With nine years of e-commerce experience under her belt, Ivka Adam decided the ideal retail model would be one where inventory could be produced on demand. She had worked at eBay, where inventory wasn’t held, but had no control over the customer experience. At her next job at Modnique, she had the burden of $8 million in inventory but complete control over the customer experience.
After doing some research, she hit upon the category of fine jewelry. With the rise of 3-D printing it was now possible to replace part of the supply chain by creating jewelry molds in a matter of hours. It took her a year-and-a-half to find a factory that could produce one piece at a time up to 9,000 units a day.
When she launched Iconery in 2016 the first person she brought onto her team was Andrea Linnett, founding creative director of Lucky magazine, who had been at eBay as creative director.
Linnett herself was an early influencer and in addition to creating their own brands and jewelry lines for apparel designers, Iconery also began to produce lines created by influencers.
“Influencer commerce will be the single biggest trend affecting brands today, even bigger than influencer marketing, because when an influencer can create a product they already have a built-in audience. They know their audience better than a brand ever could, and people want to connect with people,” she said.
Iconery works one-on-one with influencers to hear their stories, find out what kind of aesthetic they have and what sort of pieces they want to create. Once those are translated into CAD designs, the company manufactures samples, creates 3-D molds and creates a seller page on its web site as well as acting as a sales agent for bricks-and-mortar stores.
All in all, it takes two to four weeks for an influencer to create a collection and Iconery can produce and deliver a piece in three weeks. There are no costs to the influencer up front; they receive monthly royalty checks once the collection launches.
To date, Iconery has launched 16 such collections, including ones with actress Rashida Jones, singer Michelle Branch and Olympian Nastia Liukin.
The pieces have also sold in Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Broken English.
Adam said she is often asked by investors whether she will go into other categories, and how do brands in other categories participate.
“I could see a future where there is a consortium that we build so that when an influencer comes in and says, ‘I want to do jewelry and handbags,’ we have a group of design experts that helps us power a private label influencer brand.”