What if You Could Design it Yourself? Well, You Can!

Bear with me for this introductory anecdote.  At my first Vegas show, in May 2015, I bumped into a Frenchmen at the "meet and greet" event, both of us trying to trade the JCK coupon for a glass of free wine at the overcrowded bar (lesson learned about "free" stuff).  Anyway, Jean Jacques, that's his name, and I got talking and he told me he was at the event to find if there was interest in a "design your own" cloud based software for the general public which allows consumers to personalize jewelry by themselves.  "Design yourself how?" was my immediate reaction?  "It's much too complicated!" Yes, that's what I said - honest, abrupt, very German indeed.  Me being a Ph.D. in analytic philosophy and JJ having an M.S. from Stanford in applied mathematics, a heated discussion over the explosion of options, decision theory, and complicated geometry ensued (I realize those details are only stimulating to a few geeks and this is a blog entry, so I'll spare you).  Anyway, the discussion lasted all evening, with no "winning" in sight.  JJ left convinced I was wrong, I left convinced that he was.

Both JJ and I stayed up late that night in our respective hotels, mulling over what the other had said.  Things like that don't tend to leave me alone - a leftover from publishing articles in the philosophy of science and mathematics maybe, or just an inquisitive and obsessive mind.  Who knows.  The upshot was that I thought, by morning, that I could see a way for this to be done, with each option the customer chooses being carefully pre-selected and limited: allowing choice, yet not allowing too many choices.  Starting with simple layouts for pendants and rings, not yet tackling the more difficult problem of rings, which require more three dimensional thinking.  I contacted JJ after breakfast.

Turns out JJ was also puzzling, but over something different.  "I researched you," he said when we met again for lunch.  Would you like to help us make this work?  "Yes," I said, "and I think I know how."

Cutting to the chase, an intensive pilot program between Cecile Raley Designs and the Research and Development Department of Dassault Systemes, the software provider, ensued, and the outcome is now available to you to try, use, criticize, evaluate, and maybe be excited about enough to make some waves for me if you so desire.  You'll find there are pluses and minuses.  For instance, we still have to upload many more of our pieces as we go along, and we want to offer eternity styles and rings in the future.  But it's a start, and at least right this very moment, I am the only person that has this software launched for jewelry in the US.  I'm NOT kidding.  (So this isn't like "your cruise will take you to the longest beach in the world", but more like REALLY, we measured this beach, it's the longest!).

Jewelry design software is out there, but nothing like this, nothing that lets you manipulate pieces in simulated three dimensional space.  It's not perfect, but right now, it's mine.

Where can you find it?  At my new website - it's been open for weeks but I haven't pushed it much - cecileraleydesigns.com.

Feedback is welcome, in fact, it is greatly appreciated!  For the time being, all U.S. shipping on the new website is FREE. Please come and play.

Above is a screen shot of the Cecileraleydesigns.com homepage. The 'Design Your Own' scroll down has been highlighted to show the different options available under this tab.

This is part of the 'Design Your Own'  Two Part Dangly Earrings option

This is part of the 'Design Your Own' Pendants option

You'll see that Cecileraleydesigns.com, despite being a bit incomplete, is soon to incorporate the entire Brand Experience.  Shop "ready to wear", make your own piece, contact me for custom work, order from the catalog, and read the blog.  Its been long overdue, I think!