When Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry first approached dbdc, they were experiencing what many artists and makers experience as their business matures into a full-time job: they had outgrown Etsy. dbdc worked with them to move from Etsy to Woocommerce and WordPress, and to update their packaging, signage, and store layout to support their move upmarket.

Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry is a jewelry studio based in Austin, Texas. Chris makes, in his words, “handmade fine art jewelry inspired by nature”, using techniques including Mokumé Gane and castings made from Cuttlefish bones.

His materials palette runs from precious metals and stones to iron from meteorites to fossilized dinosaur bone, and his designs take inspiration from “the natural world and a scientist’s understanding of it”, from biology to geology to the cosmos.

The Challenge

  • Obsolete Website
  • Couldn’t reach their Ideal Customer effectively through Etsy
  • Tired of high Etsy fees and restrictions on Customer Communication

The Solution

  • Branding and Positioning Workshop to define Ideal Customer
  • New website and online store build on WordPress + WooCommerce with a fully-custom theme
  • SEO and Content Marketing Strategy Roadmap

The Results

Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry saw immediate results and continues to experience year-over-year growth in all metrics, including:

  • 95% higher average gross daily sales
  • 89% more Page Views
  • 100% more orders placed
  • 25% higher conversion rate

Statistics compare May-September 2015 to May-September 2017.

Three Custom Rings by Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry
Three Custom Rings by Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry

Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry started selling work online through Etsy in 2008. Initially the Etsy Store had resulted in steady sales and happy customers, but by the fall of 2015 it was clear that his goals for his studio couldn’t be achieved through continued reliance on sales from Etsy.

Project Goals: Move Upmarket and Away from Etsy

Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry wanted four things out of their work with dbdc:

  1. Increased revenue so that he could hire additional studio staff to assist with basic fabrication
  2. The ability to reach a high-end market that is largely absent on Etsy
  3. More flexibility in how his work was presented and priced online
  4. Freedom from Etsy’s listing and transaction fees

dbdc recommended rebuilding Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry’s existing website (dating from 2006) and replacing it with an online store based on WordPress and Woocommerce. This would allow Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry to transition their sales off of Etsy and move upmarket. The resulting increase in revenue would allow Chris to hire assistants so that he could focus on creating custom work and new designs and exploring new techniques to keep developing his work and his craft.

Step 1: Talking to the Customers

Customer Acquisition Data from the Etsy Store
Customer Acquisition Data from the Etsy Store

dbdc’s first step was to reach out to Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry’s customers. dbdc conducted a survey of past customers and conducted interviews with customers and Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry staff to pinpoint what was going well and what parts of the customer experience and internal processes could be improved.

dbdc also conducted customer acquisition research to determine how customers were currently finding Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry’s website and Etsy store, and what keywords they were using when searching on Etsy and on Google.

Finding the right Market and the Ideal Customer

To identify Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry’s new market, dbdc started with the results of the customer research and held a two-day workshop at the studio to develop customer Personas, identify Customer Needs, and start envisioning and iterating on ideas for how the new website should look and how it should work.

Card Sorting to Determine Customer Needs
Card Sorting to Determine Customer Needs
Customer Journey Map showing how Customers go from Discovering to Purchasing.
Customer Journey Map showing how Customers go from Discovering to Purchasing.

Using the results from that workshop, dbdc created Customer Journey Maps, diagramming how each of the different customer Personas would first become engaged with Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry, how they would decide what and whether to buy, and how they could remain in contact with Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry after their purchase.

Moving the Website and Online Store from Etsy to Woocommerce + WordPress

Building on the previous steps, dbdc worked with Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry to develop wireframes and mockups of the core components of the new website. Key elements of the design were an emphasis on the beautiful product photography that Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry takes of every piece; telling the story of both where the materials used come from and the history of the fabrication techniques used; and an innovative natural-language search interface that helps guide visitors to what they are looking for more quickly and intuitively. dbdc built a custom, fully responsive visual theme.

Stages of the Website Design Process
Stages of the Website Design Process

Reinforcing the Brand Image: New Studio Layout, Exterior Signage, and Packaging

dbdc’s customer research uncovered that the packaging that Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry’s custom pieces arrived in was an important part of the experience of working with them. In addition, Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry received many requests for in-studio consultations but felt that their studio layout and exterior signage wasn’t up to the task of welcoming in new customers.

dbdc prepared designs for foil- and hot-stamped artwork to be applied to Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry’s custom jewelry packaging, along with a letterhead for a hand-written note from Chris to be included with every custom order.

dbdc also provided designs for new exterior signage, and a revised layout for the studio to make it more customer-friendly.

Space Planning Layout, Thank You Note Letterhead, and Exterior Signage Mockup
Space Planning Layout, Thank You Note Letterhead, and Exterior Signage Mockup

Results

The new Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry Home Page
The new Home Page

The new website has so far resulted in 15% more Page Views, 24% more Pages Per Session, and has increased Average Session Duration by 46% and Average Time on Page 8.35% year-over-year.

Compared to Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry’s Etsy store, the new Catalog page loads 70% more quickly and the home page loads 16% more quickly.

The studio has hired additional staff, and not only is Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry free from Etsy’s listing and transaction charges, they are in charge of how their products are presented, how their products are priced, how they communicate with their customers, and they are building their own independent brand on their own independent website.

Client Testimonial

“Moving off Etsy gave us the flexibility we needed to build an online store that turns visitors into buyers and keeps them coming back.

“Now we focus on building an independent brand that speaks to the customers that are right for us.”

 — Christopher Taylor Timberlake, Owner, Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry

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Jewelry images copyright and courtesy Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry.