The Relaunch In 5 Steps
The relaunch in 5 steps
I have been hibernating for more than a year working on the relaunch of KANT. It’s been a crazy journey that taught me a great deal about myself and my passion.
Below is a fast sum up of the steps I’ve been through.
- Connecting with DNA
When KANT was still run from the cosiness of my bedroom I was approached by Danish Network Association (DNA).
I specifically remember the day they called me. It was a beautiful and sunny day in the beginning of 2015. I was rushing out the door to meet my sister for a cup of coffee. I was already late when my phone rang. Normally I would simply ignore it as I hate speaking on the phone, but for some reason I picked up. I immediately regretted it when Camilla from DNA introduced herself. Shit.… In a flash I remembered ignoring an email from this company and I felt slightly embarrassed. To be honest, I didn’t know what DNA was, and I didn’t really care. I was convinced that it was a waste of time reading their email and taking the time to meet them. But for some odd reason I agreed to meet anyway despite my inner resistance.
When the day arrived, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into and the fear of looking ignorant and unprofessional made me really nervous. At this point I didn’t have any high expectations about myself or my company. KANT wasn’t rocket science or some big career quest. I made jewellery because it made me feel good and skilled. It was tangible, simple and it came to my life when I was deeply caught in the darkness of a depression. Why would these people have interest in me? How could I possibly impress them with a silly company I created to overcome my self-destructive attitude and which often included working in my pyjamas?
Well, they saw potential, they saw dedication and they saw passion. Three crucial traits I wasn’t able to acknowledge myself at the time. When the meeting was over, I was up to my eyes in thoughts and feelings about KANT. This was the push I needed to break down my reluctance and unleash my dreams. Working with DNA motivated me to uncover the true core of KANT. They made me realize this was more than just crafting beautiful jewellery and much more than a life jacket to keep my head above water. I subsequently invested over 10 month in comprehending and unravelling the knots I had inside. It was a tough journey that eventually resulted in the story The Person Behind The Hands.
- Learning new skills
In cooperation with DNA I decided to expand and take the step going from a small startup business to an established jewellery brand with an out-of-house production. This meant new possibilities but also sacrifices.
First of all I needed to come to terms with entrusting the production to skilled goldsmiths. This might seem arrogant, but in fact it was truly transcendent as I thought a big part of KANT was the fingerprint I personally put on each and every jewellery. All my sweat, joy, tears and struggle were represented in these small objects and none of them were alike. They were crooked and flawed, just like me. What was KANT without my direct touch?
I’m not an educated silversmith and even handcrafting can become boring and humdrum in the long run. I discovered that my heart beat for designing, developing and conceiving ideas rather than crafting and producing. I may not handcraft the jewellery myself anymore, but in fact leaving a signature in the design without personally touching them, is an art as well.
Second of all was overcoming the transit from creating jewellery through tangible handcrafting to computer designing. If you are used to having the materials in your hands, shaping it, connecting with it, really feeling it and at all time seeing the clear result in front of you, it’s very abstract to sit with a computer and try the same.
Last but not the least I had to swallow my impatience and learn how to use Rhinoceros and other digital tools in order to transform my sketches and ideas into 3D drawings that were compatible with casting in sterling silver. I was introduced to the program a few times during my short time at KEA (Copenhagen school of design and technology) but I had absolutely no clue on how to use it. I teamed up with a talented goldsmith and a 3D programmer to supervise me, but as with all new learning process, it was time of genuine frustration and helplessness. Luckily, I’m a learning-by-doing-kind-of-person, so I steadfastly sat down and tried and tried and tried until I had a hold of it.
- Developing prototypes
The new way of designing and creating jewellery opened my eyes to a world of fresh possibilities. I was no longer restricted to my own limited skills as an autodidactic silversmith. I could suddenly create ideas that were impossible for me to craft by hand. It was like living in a virtual reality where the possibilities were endless. If I could draw it on the computer, I could create it!
But my fascination and enthusiasm took a blow when I realised this was not the case. The computer technology may present almost infinite options – but designing is only half the work. All my jewellery is designed in a computer program but finished by hand. When an idea is fully-designed, we cast it in sterling silver and renovate it by hand. This process can be problematic, because the complex ideas you create on a computer can’t always be fulfilled and renovated with goldsmith tools.
- Branding and e-commerce
This paragraph is one of my favorites, because it deals with the considerations and reflections I had on how to communicate the universe and core values of KANT to the world.
Now, to me KANT is more than just jewellery. KANT is a complex hotchpotch of feelings, statements and aesthetics. I personally know very well what KANT is, because it’s coursing through my veins everyday. But how do I pass that onto someone who’s unfamiliar with my brand?
First of all I worked with the ideology and brand values behind KANT. Inspired by Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle I articulated and stated my purpose, beliefs and all the things that inspires me to do what I do (read the full ideology here). These steps were crucial as they clarified my passion and driving force and made me realize just how important KANT was for me personally. I eventually boiled it down to my mantra Express your inner edge and my main purpose of paying tribute to the beauty of (my) edges and imperfections.
Secondly I wanted KANT to undergo a makeover. I strove to create a strong visual identity including a new logo, new business cards, jewellery boxes, and finally a new webshop. The challenge here was to communicate my mantra and core values in a beautiful, simple and comprehensible way. But how could I share my ideology and mission without using actual words? This was, surprisingly enough, not a very tricky task, as the essence of KANT is in the name (KANT means edgy/edge in english). The edges are used as a metaphor in the ideology but in the visual segment I use it literally; from the protruding and edgy jewellery, through the cracked logo and to my crooked business cards. I’m really susceptible to everything that is raw, broken and distorted and I’m driven by the art of embracing damage. I’m a very tactile person and I aspire to incorporate sensuousness into all aspect of my work.
All in all the relaunching was more than a visual makeover. It was meant as a rebirth and a game change. My ambition was to uncover the core of KANT and leave the simple Tictail web-domain and safety of the Danish market and create a meaningful and passionate brand that’s strong enough to cross the borders to the international trade.
A year has passed by and I’m very happy and proud to finally show you the results