Dorsey: Timeless, Ethical Jewelry That Doesn’t Break The Bank

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I am always on the hunt for jewelry that has a timeless esthetic that’s reasonably priced. So, when I was recently introduced to Dorsey, an ethical fine jewelry brand with an array of affordably priced, Art Deco inspired designs made with lab-grown gemstones, I was thrilled.

Launched in late 2019, Dorsey was founded by Meg Strachan, who is also the brand’s CEO. “We make all of our pieces with lab-grown gemstones, and we create everyday styles. There is a misconception that people want to wear thousands of dollars of mined diamonds out the door to dinner. Dorsey’s focus is on meticulous jewelry craftsmanship of heritage styles, typically only designed with mined diamonds and sold for thousands of dollars, for a fraction of the price,” Strachan tells me of how she would describe her brand to those unfamiliar with it.

As for the brand’s name, Strachan named it after her grandmother, Dorsey, who taught her everything she knows about jewelry.

“She was a collector, and although she had a few mined diamond pieces, she wore more CZ costume jewelry that she bought and kept from every era. She cared deeply about craftsmanship and clasps. Later in her life, she could really wear and buy anything she wanted, but mostly wore costume pieces. How a piece felt was important to her. The price of it was not,” shares Strachan. “She was well aware of the mined diamond industry’s marketing tactics. She didn’t wear a typical mined diamond stone wedding ring. She wore a custom piece she made with my grandfather, a large gold cocktail ring, that she added diamonds to when she and my grandfather could finally afford to add them to it, some years after marrying.”

While Strachan shares that she isn’t a trained jewelry designer, she did start her career as a buyer and merchandiser. Sher tells me, “I know what I’m trying to achieve with our team. I’ve always been comforted that Ralph Lauren wasn’t a designer either. I believe that merchandising and where it intersects with marketing is the mark of most great brands, especially now, as content and commerce are the key levers to growth.” And Strachan is right. She has managed to create a luxurious collection of jewelry that looks incredibly expensive, and is reasonably priced, especially when compared to the alternatives that would cost several thousand dollars more.

“Dorsey designs are something that women want to buy themselves to wear every day,” she continues. “Traditionally, the riviere and tennis bracelet are very expensive. I wanted to wear a riviere necklace but didn’t have $20,000 to spend on one. When I looked around at the market, I saw it needed options that were accessible. We use creative to drive revenue and revenue to drive creative decisions. What brings products to life is conceptualizing them. We like to bring jewelry into the setting to create a mood. Our customer, who is in her late 30s-50s is attracted to how we shoot the product. My goal is to create a heritage brand with real longevity.”

One of the reasons Strachan decided to use lab-grown gemstones because it allows her to sell the designs at a more reasonable price point. “Lab-grown diamonds are less expensive than mined diamonds, but lab-grown white sapphires have the same look and feel and are more affordable,” she explains. Currently, the brand sells both lab-grown white sapphires and diamonds. “Right now, I’m wearing a mined diamond bracelet stacked next to a lab-grown white sapphire bracelet. One is just about $3,000 more expensive than the other. I can’t tell a difference between the stones. I wanted to be able to sell beautiful lab-grown tennis bracelets and necklaces that were well under $1,000 using precious metals. As our stone sizes are large in our pieces, if we created them in lab-grown diamonds, they would be thousands of dollars. Lab-grown sapphires allow me to democratize our pieces further. They make them a much more accessible price.”

Strachan is excited about the future of lab-grown gemstones and the ability to utilize science to create otherwise rare stones in color and in shape. “A mined diamond is created under heat and pressure in the earth's crust. A lab-grown diamond is created under heat and pressure in a lab. The consumer is shopping for clarity, size, and price,” shares Strachan. “As the consumer becomes more educated, it is going to be very hard for the mined diamond industry to compete with lab-grown, especially in bridal. People want larger, but beautiful, and more affordable stones. Lab-grown will win every time on those pillars. As more women begin to purchase lab-grown engagement rings, they’re going to start purchasing everyday jewelry in lab-grown as well. Lab-grown engagement rings are arguably the gateway to many consumers converting to lab-grown for the jewelry they buy thereafter.”

While it was never Strachan’s intent to break into bridal—an industry she feels is already saturated where the current players are longstanding and have very large marketing budgets, she would however create non-traditional rings down the line. With that said, I was curious why she hasn’t launched any rings to date. She responds, “We’re currently experiencing over 700% year over year growth in our core categories, riviere necklaces and bracelets, but we’re launching rings early next year.” I can’t wait to see what the brand has to offer.

Dorsey’s aesthetic definitely caught my eye and stood out from some of the other lab-grown brands. I currently have a riviere necklace and a tennis bracelet from the brand and I already have the next piece that I want to add to my collection as a birthday gift to myself. I love the fact that I can feel like a million bucks with Dorsey jewelry on without having to break the bank doing so.

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