About Us Our entrepreneural team is made up of Julie Himmel, Scott Duvall, and Samira Shirazi. We began with two ideas we felt we could capitalize off of: customizable wall decor in the form of famous quotes and artwork, and the other being fashionable jewlry and designs made from a variation of string, rope, and wire with metal hex nuts of different colors, sizes, and quantities. Our team decided to pursue the fashion designs made with hex nuts, that we now call Chromelets.
Chromletes achieves to provide trendy women from the age of 18-23 with fashionable bracelets and necklaces at an affordable price, along with men of the same age range with customized key chains. Chromelets will have on-campus sales, distribution through flowerfoxden.com, and will promote the product by means of social media along with potential word-of-mouth marketing at James Madison University and beyond.
Week 1: 2/4: Starting to come up with Ideas.
- Custom Canvas
- Splatter tie-dye shirts
We also thought about selling custom canvas art designs with the bracelets
Week 2: 2/11
- We decided to do the bracelets based on feedback from our peers.
- We also did some intial customer discovery to see what colors and price customers were willing to pay.
- We found that more were willing to pay like $20 for the necklace and $12.50 for the bracelets.
- Julie taught us how to make the bracelets
- Materials used was suede leather and bigger nuts
- More customer discovery In Warren Hall.
- Others liked the bracelets but wanted more colors and smaller nuts
Week 3 2/18:
- Practicing on making the bracelets
- Feedback from other classes
- Got more feedback on the bracelets and that we should use smaller nuts
- Tired some other rounded materal for the bracelets
- Found out that the other materials were too rough and round and did not work well
- Decided to stick with the suede leather.
Week 4 2/25:
- Made bracelets with smaller nuts
- Started to come up with more ways to close our bracelets like clasp and tying each end.
- Decided we are going to come up with a few colors combinations
- Let customers decided what colors combinations they wanted based on the colors we have
Week 5 3/4
- Goal is to buy more suede leather and perfect closing of the bracelets
- Another goal is to find brass nuts
- Think of a way to have different color nuts-spray paint nuts?
Week 6 3/11
- Fine tuned all administrative details for our meeting with Wales
- Get in contact with Aliexpress.com for bulk order of brass nuts
- Set up selling time in Showker lobby
- Meeting with Wales-Thought about how can we add value
Week 7 3/18
- First sell in Showker is Wednesday March 27th
- Ordered the Brass nuts
- Perfected the closure for the Bracelets
Week 8 3/25
- Held our 1st sell in Showker
- Sold 15 bracelets
- Decided to do keychains and forgo the necklaces
- Spray painted some of the nuts decided to just stick with brass and silver nuts.
Week 9 4/1
- Sold 9 bracelets
- Another sale in Showker on April 10th
- Created a Facebook page
Week 10 4/8
- Sale in Charlottesvile
- Sold 5 bracelets
Week 11 4/15
- Putting our Video together
- Finalize last sales
Week 12 4/22
- Last push/finalize sales
- Final touches on our video
- Complete Wiki
MVP 1EditTo start out with learning how to make a preliminary Chromelet, we started with 1/4" nuts on blue suede lace. 3 strands about 6-7" in length. 16 nuts were used for the body.
For closure, we were thinking about adding clasps to the ends, such as regular jewelery.
After gaining a nice control over the appearance and quality of our basic Chromelets, we decided to buy different color strands of lace: Brown, Black, Green, and Blue.
Black and green proved to be useless as the green was plastic gimp and the black was a different type of suede lace.
Blue and brown ended up being a perfect match together. The new Chromelet contained 2 strands of 6" blue lace and 1 strand of 10" brown lace. The blue strands were aligned in the middle of the brown and all three were braided into each other. This left 2" on both ends of the Chromelet. The nuts used were 1/8" size and we used 22 for the body. The multicolored strands created a very neat pattern in the background of the nuts and the smaller nuts allowed for tighter braids around them. These two factors created a far superior Chromelet.
For closure, we took a 1/4" nut and tied it to the beginning of one end of the excess brown lace so the opposite end can be threaded through it and a knot can be tied around it for an easier closure.
We have been working on a new closure mechanism. Going back to the clasp, we have changed the lace to be a gold color with silver colored nuts. This added to the aesthetic of the Chromelet.
We then tried matching nuts and lace colors.
After deliberation, we decided that the clasp was the way to go. Julie worked on our first necklace design and it proved to show potential for more intricate designs that we will work on over our Spring Break "Workcation". Julie also went on to make the first wrap around Chromelet with yarn instead of lace. The yarn ended up not being the best material, but the bracelet model, in its entirety, seemed to attract a lot of potential customers.
Before finalizing our business project to Chromelets, on February 5, we posted a short survey to all of our Facebook walls for our peers and friends to take (as seen here). We were curious about how our target market would respond to two different versions of bracelets and a necklace.
Of the 31 peers who responded to the survey, 30 responded "yes" and one responded "no" to the first questions, "would you purchase any of the above designs?" In response to question 2, 15 participants responded "option A," 6 participants responded ,"option B," For participants responded "option C," and 6 participants responded, with atleast 2 of the options. And last, the results from answer three allowed us to take an average of prices and help us in pricing our new inventory. Our results are as follows, the average price our target market would pay for "option A" is $14.50. The average price our target market would pay for "option B" is $13.50, and for the last option, $29.60. Based on these responses, we set our price points for our merchendise.
In addition to this survey, by speaking with customers and students who stopped by our sales, we got great reactions. Many students loved the idea of buying one with nuts and one simple $4 braid together, to wear as a set. This encouraged the team to keep producing the $4 braids, eventhough they didn't incorporate our signature nuts.
Our final product is suede lace of two colors with either brass or silver nuts with clasp and hooks to close the bracelets. We also did short bracelets and wrap around bracelets, along with necklaces, and key chains
We first started out wanting to do simple bracelets of one color with suede lace with a closure by tying it at the end and leaving a little space at each end to tie bracelets. For the closure we also tired using hair ties at each end.
Our originial goal was to see just to females between the ages 18-23. From there we decided to appeal to men by doing keychains and black nutless bracelets. To appeal more to the female market we decided to add more nuts to the bracelet and make wrap around bracelets that were just as stylish.
Our product continue to evolve as we decided to do bracelets with two colors and started to use other materials than suede lace like suede cord. we also decided to do some bracelets with brass nuts and some with silver nuts.
Our bracelets were almost perfect but our closure of the bracelets are some problems we encountered. We needed to come up with a inexpensive way but stylish way to close our bracelets so we came up with using loops and clasp to close the bracelets.
The main lesson we learned was that even if people said they would buy something, that really did not mean a thing. There were plenty of times where people in our customer discovery told us they would be customers, yet they never followed through.
Another lesson is not to make bulk inventory until you are sure you can sell it all...
Another lesson is that Showker isn't the best place to sell most products....