Thank you, Sarah. And Thank you Hannah for taking the time today. These are such juicy tidbits. We're so grateful to you and can't wait to see what's next for Love Weld and PJS.

Sarah Sides  45:30 

Thank you it was fun to reminisce and share the little we know, or the lot we know. We're obsessed with permanent jewelry if you have not noticed. 

Hannah Wedeking  45:41

We think a lot about it. That's for sure.



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