An excerpt from American Way Magazine
August 1, 2005
By Jenna Schnuer
Pre-Academy Awards television coverage always offers up a bevy of fashion surprises. But it wasn't a sheer dress or tacky tux that caught Chicago-based Kirsten Goede off guard on Oscar night. It was her own bracelet design. Gayle King, famous best friend of Oprah Winfrey and editor-at-large of O, The Oprah Magazine, was wearing a Goede creation on the red carpet.
A graphic designer by trade used to create crystal jewelry for fun, Goede launched Objets d'Envy last fall after getting numerous on-the-streets compliments for her pieces...
As part of an "influencer" marketing strategy, Goede created get-it-noticed packaging for her bracelets and sent them to 15 different celebrities and trendsetters, including Winfrey and King. A flurry of phone calls, e-mails, and a few purchases from King and her assistant followed. The famous friend's unspoken endorsement of the design on the red carpet has helped Objets d'Envy get noticed by retailers and "validates for customers that [my designs are] something really fashion-forward," People's eyes light up [when I say who wears them]."
...Goede hasn't run short on supply, eitherŠat least not yet. Her Gayle King connection resulted in a slow buildup of orders, but a recent what-if-they-all-order-at-once scare pushed her to get her product fulfillment ready for a spike in orders. A friend called to say that she thought she saw one of Goede's bracelets dangling from the wrist of a character on a nighttime teen TV drama, one of the biggest fashion influencers around. "I started thinking I should get my ducks in a row," she says. Though Goede prefers to make all her bracelets herself, she has worked up a list of people who can help out if too many orders roll in at one time...