When Cass DiMicco founded her jewelry brand, Aureum Collective, in 2019, she became the face of the brand. An influencer in her own right with nearly 500,000 followers on Instagram, DiMicco models all the products and is featured heavily in the brand’s advertising, in addition to founding and designing for the brand.
According to DiMicco, she initially worried that her existing audience wouldn’t be enough to launch the brand. At the time, she only had 150,000 followers.
“I thought that you needed to have a million followers to be able to launch a successful brand, but I realized that’s not exactly the case,” DiMicco said on the latest episode of the Glossy Podcast. “I had 150,000 followers, but those people were all following me specifically for fashion and style. Whatever brand I ended up creating, their tastes would align with it.”
DiMicco spoke to Glossy about how she founded her brand, how her own influencer status plays into the brand’s marketing, and how she’s navigating pricing and luxury in the changing climate.
Below are additional highlights from the podcast, lightly edited for clarity.
On setting a price point for the brand
“When it comes to quality of what our pieces are actually physically made out of, I think a lot of people don’t realize that brands like YSL jewelry and Bottega Veneta jewelry are actually made out of worse quality [material] than what our jewelry is made out of. I wanted to make pieces that were gold — all of our pieces are plated in 24-karat gold — and they have this very rich, deep gold color. When you see them in person, they instantly pop against most brands. We wanted our pieces to be better quality but have this high fashion designer feel. That was just naturally where the brand sat, based on what it costs to produce the products while having a normal, healthy markup without going out of business and also without ripping people off. It was very much a natural way of doing things. We didn’t necessarily start from the price point and then work backward. We started from the quality that we wanted and then worked from there. … Our brand has evolved a lot, in terms of price point, which has gotten much higher because we keep advancing the quality and the detail. Our customer isn’t afraid of a higher price point. She wants showstopping pieces that are very emotional, statement pieces.”
On growing the brand
“What works for us to grow the brand has changed. When it comes to social media, it’s always evolving. Celebrities were a big indicator of success early on. It helped our credibility to see us on Haley Bieber and Kylie Jenner and all these big names. Now, what helps us is honestly just having a recognizable product like our top five styles that make up a big portion of our business. We focus a lot less on celebrities giving us credibility. Now, we rely on our customers to give us credibility.“
On being the face of the brand
“We do use my personal brand to feed into Aureum. I post what I’m wearing, and how I style things for date night or for a wedding. That makes it a bit easier for customer to picture how she can wear the pieces, too. We’re still in a phase where we heavily use me as the face of the brand, but as we continue to become more luxury and the brand evolves, I might be less involved in front of the camera. But for now, as a bootstrapped company, it’s the best way to funnel customers in for free. And it’s important to have my voice and my tone be a part of things. I also think there’s a uniqueness factor to shopping from us when you know that it’s me. It’s still portrayed in an elevated way, it’s not like it looks amateur. But it’s not some random supermodel styling the jewelry, it’s me. I do recognize that we will pivot and hopefully get bigger than just me.”