Skip to main content

Sustainable and Trustworthy US-based Hair Accessory

Abby Dubios is the founder of EACH Jewelry. After years of designing for world-renowned brands, like Kate Spade and Coach, Abby set out to forge her own path and build her own jewelry brand. Her mission is to make ethical fashion fun, accessible, and empowering. Since starting the company six years ago, they’ve sold over half a million units.

“We are able to have something that’s super profitable while still being super accessible.” - Abby

Abby DubiosCo-Founder and CEO of Hedey


 Welcome to Building Welling. My guest today is Abby dubois, founder of Each jewels. After years of designing for world renowned brands like Kate Spade and Coach Abby set out to forge her own path and build her own jewelry brand.


Abby’s mission is to make ethical, fashion fun and accessible and empowering. Since starting the company six years ago, they’ve sold over half a million units. Welcome to the show, Abby. It’s great to have you here.


Thank you so much, Katie. I’m so excited to be here. I think as a starting point I. What I think would be lovely is we’re gonna have a bit of a chat about what it is to be a, first time founder of what is still very much a startup.


I know you’ve have like big ambitions and you’re scaling fast, but you’ve also had some interesting  changes in direction and interesting discoveries along the way. But before we jump any of those, let’s just start with a little bit of background of each Your background is obviously with some of the really large fashion brands, designing for them, what brought you to starting up on your own? So I felt like there was a huge space in the market. For American made product. And each is still, of course exclusively made in the US and and we’ve rolled out some product in Italy.


But generally speaking, I would say we’re 99% in the US So there was a space for that where, it wasn’t just Etsy, you know where of course you know a lot of the product you’re buying from artisans and made America, but there wasn’t like a brand that you could go to that was accessible for sustainable and.


I felt that was a huge niche because, coming from years of fashion, jewelry brands that were made overseas, we’re starting to want to shop our values and there was no brand out there for them. When I started each, that was the main goal. yeah, talk a little bit more about that. So shopping our values, both us made ethical, sustainable. How did that all come to shape itself within your product and your offering? All of the things that were made in the US were essentially fine jewelry, and that was really outside of the price point for most of our customers, which are women.


And this was something that, obviously, Etsy, there isn’t that trust, there isn’t that brand loyalty, et cetera. So I was like, how do I make something that’s super straightforward, that’s gonna be affordable, like a hundred dollars pair of earrings? So I have a model making background as well as a design background.


So I made models that were so simple to manufacture. So in that way, we’re able to hit margin, we’re able to grow, we’re able to have something that’s super profitable while still being accessible. So I was able to work with our manufacturers and have something that, it makes sense for them for an hourly wage and then it makes sense for us for profit.


So that is like very much baked into our our design and product development process for sure. So just a lot of working closely with them. I started to produce in New York. I like went door to door in the Diamond District, got some doors slammed in my face and I was like, I have to make something for this price.


And then I got a lot of people being like, this is great. We love it. This is super easy, let’s go. And then now each is way too big to be producing in New York. So we produce probably the majority in Rhode Island, but we still sample in New York. That’s awesome. But Rhode Island has been absolutely huge for us.


You started out in jewelry and then you had a sort of discovery early on that caused you to actually shift the lion’s share of the work you did. How did that manifest and how did you end up making the decision to, to make that shift? I think you must have had quite a lot of emotional attachment to the idea of jewelry from your background, but you’ve ended up now in more of the hair accessory space.


What did that mean for your business in your direction? We are very much a hair first brand. I have always loved hair accessories and every single company I worked for, like, when I was at Bobble Bar, I was like, what about hair guys? And they’re like, it’s not as profitable as jewelry. So let’s stick with jewelry.


I think at one point they threw me a bone and we did some I was always trying to push hair. Yeah. And I included a few burettes in my first and second jewelry collections and that’s what took off. So I was like, alright, if this is working, I’m gonna lean in. This is my time. I’ve been wanting to do this, I’ve been pitching it, and like now that it’s my own company, I can do it.


I can adjust the margin to make it work for each. And I did it. And it was the kind of thing where jewelry, there’s a gazillion jewelry brands, household indie, et cetera, but there’s like less than 10 hair accessory brands and we’re thrilled to be one of ’em. So everyone has their own unique voice.


