The future of jewelry is here. Its name: PLUKKA. As a multi-jewelry brand, multi-channel for retail and marketing platform, Hong-Kong based Joanne Ooi, Plukka’s founder explains in a series of Q&A (to follow) how she sees the industry evolving and how she interferes in it.
Taking the world of jewelry by storm, Plukka is the brainchild of triumvirate formed by Joanne Ooi, Jai Waney and Elle Hill. Expanding at a fast rate, the business model encompasses online as well as brick and mortar presences, while listing – one could say incubating – independent jewellery designers with a strong vision. Testament to the founders’ pioneering spirit, the business was initially set up as a sole online retailer five years ago. It then expanded into physical premises with a first boutique in Hong Kong in 2014, after realising women’s expectations to see, touch and try the jewels. Currently achieving a low million turnover in US dollars, the online part of the business accounts for a third of the total income (online sales are primarily from the U.S at 50% and the rest is distributed between Asia and Europe). Although Plukka is not yet profitable, this reflects the normal situation for any business in full expansion, in having to first increase their investment to secure market shares. Case in point is the recent successful IPO (Initial Public Offering) on the Australian Stock Exchange that enabled Plukka to open their second store, this time in London (February 2016) in the prestigious Burlington Arcade, and plans are in the pipeline for a New York boutique to open soon.
Besides the store openings and increase of Plukka’s international footprint, the real stroke of genius was to develop a bridge between the two modes of commerce: online and brick and mortar. It is the View-On-Demand (VOD) service, which is currently being rolled out in the same three main countries where Plukka has a strong retail base (Hong Kong / China, London / UK and New York City / USA). Such an approach has earned Plukka many accolades from the jewellery industry, such as being ‘best E-tailer as well as most innovative retailer’ from the world’s largest jewellery fair. Joanne Ooi has been named as the ‘most promising entrepreneur’ at the Asia pacific entrepreneurship awards.
At the end of the day, how does VOD work? Olivier Dupon (The Eye of Jewelry‘s London-based contributor) has asked Joanne Ooi, who is truly a fascinating character, whose unexpected life trajectory (‘my crazy Plukka’s adventure’ as she calls it) is the thing of people born to make a lasting difference. Joanne’s mind is ebullient, packed with ideas and dreams, and this shows in all of her detailed exclusive interview- divided into 4 series of questions. Out of 4 episodes, the first one will be starting later this week ! Stay tuned …