- Holts Lapidary
The company turned to expertise within the Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre (JIIC), a part of the School of Jewellery for assistance. The company needed to develop the application of Computer-Aided Designs (CAD) based around their existing product to augmented reality technology, so sought a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to help achieve this.
Holts initially approached the JIIC team to assist in their objective of wanting to increase sales of gemstones through the development of a tool that provides customers with the ability to trial jewellery designs ‘virtually.’
The project kicked off with 6 months of intense research into appropriate software and the world leading technology research centres and companies who may have been able to provide the solution needed. As the project progressed, it was highlighted that the virtual sales facility for Holts could, in fact, have further commercial applications both online and in store, and across multiple retailers.
Hatton Garden-based Holts Lapidary, are known in the industry for their gemstone expertise, lapidary skills and the creation of bespoke gemstone jewellery for both manufacturing jewellers and the general public. Holts needed to be able to increase sales of gemstones and respond faster to their customer needs in a very competitive market-place, by providing themselves with the capability to trail jewellery designs without the cost of producing prototypes.
“The Associate researched the market to establish how to position the company and assess whether there was real opportunity. This involved profiling customers, analysing competitors, visiting trade shows and exploring technology developments worldwide. She combined commercial awareness with an entrepreneurial attitude and strong creative flair.”
Jason Holt, Managing Director, Holts Lapidary
A joint venture was subsequently set up with Inition, a company at the centre of 3D expertise and technology, to continue the research and development of the new visualisation tool. This new company, who have further developed products owned by both Holts and Inition, is called Holition and helped to award KTP Associate Lynne Murray with the prestigious Business Leaders of Tomorrow title through her work done to set-up the new company.
- The visualisation system allowed customers to view a virtual design on their own body in real-time 3D, both in-store and online.
- The KTP programme established Holts as an innovative company through the
introduction of a pioneering product to leading jewellery retailers.
- Partnership with Inition resulted in a new round of funding; which helped to
‘cellophane wrap’ the product, improving its marketability.
- Entry into new market areas of watches and eyewear.
- Raised awareness of the research and development time necessary for an ambitious
new concept, as well as improved understanding of overseas/export business practises.