#MakeLuxuryAHabit — Mejuri, a modern jewellery brand for the millennial woman
At Felix we are extremely passionate about our Manifesto, and although each point in it is extremely important to us, the first one, by defining our thematic focus, often ends up being the most cited by founders we speak with. We are a venture firm for the creative class, and backing founders focused on building creative, community-based, digital-first brands in lifestyle verticals is at the core of what we do. Hence, it’s not a coincidence that today we are beyond thrilled to announce our Series A investment in Mejuri, an exciting direct-to-consumer jewellery brand focused on millennial women. Not only is it our first investment in jewellery, but it is also our first investment in Canada!
Mejuri is a wonderful example of many things we love at Felix.
Big growing market, becoming more and more omni-channel
When we first looked at jewellery, we found it to be a huge market, at $150bn globally, and growing! However, it is very much offline and extremely fragmented. About 12% of the market is captured by 10 largest (mostly luxury) players, with a long tail of smaller brands. We believe it is a market ripe for disruption, where new digital brands can plant strong roots, build global online communities and gain scale. This is especially true as millennial consumers view jewellery as a way to express themselves, and where women no longer look at jewellery as gifts, but proactively buy it for themselves.
For women by women & doing A LOT with little
Noura and Majed started Mejuri out of a passion for jewellery and desire to create a brand that would interact with a customer in ways that established jewellery players did not. As a female founder, Noura also deeply understood the special way in which millennial women engage with jewellery and use it to express themselves. In the early stages of the company she and Majed were joined by Justine Lancon, creative director, and Nicolas Peralta, CTO. The four of them form the core early team of Mejuri. Since launching, they managed to build a brand that is creative, inclusive, nimble and focused on their female customer, speaking to her directly, rather than focusing on marketing more targeted at men buying for women.
Having officially launched in 2015, the team did a lot with very little, only raising a small seed round while more than quadrupling Mejuri’s revenue from 2016 to 2017. We first reached out proactively to Mejuri at the end of 2016 after spotting the brand on Instagram. Despite the distance, over the next one and a half years we had built a close relationship watching the team grow Mejuri into a brand that it is today. As we spent more time together, the conviction on both sides grew that Mejuri is a true “Felix company” and that we were extremely well positioned to help Noura and Majed as they continue scaling the brand.
As we got to know the rest of the team at Mejuri, we were blown away by the strong internal culture, obsessive focus on customer happiness and clarity of vision and mission. Mejuri’s 30-person team is young, 80% female and extremely passionate, and we can’t wait to work together with them!
Strong brand that is ready to scale
The brand’s motto is #MakeLuxuryAHabit, and it is really at the centre of everything they do. They do not believe that fine jewellery should be inaccessible. By going direct-to-consumer and creating a very nimble and responsive supply chain, Mejuri has been able to launch products on a weekly basis, and be extremely attuned to customers’ wants and needs. By pursuing this direct-to-consumer model they have also been able to bypass traditional retail mark-ups and offer much better pricing to their customers, which has translated into more affordable prices and therefore higher repeat rates and more loyalty.
Many companies in our portfolio see millennial woman as an important customer segment, and Mejuri is not an exception! Mejuri’s customers are predominantly 25–35 year old women, who are educated, trend-savvy, social and who love to try new things. 87% of the customers are also buying for themselves.
(Customer) Love is in the air!
People often ask us how we identify strong brands, and we typically reply that it’s a combination of art and science. Strong brands build unique emotional trust connections with their customers, and that’s the art part. It’s the queues that you see outside stores; it’s a conversation overheard in a “famous beauty brand” showroom in NYC where a young customer was passionately advocating that this brand was “way better” than another brand to her friend, it’s comments, tags, emojis left online by customers screaming their love for such or such brand… However, there is some science behind identifying strong brands, and one of them is customer love metrics. We have many ways to measure customer love, including things such as virality & word of mouth, repeat rate and customer lifetime value, direct traffic, reviews, NPS. We also employ “social media love” metrics, when we look at digitally native brands. Looking at Mejuri, we were blown away by customer engagement metrics, coupled with growth in followers on social, especially when compared to more established jewellery players - although sometimes these have a large following, they struggle to engage with their customers in the same way and with such intensity as Mejuri has been able to. Growing a following is one thing, but organically building an engaged community is another, as we have seen with goop, Highsnobiety or The business of fashion in the Felix portfolio, and elsewhere with Glossier or Sezane.
We also love founders who think globally, and Mejuri has been that way since the company’s inception. Although the company is based in Toronto, US is their biggest market, and they see a lot of interest from other international markets, including UK, Australia, Germany. The brand also has universal appeal and is not restricted to the usual big cities such as New York, San Francisco, or LA. Mejuri has been able to find their customer across the world, and indeed it turns out she is everywhere!
Being where the customer is and WOW-ing her
Much has also been written about direct-to-consumer brands going omnichannel — Mejuri is no stranger to this approach, as they have experimented with offline since the brand’s beginnings. At Felix we strongly believe that a brand has to be where the customer is, and millennial female customer is not only online, but also offline. However, when it comes to offline, she wants experiences and deeper connections with the brand. It’s no wonder then that Mejuri has hosted multiple “piercing parties” in the past where the brand was able to connect to the customer through much more than just offering an opportunity to shop! Only a few weeks ago Mejuri also opened their first permanent showroom in Toronto, and we can’t wait for them to continue experimenting with this format! (We know the customers are excited as well!)
A brand for a generation, with global ambition
Partnering with Mejuri illustrates and reinforces our commitment to backing visionary founders with global ambitions, and we are so thrilled to work together with Noura, Majed and the rest of the Mejuri team to #MakeLuxuryAHabit!
PS: Mejuri is hiring!