Launched in 2022, Boutee is a new jewellery marketplace which aims to help people discover and buy from Britain’s best independent jewellers.
Unlike more general hand-crafted marketplaces like Etsy or Not On The Highstreet, Boutee offers only high-quality jewellery from independent British jewellers. Each jeweller has a dedicated storefront on the marketplace, where customers can not only see the products on offer, but also discover the story and people behind the products.
Founders Billy and Ethan Ward grew up surrounded by the jewellery industry and saw first-hand how difficult it was for smaller jewellers to compete against larger, more digitally-savvy businesses. With a background in tech, they decided to build a solution that would allow independent jewellers to thrive online.
We sat down with Billy to learn more about the platform and understand their plans for the future.
Could you tell us why you decided to build the platform?
My godfather was a jeweller and silversmith, and I saw first hand how hard it was for him to get online and carve out a marketshare against the big brands with international budgets.
Especially when most his time was spent at the bench making – he was a a jeweller, not a digital marketer! Was he supposed to be an eCommerce and marketing expert in the evenings? Unfortunately he ended up closing down his jewellery workshop.
Over time, I saw the same thing happening again and again with other businesses, and so we set out to build a solution
Who is Boutee a great fit for?
Boutee is built for any independent British jeweller wanting to get a wider exposure online.
Our jewellers range from tech-savvy young designers, to classic jewellers who don’t have even have their own website!
We build every jeweller a branded storefront on Boutee, so there’s a level playing field for everyone on the marketplace. It means they can get on with doing what they love most.
How does Boutee make it easier for jewelers?
We’ve invested heavily in the tech behind the marketplace to ensure that it is as easy as possible for our jewellers. They choose up to 25 products to feature and then we can either help them upload them, or we can actually sync up with their existing website if it’s built on Shopify, WooCommerce or WIX.
If they have synced up their own website, any changes they make on their own sites (like prices, images, description) automatically update on Boutee. Our marketplace also syncs up the stock too, so when they sell out on one, it sells out on the other.
Otherwise, every jeweller has a Jeweller Portal, where they can make unlimited manual changes to any of their products on Boutee.
How has the launch gone?
We’re making sales for our jeweller partners and we also have lots of jewellers contacting us about joining.
We’ve just completed an angel investment round and started development on bespoke technical features for consumers.
Could you highlight maybe three of your jewellers and let us know what makes them so special?
This is really tough as all of our jewellers are fantastic!
However, here are three amazing, very different jewellers which will give a bit of a sense of the range on Boutee:
- Erin Cox – A classic jeweller, working at her bench producing beautiful one-off pieces in Devon. She has a team of two supporting her and works primarily in Fairtrade or recycled gold and platinum
- Halina Mutinta – Classically trained, but crafting bold, powerful designs with vibrant colours. Based in Brighton, her work explores her Zambian heritage.
- Edward Xu – One of the most exciting new jewellers in the UK. He has been awarded by the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council for his designs in 2019, 2020 and 2021, as well as being nominated for Emerging Jewellery Designer of the year 2022 by both Retail Jeweller and Professional Jeweller. He is also a selected designer for the Spotlighting exhibition by the Goldsmith Centre.
What else should we know about Boutee?
We’re incredibly proud to be a brand new challenger marketplace, standing up for and promoting some incredible independent jewellers. We think the whole world should see what they’re making, that’s our goal in a nutshell, and Boutee is how we’re going to make it happen
Visit Boutee.co.uk to learn more about the platform and to find out about how to join the platform.