Meet our French brand Waekurabased in Paris and founded five years ago by Melissa Artis. Offering high quality but affordable gold-plated jewellery, this family-run business really cares about building relationships with its customers and partners. Curious to know more about this beautiful brand? You can read all about it in our interview with Mélissa and Coline!
“It all started when I was a student. In the beginning I bought and sold fantasy jewellery as a student hobby, and as time went by, it started to work well - I sold to my girlfriends, then friends of friends, everything went very fast. To start with, I did Christmas markets, I trained myself on how to make a website and we did everything ourselves. Then I realised as it was a buy-and-sell and fantasy jewellery, the jewellery wasn't necessarily water resistant and could sometimes turn black. I then met the right person in a jewellery workshop who taught me how everything worked; how to make brass and the gold plating that we still used today. I wanted to focus on gold-plated jewellery, with the leitmotiv to make quality jewellery at an affordable price. And that's where our Waekura brand started.
During my gap year, with my partner, Philip, we became business partners and are both still in the business today. My mother was also part of the project, so the three of us went to Christmas markets, dress-up sales during summer, and anything else we could find. When I finished my studies, Philip and I tried to start Waekura full time. We have been partners for 5 years now, developing the brand.
Waekura is a family business, even in recruitment, my sister works with us and the employees are more friends than employees. We make sure that everyone gets along very well. We are really close to each other and it's great to keep this family spirit. The same goes for the customers, we try to engage them with the brand. Many of them know us and have been following us since the beginning. The ones we met at the dressing room sales or at the Christmas markets, and in the end, we have also built the brand with them."
“What we have been doing at Waekura since the beginning is really about offering the best quality at an affordable price. We only make gold-plated brass jewellery, we add 3 microns of gold plating to a brass base which means we put several layers of gold over it to make it last over time. Thanks to a special finish with our suppliers and specific to our brand, our jewellery is really water resistant and there are no allergies.
I design the jewels and send it to the workshops and it is then made in France, Thailand and Spain according to the expertise of the workshops. We are labeled “made in France”, but we want to put each partner in the spotlight because we are proud of what they do. Our workshops are BSCI and ISO certified, and we have many certifications that attest we pay attention to ecology but also to the human aspect. Even in the workshops it is very important for us to respect and maintain our values. We have already refused French and foreign workshops, especially in China, where these standards are not respected. The plating is 100% made in a small family workshop located at 20 minutes from our workshop in Paris. They do both the gilding and the finishing of the jewels.
We also try to reduce our carbon footprint, so our packaging is 100% recycled. We have an FSC label and we just launched a new category with recycled brass. It is our Thai workshop that found a way to reclaim and recycle unsold brass to make new jewellery. They are one of the few workshops that does this and that is why we are proud to work with Asia. They are very strong.”
“As for the bestsellers, this year we launched piercing and charms , which work very well because they are priced small. Customers like to buy several to collect them. There are also ear cuffs (fake piercings) which are sometimes more practical and are a good alternative because you just have to slide them onto the ear. After all, anything small and easy to collect is a hit!”
"What makes us different, I think, is that we really care about what we sell, how we produce and manage our customer service. That's the values we stand behind Waekura and want to keep as we evolve. First and foremost, we really care about the customer. That is not just a marketing phrase, but a reality and our priority. We always respond as quickly as possible, regardless of the date and time. We will respond to everything and in terms of after-sales service, we make sure that they are always really satisfied. In B2B, we regularly offer gifts to our customers for their first orders and we promote them on our social networks. It's really important that they are partners and not just customers, both B2B and B2C.”
“I spend my life on Pinterest, but my inspiration also comes from music and my travels. For example, this summer I was very inspired by my trip in Spain and therefore decided to develop the entire summer collection around Spain. Something that inspires me a lot is also revisiting the classics and modernising them. I start from things that already exist, modernise them and try to add our fine touch to them. All our jewellery being very fine, I like to apply it to each model."
"We started B2B just over a year ago and we have our own distributor base. We have always canvassed on our own, but this obviously has its limits, such as time and reaching markets outside France.
Orderchamp has helped us a lot on these points and we are delighted with our presence on the marketplace. Indeed, Orderchamp has accelerated our expansion in countries that were previously difficult for us to reach. Our visibility in these countries has increased significantly and we are now able to reach new targets.”
“The centralisation of orders and the ease of use of the platform is a big plus. Thanks to the subsidies from Orderchamp, we can participate in great trade events for the benefit of our prospects and current distributors. Orderchamp also gives us peace of mind (with payment guarantee, invoicing, etc.) so that we can focus on the essentials and save a significant amount of time per order. As a result, our order volumes are increasing significantly.
Orderchamp allows us to reach new targets and markets and we are delighted to be on this platform where retailers are very loyal to us."
"Beyond France, Orderchamp has enabled us to build a strong presence in the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland, countries that we did not have before. Our Orderchamp retailers are of course mainly jewellers, but also concept stores, deco stores and hairdressers. This diversity of partners is partly due to the minimum order quantity that we have deliberately reduced on Orderchamp.”
"After a challenging year with the health crisis, in 2022 we want Waekura to keep growing in Europe and worldwide. Since B2B is very new to us, we want to develop it even further. The establishment of a physical store would also be one of our goals for this new year. At the moment we are only present at the Bon Marché in Paris but the goal would be to build our own Waekura shop and thus share and bring our universe outside the website."
Do you want to expand your range with gold-plated and refined jewellery from Waekura? Shop them here and take advantage of the best purchasing conditions such as: flexible payment terms, free shipping above €250 and low minimum order amounts.
Useful tip for brands: You can connect your Shopify webshop to your Orderchamp account. Read here how you can link your Shopify webshop!