For years I obsessed about our legacy in digital times. How will future generations go through the souvenirs of our lives when we are not creating physical objects? Today, when someone from an older generation passes away we have stacks of photo albums, years, newspaper clippings and journals. The sentiment and nostalgia we feel when we and these trinkets is unique and something I fear we are losing. My generation doesn’t print photos, we don’t receive newspapers to cut, we scan our ways into events. Will our children go through our hard-drives to better understand us? Will they have access to the things we have scattered around the social media?
I found a co-founder who was as passionate about our legacy as I am. We talked to to over 600 people about the way we create and retain memories. Time and time again we heard them speak about jewelry and photos.
It was never the most expensive jewelry but the one that had a story behind it. We found that people valued their photos as much as ever but weren’t printing or creating photo albums. All these images, which represent some of the most special moments and people in our lives are just living in our camera rolls, external hard drives or cloud storage.
- Our favorite piece of jewelry is always the one with the story.
- Digital photos make our memories feel disposable.
- Voice is very important. We no longer hear it when loved ones pass way and it lets us hear their emotions.
Works Like Prototype
We realized women have connected experiences and people to jewelry for centuries with lockets and charm bracelets. As wearables were a big trend at that time, we decided to create a modern jewelry brand that that linked to our digitally captured experiences.
The charm bracelet market is a $14 Billion industry which increased curiosity in investors. Out of 300+ applicants, we were 1 in 10 teams who were accepted into a hardware manufacturing accelerator, Highway1. We raised a total of $150,000 and went to San Francisco to work with their team who also took us to Shenzen, China and gave us an inside look at hardware manufacturing.
Hardware is hard
We entered a deadly cycle for needing investment to prove we needed more investment. Luma Legacy was an expensive product to manufacture, it was also a very difficult one to create in a beautiful way. Batteries are big, precious metals interfere with bluetooth, and the world doesn’t really want more visible connection. I still believe we were on to something, but this wasn’t right. I recruited a team and got a better understanding of dynamics that work and those that don’t. I went to China and got a deep and full understanding of the consumer product life cycle. I also learned what I set out to learn by getting a better understanding of our legacies in digital times.