The latest entrant in the online, direct-to-consumer fine jewelry arena, Los Angeles-based The Last Line, launching today, aims to be first among many companies offering baubles for female self-purchasers.
Founder Shelley Gibbs Sanders, who designed for celebrity jewelry lines and high-end brands in L.A. for 15 years, is bringing her point of view to what she considers an “over-flooded market.”
“We [she and husband Teddy Sanders] found two holes in the market: there were not a lot of well-designed and high-quality staples, and nothing that felt heirloom, like when it was handmade in the Fifties and Sixties,” she said.
Hence, the decision to offer a two-part collection, called Heart (the staples) and Soul (modern heirlooms). Ranging in price from $60 to $1,500 and $1,000 to $7,000, respectively, the two ranges are targeted at women who are just starting to build a fine jewelry collection as well as seasoned shoppers seeking something new.
Like Iconery, Noémie, Aurate and Vrai & Oro, The Last Line can pass on significant savings for expensive products with the direct-to-consumer business model. Gibbs Sanders can also gather customer feedback and react quickly with pieces made in Los Angeles. The site will launch with two drops of earrings, followed by necklaces, bracelets and rings.
Using 14-karat gold, diamonds, precious and semiprecious stones, the debut collection ranges from gold studs to spiral drop earrings embellished with pavé diamonds to larger prong-set stones.
“I wanted to offer a range in price within each look, so the rainbow series, for example, has everything from a starter stud to a tennis earring,” she said. “Stylish women aren’t wearing a single $100,000 necklace, they have on a mix of pieces.”
Earrings will be sold as singles to encourage the creation of an individual look, and a virtual try-before-you-buy option allows customers to build and browse earring combinations. If that isn’t enough, Gibbs Sanders will send photos of her own ears, which sport 11 pierces, wearing whichever combination a customer would like to see.
“I’m trying to create the service and high-end experience you have in a luxury store, on the Internet. Here you can save it, come back to it, really inspect it and have all the information and photos you want without anyone pressuring you to buy. It’s a more relaxed environment where people can connect,” she said.
At the end of the day, she hopes to become an online destination for women’s favorite pieces without the worry, saying, “It’s time to breathe new life into an older industry that could use change.”