Last week, we covered the launch of our Lockstone range. Seeing the numerous ways we could shape the material, we had a list of ideas to draw from. Some crazy, some not so crazy.
I'll let you decide if Solaris was crazy or not.
There's just something about the planets that everyone can get on board with, right? Everyone loves astronomy. Well, once we saw the prototype planets, we got even more excited about the prospect of a planet-based bracelet.
This time, we wanted to explore more materials to give a wider range of options. The Black Pearl bracelet was a strong start in our opinion but we wanted some variety in both colour and texture.
After months of research and sampling, we opted on four new materials to create the Solaris range.
Basalt would form the basis of the Meteor bracelet, obsidian for Io, stellaria glass for Nebula and lapis lazuli for Aurora. Put those together with the agate and we had a working range of five new bracelets.
We also opted to produce a Solaris necklace which featured the planets on a thin chain of steel, rose gold or gold. Ultimately, this necklace inspired the creation of the Saturn Pendant in favour of the much more complex Solaris necklace. Plus, giving Saturn a solid stainless steel core is pretty cool.
The new challenge with Solaris was the size. We had to get the scale right. For example, our Venus bead is 5.26% smaller than the Earth bead, which is only 0.01% different than the actual size difference between Venus and Earth.
However, there was one little guy that some people felt very strongly about: Pluto.
We stand with astronomers the worldwide and accept that, scientifically, Pluto is not a planet. This is one of the reasons why Pluto wasn't included in the Solaris range.
A secondary reason is production limitations. We simply couldn't make a Pluto bead from Lockstone material.
However, we have, for a short period, given Pluto a new lease of life in our limited edition Agate and Nebula Pluto bracelets. The addition of a burnished silver bead is our way of saying sorry to that tiny guy all the way out there, alone and cold.
Post-campaign, we opted to introduce the same Vanacci 'bead' as with our Black Pearl bracelets to unify the ranges. It also helped with the bonding process in bringing the elastic cord together. We also upgraded to a polymer elastic which we source from the US to bring greater elasticity and durability to our bracelets.
Another ongoing battle is sourcing high quality beads. There are many, many places you can find similar beads to the ones we use but time and again, they've been misshapen, dyed or just looked terrible. We had to find out the quality of each supplier and unfortunately this means we have a lot of poor quality beads laying around. However, the payoff is worth it when you finally find the perfect materials.
With introducing five new bracelets, your output is going to increase. Enter Peg, our knot tying specialist. From 9 to 5, Peg ties knots, beads bracelets, threads necklaces, picks and packs orders and provides cutting remarks to keep the rest of the company on its toes.
So, despite the 'ease' of doing more bracelets, Solaris threw up new challenges to production and design, which we hope we've overcome and innovated somewhat along the way. While the initial thinking was 'making these will be easy, we already make bracelets', it breaks the golden rule which was mentioned in Inside The Vanacci Watch. It's never easy.
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