If you’re looking for that special necklace that warms your heart and soul, look further in Love Grenades – the jewelry company that combines style and love all in one chain!
From a fashion standpoint or from the outside looking in, Love Grenades offers jewelry pieces that also provide elegance and contentment. They have everything from necklaces to arm cuffs to bracelets, and are also worth every penny you spend with them! With each Love Grenades item you wear, you spread light and love to those around you while demonstrating your gratitude, according to their website.
Annmarie D’Ercole and her husband Cory Brzezinski started Love Grenades to promote positivity in our everyday lives by combining beauty and meaning in every piece of jewelry they design. We sat down with Cory for a behind-the-scenes look at their distinctive brand, which brings light and joy to so many.
Behind The Business of Love Grenades
For as long as they can remember, Annmarie has designed jewelry for a very long time. In a tie with Love Grenades, the couple had decided the concept of the whole jewelry line would be about bringing awareness to love and kindness.
“We were having coffee with our childhood friend, Josh Robbins and he mentioned this idea of creating a brand around the name Love Grenades,” Cory says. “I said, ‘Great, let’s do a jewelry line together and we’ll call it Love Grenades!’ It is not just about creating nice jewelry; we want our line to have real meaning behind it. From there, Annmarie started designing pieces she felt fit with Love Grenades – things that exemplified that juxtaposition of love and explosion. It is important to us that each piece be something people would want to wear regardless of the cause. When people hear about the meaning of the piece, it’s a bonus!”
The Branding Of Love Grenades
Throughout Love Grenades’ day-to-day activities, from web design to packaging, branding has been a major component. Their packaging and boxes are very high-end, which emphasizes their aim to make each item stand out among the rest. According to Cory, each piece ships out in a magnetic closure box and velvet pouch, as the company uses specific colors that complement its brand.
“We really wanted to brand and package each piece so that they were immediately recognizable as a Love Grenades item, and I feel we really accomplished that,” Cory says. “Just look at the grenade pin, the heart cherry bomb, the dog tag, and more. They’re not just another piece of jewelry, they are part of a larger, cohesive brand. Everything we do – from look books line sheets to social media posts and web design, all points back to the brand.”
A Day In The Life of Love Grenades
Throughout the day, Annmarie spends her time brainstorming and creating new designs, and she is currently working on launching a few items. According to Cory, the couple has their own jewelry studio in which the couple manufactures everything they design allows them to turn ideas into reality.
“As a designer, she’s always evolving and creating,” Cory explains. “Other than designing and manufacturing jewelry, we also do a lot of daily work with marketing and social media. Right now, I’m looking at packaging for the wholesale aspect, and considering how to best present our product to boutiques and big box stores. We’re also working on a larger version of our magnetic enclosure box, which has little slots to put all the pieces in and contain our brand message on the inside. Also, in our studio, you will find people hand-crafting and hand-polishing, turning precious metal into a beautiful piece of jewelry. There are so many steps in the process, and I think sometimes people just see the finished product and they’re like ‘Oh, this is awesome,’, but forget that it went through four or five people’s hands to create.”
When it comes to hand polishing the pieces, it can be somewhat of a process. In order to make the piece, a metal mold is made from a wax mold, and it is cast by a member of their team. Sterling silver is then poured into the mold, then polished either by the same person who poured it or by another person.
“Sometimes one person will do multiple tasks but usually it goes into a process,” Cory explains. “For example, let’s consider the development of the Let Your Light Shine piece from start to finish. It began with Annmarie’s design and then that went to our CAD guy. He created a blueprint for the piece, and then we created a wax mold, which you can go in and alter if needed. Once refined, we sent it back to CAD for another wax mold.
The Let Your Light Shine has two kinds of hammering in the texture, so it was sent to another team member who hand-hammered it. After that, it was placed into packaging and sent to the fulfillment center where someone ships it out. There are several steps in the process, and it just depends on the piece. Usually, it goes between 3-4 sets of hands before it gets to the client or customer.”
In collaboration with multiplatinum singer-songwriter, Ally Brooke, the couple recently released a new collection, Let Your Light Shine, which represents the qualities of love, light, and gratitude all on one chain. On one side, the design has a heart beaming with sun rays, while the quote “Let Your Light Shine” is displayed on the other. In creating the Let Your Light Shine necklace, Ally hoped the necklace would continually spread positivity, light, and love to the people around them. To purchase or to learn more, you can view the collection here.
The Challenges That May Arise…
When a company begins branding, something initially, you go through a lot of trial and error. There’s a lot of time, meetings, and different collateral that is put in front of you. You put different things on the market to test and see what people like best. That’s all part of a normal process, according to Cory.
“As far as some current or ongoing challenges, I can think of a few,” Cory says. “First we do not have a lot of packaging resources in the United States; most of it is in China, so it is important for us to have a good contact in China that will make your packaging come to life. It can be a challenge to deal with the timely fulfillment of boxes or pouches. Before the launch of the dog tag, we had around 2,500-boxes, and we needed more. There is a four-week lead time to get more, and it wasn’t something we were willing to sacrifice because the packaging is such a big part of our brand. So that was a definite challenge.”
In addition, communication has been extremely challenging in the pandemic era because so many users had to use Zoom or any other online video chatting program. As Cory can attest, things can get lost in translation without being physically present.
“It can also be a challenge to have a lot of people involved,” Cory adds. “There’s a lot of ideas, so you have to come up with a solution that everyone is happy with. It’s always a challenge to make sure you’re moving forward while also ensuring that what you are doing is good for the brand.”
Visit Love Grenades’ website here to view their extinguished jewelry line.