Hippie Adjacent was originally created to marry the worlds of fashion and aromatherapy and there were many paths that led me to jewelry as the appropriate medium, but there always seemed to be a disconnect between why I built Hippie Adjacent and why customers were actually purchasing. So, over the past 8 months we’ve been pivoting and iterating, pivoting and iterating. This was supposed to be a “fall back and work behind the scenes” sort of year to give me space to think and interrogate my assumptions and ask the deeper questions, but you know what they say “we plan and God laughs”. What happened instead is we secured a monthly popup with Madewell NorthPark, got invited to participate in the annual Black Heritage Celebration at the Dallas Arboretum, and got invited to participate in two markets in another state. Needless to say, that is a big part of why this refresh has been such a protracted process.
Still, we move. Priority #1 was niching down to better speak to our audience while remaining inclusive. When we launched, our rooting words were fluid, sophisticated, essential and I think they were true of what I wanted HA to be at the time. Now I’ve grown, the brand has grown and so has our customer base which made it progressively harder to call out clearly and succinctly to whom we were speaking. Now, our descriptor is “Iconic jewelry that empowers and celebrates sophisticated femmes”. What rings most true for me now is that, that is who we’d always attracted through our imagery, visual branding, and in person experiences, but that isn’t who our language said we were speaking to. So, now that we see the problem and have a bit more clarity. How do we “fix” it?
For most things, my default opinion when challenges arise is the call is coming from inside the house, so I started at the core - core values that is. I’d never set them! I also believe however that whatever culture you don’t set, you accept. Now, HA is still just me full time, but we’ve started adding people (family and friends) to help progress the vision. Social media/content. Production, and market staffing have all seen some new blood and while I do believe they’ve all clearly understood the vision I didn’t set the tone for how we get there. Our new core values not only sound good, but feel good, too!
- Joy: Endlessly pursue joy and constantly seek to create it for our customers
- Authenticity: Show up as your most authentic self and expect to be embraced for the magic you possess
- Balance: Work hard, but make time for rest
- Courage: Have the courage to take creative risks
- Craftsmanship: Quality over quantity always
Next, was a massive website overhaul to emphasize the main things that kept our customers coming back. Those top 3 attributes were - style, weight, and quality. These all felt like good improvements for the product pages. Style gets more of the spotlight by creating more space for higher quality images, integrating user generated content, and adding video where possible. Size & weight were also added to the product pages- giving customers both the actual dimensions and a reference point from everyday life to help them better understand the size. I also added a field for material to all product pages. If I’ve learned one thing since starting this business it is that all allergies are not created equal. This allows us to to give more info about what each piece was made of to enable customers to make an informed decision and to avoid using language like hypoallergenic.
Finally, we shifted our giving categories to better align with our vision of doing our part to help close the opportunity gap by supporting the development of young, femme entrepreneurs. Our giving categories always included youth entrepreneurship, but they also included civil rights, formerly incarcerated persons, and homelessness. These are important ways to support the global community however, going forward we want to support building a future generation of leaders that hopefully help to make these problems extinct.