Drybar Creator Alli Webb Cofounds Digital-first Jewelry Brand
Drybar founder Alli Webb is ready for her next act. Today, the entrepreneur launches a new jewelry brand with designer Meredith Quill called Becket + Quill, which they are selling directly to consumers through the company’s website.
The brand sits in the fast-growing demi-fine jewelry category, with gold fill and 14-karat gold pieces ranging between $30 and $300. The average piece — like a beaded gold ring and small onyx and gold studs — hits around $100. More fashion items like chunky gold-fill chains are offered at $65 for a bracelet and $150 for the necklace version. The brand’s launch collection includes 25 styles, many incorporating semi-precious stones and enamel details.
All of the styles were devised by Quill, a self-taught designer who until December operated a namesake d-to-c jewelry label that she sold via Instagram. That brand has now been absorbed under the Becket + Quill umbrella, with the “Becket” in the company’s name representing Quill’s grandmother, who was a driving force and inspiration in her jewelry career.
Webb first learned of Quill’s work after a friend gifted her a few pieces from her brand. “I hadn’t seen someone do this kind of jewelry that’s so cute, stylish and affordable. For me, it resembled something that you would be paying three times the price for at any other store. It felt like a real opportunity to turn this into a much bigger thing than what [Quill] would be able to do on her own,” said Webb.
Then And Now- Byron Lars Thirty Year Journey
While Quill previously handmade all of her jewelry in her kitchen, selling up to $7,500 in goods per month, she will relinquish most of that task now to artisan jewelers in the Los Angeles area.
With Becket + Quill, the designer entered into a 50-50 partnership with Webb — an arrangement that reminded Webb of her original business plan for Drybar, when her brother Michael Landau supplied seed funding in order to facilitate Webb’s concept. Webb and Quill decided to link just before the pandemic and soldiered on throughout the crisis — particularly considering the digital nature of their business plan as well as the jewelry category’s resilience during this difficult period.
“It’s a little bit of pressure [to launch this] because of Drybar, but this is such a different business. It’s direct-to-consumer with no retail store. In the day and age we are living, it’s a nice place to be in,” said Webb. “It’s a completely new category for me and I didn’t know much about it until Meredith graciously told me. It’s similar to the early days when my brother didn’t know anything about hair and put up all the money [for Drybar] and it’s the same thing here.”
Webb is still on Drybar’s board and participates in big marketing and product decisions while also serving as the company’s public face. She declined to reveal her remaining stake in the company, which is largely owned by investment firms.
In order to re-create some of Drybar’s magic, Webb brought in her ex-husband Cameron Webb — who did Drybar’s branding and visuals — to serve as a creative director for Becket + Quill.
“Our packaging feels very special. Experience really matters — over the last 10 years [with Drybar] I knew that not only did the blowouts have to be great, it’s how we treat people, the music, all the touch points. We are trying to create the same experience now, so when the jewelry shows up at your door it comes in a cute box with special things inside. The website also doesn’t look like anything else,” said Webb.
She and Quill are also in promotion mode, recognizing that demi fine is a crowded space. “We are sending mailers to every friend and influencer to get them excited and fall in love with the brand,” said Webb. “I do think our sweet spot is uniqueness. We are not looking to take over the world, we are just looking to bring a little sparkle.”
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