Transforming stones and metals to wearable pieces of art

With the rise of various e-commerce channels, one would think that this is the direction that most entrepreneurs should consider. However, there are advantages to having brick-and mortar stores that online channels simply can’t provide. This has fared to be relevant for Georgina Teng of Alchemista, who simultaneously makes her services available both offline and online.

It was in 2008 when Georgina and her husband Frederick started joining bazaars to sell handcrafted accessories made from various stones and metals. Georgina acquired this skill when she took a metalsmithing class alongside her graduate degree in Australia back in 2003. It was her passion for the arts and the joy of creating new things that encouraged her to scout for crafting classes around her area. Though hesitant at first, it was this same passion and a heap of support from her husband that convinced her to apply the skills she learned into something profitable.

A year and a half later, she completed her degree and came back to the country not knowing that someday, the class that she took as a hobby would be the avenue for her to start her business years later.

Georgina works with various materials to create the most eclectic pieces that are suitable from day to night wear. The stones – ranging from Amethysts, Jades, and other rare ones – were sourced abroad depending on the demands of her customers. The metals on the other hand, are locally sourced and are made hypoallergenic through the choice of metals she uses for the accessories. Its multi-functional and practical capabilities are what keeps her loyal clients asking for more.

Alchemista On How They're Reaching the Right Audience

“A lot of accessories are more of single use - you use it for one occasion and then that’s it. So what we’re trying to do is to give you more value out of it by allowing you to use it or change it up the way you want to so it’s a more individual kind of thing for a longer period of time,” she added.

Reaching the right audience

During their early beginnings, it became imperative for the couple to open a Facebook page as it became another source of information and inquiry for clients. “Since [back then] we didn’t have a storefront and a well-known brand identity, the only way that they read about you or learn about you is through the Facebook page,” Georgina said.

Eventually, Instagram gave them an opportunity to present their products in a visually appealing manner. The fact that most of their market owns an account, they found it necessary to open one of their own.

“A lot of our Instagram posts are getting noticed at night - between midnight to 2AM - because that’s when they become relaxed, the kids are asleep. With a brick-and-mortar store, you can’t cater to that aspect of their lifestyle.”

Posts made on social media can easily redirect interested buyers to their Shopify website where they can purchase accessories through online payment gateways or may opt to visit a store nearest them.

Despite the reach an online channel can offer, opening a brick-and-mortar store gave them an opportunity to tap into new customers. This also helped clients appreciate the product further once they have tried and worn a piece from Alchemista.

How Alchemists is Reaching the Right Audience

Georgina believes, however, that both online and offline channels go hand-in-hand in reaching a bigger audience.

She adds that once you open a physical store, expect overhead to increase at a significant rate. It is important to take location into consideration by researching on your product and client base. “When you’re a new brand online, sometimes people won’t buy you automatically and they need to see things physically. Having a brick-and-mortar [store] is a vital function for that,” she said. 

At the same time, it is also important to maintain one’s online presence as it becomes a seamless way to reach out to clients on a daily basis. If need be, get an expert to help you in managing online channels.

According to Georgina, building a brand’s online presence is part and parcel of doing business nowadays. However, a brick-and-mortar store can help you come in contact with a different set of audience and it can lead to other opportunities such as expansion. It is important to align and manage both channels properly to become efficient in reaching your audience.

Alchemista Owners Share How They're Reaching the Right Audience

At present, you can find Alchemista at S Maison. Also visit them at Facebook, Instagram and http://www.alchemistaonline.com.