It's always a hard one to address and I don't exactly know why...
I'll be honest with you, business is tough at the moment. Amazingly though, not on the customer end. Which gets me emotional thinking about how unreal our customers are. Fiercely loyal, evangelistic and have continued to support us in full force over the past few years. However, our groins have been getting trampled by rising costs across the board.
We've been 'mopping up isles' for 12 months now. Each week, something else spills over the top and we try to absorb the costs in any which way we can.
However, we've come to a breaking point - one that many businesses across the world have hit much earlier than us in the past two years. So for that, I am super grateful.
The accumulation of a multitude of increased costs in the past 12 months has led us to this inevitable conclusion.
Since the start of the pandemic;
- Silver is up 81% and gold is up 68%.
- Shipping is an absolute bastard of a thing. Up 90%.
- Production costs are now also up 60%.
It's a blood bath.
Now, I'm not going to give you the bog-standard, "we considered throwing the towel in on the whole operation..." smack - that you hear so often from brands. Na, that's not in mine or my team's nature.
But we are going to humbly ask that you trust us again, that a price increase is an essential move for us and we've been doing our absolute best to roll with the punches over the last 12 months.
If the prices are now too high for you - stay in the wings, stay where I can see you and it's on us to prove to you that we are worth it. I know that we'll be able to deliver more than double the value than any other jeweller. I truly believe that and this price increase just lights a fire under us to make that known even more so.
It's easy to get romantic about your own label. So whether I am writing this to be read by you or just for some self motivation: I know that we do under value our product in order to be more accessible. I am extremely confident that you can put our quality up against any of the high end jewellers and we edge them in quality every time. Design aesthetic is subjective of course, I can't argue there. However, I have come to terms with the fact that in order to continue to produce our pieces with such a staunch focus on production quality and broader brand components that build in the intrinsic value that we hedge ourselves too - we do need to nudge the prices up slightly. Otherwise, Howlet will exist but it'll just look embarrassingly different.
Specifically, here are some price change details;
- Smaller core range, will remain at 290-330 (5% increase)
- Larger signets, $340-360 (this will be the main rise, approx 8%)
- Two tone pieces & gemstone designs; $380-420 (8% increase)
- Pendants, average price up to $210-220 (10% increase)
- Gold wedding signets, average 5% increase.
The Pro's; BIG ANNOUNCEMENT
If you've been with Howlet for some time now, you'll know that our rolled ankled has always come at the production stage. Specifically the long lead times. This is where we crumple.
As of July/August, we have final managed to partner with another team of jewellers to handle the volume. They will be working alongside our current team in studio and we'll be building inventory, meaning that we will now hold stock and your order will be shipped within 24 hours of purchase.
Ohhh good god, why didn't this happen sooner. I hear you. Believe me.
So hopefully this sweetener makes the price increase news slightly easier to swallow. In the coming months, we should be completely stocked for most designs, in most sizes. For those that do order unique designs or unique sizes - they will still be made to order and our team will be much more on top of the production and will be able to ship within 7 days.
I can't tell you how amped I am about this.
Since I've got you here, deep into a bombardment of an email, I thought I'd spill a bit more hype for you... These are some designs that we have in the hot lil' mix:
- The Irwin; crocodile signet design
- Tiger Yin & Yang Signet
- Chameleon Signet
- Seahorse Signet...
- Then of course the Pinky Piece release on June 15th
^ These are all arriving within 6 weeks. Stay close.
Price increase to come into affect, June 3rd.
Due to the short notice, we're again opening up the opportunity for the next two weeks for anyone to purchase at the original price. If you had an order in the decision pipeline or you were saving up to make a purchase, don't worry, we'll honour that original price.
I want to wrap with this with opening up a line to let me hear your thoughts. Directly email me at: email@example.com
Feed me some abuse.
Give us some advice.
Let me hear what you want us to improve on or what you want to see more of.
I'm here for a yarn. Always.
Owner & Founder.