Co-founders unite passions
One co-founder loves jewelry and one loves startups. And together – Natalie Whitmore and Richard Crowe are combining their passions to start Jewelr – a software management company for retail jewelry stores.
Whitmore worked in wholesale and retail jewelry for several years. Whether it was failing software, frustratingly complicated software or simultaneously juggling eight software programs, Whitmore had experienced it all.
When people asked what software she recommended, she had no good answer.
“Nothing was user-friendly,” Whitmore said. “And if it was, it wasn’t made for the very specific needs of the jewelry industry. So, I knew there was an opportunity.”
After moving into the software industry for a few years, Whitmore pitched her idea to one of her co-workers, Crowe.
“I thought it sounded amazing,” Crowe said. “The more I learned about it; I knew we needed to do this.”
Crowe has previous startup experience and brings the business mindset while Whitmore brings the industry mindset.
“We’re a perfect balance when it comes to everything,” Whitmore said.
Even their passions outside of work complement each other. Whitmore originally got a fine arts and photography degree while Crowe got a music performance and music business degree.
Their paths converged in the software world and despite their differing passions, they have a similar goal – to help mom-and-pop jewelry stores succeed.
“From a web development standpoint, we’re talking about something that could be a potential game-changer throughout the entire industry,” Crowe said.
Jewelr will provide a single platform that brings all the other platforms together. They will be performing alpha and beta testing this year and are planning on launching the product in 2021 at the JCK show.
Whitmore’s favorite part of the process has been developing new ideas for the platform as they build it. She said it’s all about dreaming outside the box and coming up with game-changing features.
“I just want to make it user-friendly and think of all the things I wish other software programs could have done when I was using them in jewelry stores,” she added.
Crowe said there is definitely a market for the product.
“The timing is right,” he said. “There is a desperate need for it and once we build a solution, there’s potential to grow for years.”
Both Whitmore and Crowe have lived in Zionsville for about four years and recently joined zWORKS after they started Jewelr in July 2019.
“Every business on Main Street is a small mom-and-pop store which is what we’re passionate about,” Crowe said.
He said their goal is to bring that small-town feel to the jewelry industry.
“We want to provide a complete platform that is user-friendly and made just for jewelers,” he said. “We want the local mom-and-pop jewelers to thrive in this economy. This is our contribution to that cause.”
Getting to know Natalie and Richard…
- Natalie loves to explore abandoned places. She has been writing a book on abandoned places across the United States for the past 7 years.
- Richard was a drummer in an alt rock band called Graham The Empire. Check out one of their songs – It’s What You Do.