From JCK Online, September 24, 2014. Written by Jennifer Heeber
It was at the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America (MJSA) show in March 2013 that then–MJSA Journal editor-in-chief Tina Snyder fell for some sterling silver bangle bracelets at the booth of Kemp Metal Products. The 69-year-old manufacturer of precious metal blanks was showing off some newly made 3 mm numbers with satin, high polish, hammered, and sapphire-set finishes that Snyder adored, so she ordered a set of eight—two of each style.
But as any collector can attest to, Snyder got hooked and ended up ordering more and differently designed pieces. It was at this point that Scott Raskin, vice president of Kemp, and Snyder started talking about a possible collection capitalizing on the stacking theme. As Snyder sketched different designs, including starbursts, leaves, berries, and feathers, among others, the number eight kept surfacing everywhere. “I would notice it at the deli counter, on house numbers, and at even at the gas station pulling up to pump number eight,” Snyder explains. And as she researched possible reasons why, she learned about numerology and how the number eight symbolized good luck and success. “It was almost like validation that we were going in the right direction,” she says. Inspired, Snyder worked numbers into the fledgling Stacked New York line, ultimately creating the tagline Strength in Numbers as a nod to numerology but also to encourage wearers to stack pieces in multiples.
In February 2014, Snyder left her post at MJSA to serve Stacked full time as a partner and creative director with partner Scott Raskin, who is president of Stacked. The current line features 30 unique designs of bangles and bands made in Argentium silver: a bright white, hypoallergenic, recycled, and virtually tarnish-resistant silver. The jewelry is manufactured in New York state, and pieces are named after New York City streets. “The company is called Stacked New York because from raw material to finished product, the pieces are touched by hands in New York City and on Long Island,” notes Snyder. To date, there are two collections called Street Smart and Signature featuring bands and bangles starting at $100 and $200, and $150 and $250, respectively. Buy-in for retailers starts at under $2,000.
Designs themselves, meanwhile, celebrate textural and color contrasts with blackened and bright white sections of metal, as well as “patterning to give dimension,” adds Snyder. “From a manufacturing standpoint, it’s difficult to blacken silver that’s made to be white, so Kemp developed a proprietary way to blacken it.” Now the tonal effects are a signature look.
For those who maintain that bangles just won’t fit, present party included, Stacked has seven different sizes to choose from, giving retailers an edge (including a unique bangle display) for hard-to-size shoppers.
And fun for shoppers: Numerology-conscious consumers are encouraged to determine their own optimal assortment via the What’s Your Number? section on the Stacked website. Here, the significance of numbers one through nine are explained to help customers decide what number of bangles or bands they might like to wear to make a personal statement. This feature is also ideal for playing up in in-store events, as Sedoni Gallery in Huntington, N.Y.—one of two Stacked accounts to date—recently did when it had a trunk show complete with a psychic who read clients’ numbers. “We wanted to create an experience for people,” notes Snyder.
To further foster the stacking concept, Stacked encourages discounts when buying multiple pieces: 10 percent off for three or more, 20 percent off for five or more, and 25 percent off for 9 or more. “We do that because we want people to stack and felt that if we included a discount by volume we would encourage add-on sales,” says Snyder.
Stacked doesn’t yet participate in trade shows and plans to add other styles to its mix that cleverly speak to the stacking concept. Other metals are also in the works. As for the trendiness factor of stacks, the market-savvy editor in Snyder says they are here to stay.
“Stackables have been popular for the past couple of years and are showing no sign of slowing down,” she says. “The beautiful thing about stacking is versatility—you can add or take away at your whim. Stacks are not a fad by any stretch of the imagination.”