Luca + Danni’s Magnanimi Talks About Company’s Explosive Growth

Monday, June 12, 2017

 

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Heads Luca & Danni

In the past year, Cranston-based jewelry brand Luca & Danni has exploded. The company raised significant capital from Boston-based venture capital group PJP (formerly Point Judith Capital), revamped its marketing to a top-line digital strategy, and has been a new product machine.

GoLocal talked with Luca & Danni CEO Fred Magnanimi and asked how his company has been able to grow so quickly - one has to wonder if handwritten 'thank you' notes is the key to the company's growth.

1) What fueled your growth in May -- was it product, trends, or marketing (or a bit of everything)?

Magnanimi: We’ve had a really strong start to the year and our team has been working hard over the past few months at continuing to build out multiple parts of our brand strategy. As a young brand, we’re in a really great position in respect that we can calibrate our growth given some of the consumer trends that we’re seeing across both the B2B and direct-to-consumer channels.

Great product is always the foundation of a great brand and we feel like we have a really amazing and unique product. Equally as important, the brand message and experience needs to be authentic and personal. We’ve spend a considerable amount of time working on both aspects of these and the culmination of all of that hard work put forth by our team is really starting to pay off!  

2) How much did Luca & Danni grow - from what to what or/and the percentage of growth

Magnanimi: May was an amazing month to say the least .Our e-commerce channel experienced significant growth at over 1,300% (vs. May 2016), resulting in seven figures worth of sales for the month and over 25,000 orders placed and shipped. More importantly, we saw our customers really connect with our product assortments for Mother’s Day and graduation. At the end of the day, that connection with our brand message and product is by far the most powerful thing we could ask for. 

Over the past few months, we’ve invested heavily in digital marketing with most of those efforts being focused on building our social media channels via Facebook and Instagram. Those channels allow us to connect with our customers on an unparalleled level and we’re able to tell our brand story in a truly authentic way. We’re at the early stages of scaling these efforts and it was re-assuring to see that the results of these campaigns exceed our expectations going into it. 

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Some of the newest product

3) What was the biggest surprise?

Magnanimi: Gift notes! We wrote (by hand) over 6,000 gift notes this month and we were amazed at some of the stories that we had the opportunity to share via our customers. We actually set a monthly record for the app that we’re using for the gift notes (which is just an excuse for them to charge me more!). It’s an amazing feeling to know that someone is sharing a special, heartfelt moment with a loved one and that they are using your product to do so. For that, we’re incredibly grateful to the amazing customers we have.

4) Was there any element of the ferocious growth that needs to be improved upon?

Magnanimi: There’s a lot that we need to continue to build internally, especially given what we anticipate our holiday volume to be. Our metrics are holding pretty steady and last year we saw holiday volume that was 7x of Mother’s Day. We see the velocity of our growth accelerating as the bases increase so I think that ratio is conservative to say the least and we need to plan properly. 

Over the past few months, we’ve made some key hires to our leadership team and they’ll help in expanding the great foundation that we already have in place.

Cinthia Moniz has joined as VP of Sales and comes from Pandora. She has an amazing plan for our B2B partners and one that is focused on building off of the experience we’re able to communicate with our digital strategy. Ultimately, we want our customers to be able to connect with our brand across any medium and she’s working on a plan that I think will be transformative to our wholesale business. I conservatively see next year’s wholesale business at running 150-200% of this year’s comp.  

Chad Westleigh joined us as Director of E-Commerce and was formerly part of the digital team at Alex and Ani. Chad’s been an amazing addition to our team. Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen explosive growth in this channel at over 522% and some of the new initiatives that Chad is working on, including a complete website re-design, are going to position the company for further growth. 

Lastly, we’ve hired Bob Grant as a Senior Operations Manager and comes from Swarovski. Bob will be instrumental at building and optimizing our supply chain, which we see as becoming more complex as we scale our business. 

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At the Luca & Danni plant in Cranston

5) What does this growth trend mean for Luca + Danni?

Magnanimi: It changes many things but there’s core things that will remain the same. We’re committed to be a “digital first” business – not necessarily e-commerce but using the amazing digital tools that exist now to communicate our brand message with our amazing clients. How they choose to interact with and purchase our products – whether it be on our website, in one of our authorized retail partners, or on Amazon – it ultimately up to them. We are committed to great products that are handmade in the USA and done so at an affordable price. Lastly, we are committed to being an authentic brand and forging our own path. 

We’re also expanding and that’s always an exciting thing! In addition to the key leadership hires, we’ve expanded across sales, customer service and – perhaps most importantly – with manufacturing jobs. My family owns a factory in Cranston and we leverage that infrastructure to make each of our bracelets by hand. There’s something very cool and nostalgic about being able to actually produce something and we love the aspect of having the brand sitting within the factory. 

6) Was there any particular product the drove the growth?

Magnanimi: The sales base was fairly broad and led by our new collections across Mother’s Day and graduation. We’re getting much better at understanding our customer and that is driven, in part, by our commitment to listening and reacting to the needs of our customer base. I personally spend a few hours a week responding to Facebook messages and that insight is very powerful. 

Our product range over the next 12 months is by far our best stuff to date and that, combined with a more experienced team internally, is going to put us in a really great position. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with some amazing individuals, all of whom share my vision and passion for the brand. At the end of the day, our customers see and experience this and it’s a truly authentic approach that isn’t easily replicated. 

 

 
 

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