There’s not a lot of crossover It’s actually the most exciting path we could have taken. And it’s, it always keeps me on my toes because, to a lot of women, hair is an afterthought, obviously, or each, it’s not. She throws her hair up in elastic and she doesn’t realize there are so many fashion opportunities that you get so much credit for.


More credit than jewelry in my book. And yeah, so it was actually a very exciting shift and, and we’re still a jewelry brand. Our hair accessories are mostly metal, so they look like jewelry. So there was no real, there was no loss by any means. It was just like, We found our stride. We’re going with it. I think it’s so interesting you made a pretty early decision, a calculated one to, to step into a space where there’s more white space.


Super smart move also must be really interesting, like I think where you’ve struck the product and where you are on price point too. Especially with Made in us, you’ve hit a really great intersection of things that matter in this economy. As well as in this kind of cultural moment. So the idea of, I’m assuming, I’d love to hear more about that, that the each customer, each consumer, but it’s one who is presumably looking to show a little bit of her individuality.


There’s, it’s something that’s an affordable way to really do that. And your in a space, which is, a kind of content. Heaven for a lot of your consumers. So talk a bit about your consumer and are you finding that this is like a really great opportunity for people to own their own storytelling and become advocates for your brand in content and in marketing?


Oh, absolutely. So we we’ve always had an overtly feminine and nostalgic customer even before hair was such was such a big part of our business. So I think that when we launched hair, it really sat with the. She sees a piece of her childhood, she wants Daisy clips, but not for, her seven year old self.


She wants it for her 37 year old self. And ones that are, she’s not gonna. Get weird looks if she goes into the office with them. So definitely at our price point, we’re not at a fast fashion price point, we’re not at an intro price point. So our customer is a little bit older than you’d expect actually.


She’s she’s in her thirties, forties, fifties also, She’s very no must no fuss. Like these are not women who like curl their hair. They’re women that like grow their hair back and that’s it. So it’s very easy. It’s very like free spirited and she’s not spending crazy amounts, but she’s also not afraid to spend a.


So that’s a big thing. It’s actually very interesting. We see a lot of doctors buying directly from us. Interesting. And yeah, because they put their hair back every day and they’re wearing scrubs and, each is a pretty minimal brand. It’s not too showy. So it’s not something that’s gonna necessarily alienate their patients.


So I thought that was a fascinating, would’ve expected. We were getting so many orders that start with Doctor so and so. things like that always always surprised me and it’s such a welcome surprise. Like we had a huge influx during the pandemic because, there’s so many healthcare workers that are working so many hours and they’re like, I could wear some daisies.


That might be, yeah. So that’s a big thing that I’m looking at myself in tiny box on the screen. A chunk of your business is wholesale, presumably the lion’s share, but you’re, yes. You have an online shop, so how have you made that decision Absolutely.


Of where your kind of main avenues for sales are? We definitely prioritize wholesale just from a search perspective. So to me, hair accessories are top of mind, but to the average consumer, I. She’s looking for a dress, she’s looking for shoes, she’s looking for something else. Then she stumbles upon hair accessories and she makes a purchase.


So from that perspective it’s not necessarily an afterthought, but it is a purchase. So that’s definitely like where we win in terms of wholesale. Like we’re not a low enough price point to be top of. It is an add-on. So we definitely prioritize our wholesale accounts. We have some amazing partners and a lot of people find out about us through wholesale and then they become top of funnel for pcom.


So when something sells out on wholesale, we get a lot of that traffic direct. I can imagine. And then what about like, how are you using social to grow your brand? Oh, social has been great for us. We have U G C and we have celebrity stylists that we work for to get us on some of the a-listers, some of the macro influencers.


And then of course, the conversion happens when you’re seeing a normal girl just like styling her hair. So it was great when we were in the fab fit box because we got this massive in U G C from just like customers. So that was a huge thing. We’ve been on Alexandra Drio.


That was a big boon for us. We’ve been on Tori spelling. And again, it’s because a lot of these people just do not have. A million hair clips to choose from. Yeah. It makes a ton of sense. So talk a bit about some of those early breaks.


Absolutely. It sounds like Nordstrom is like a little, a little theme throughout your whole arc from like with personal life and professionally, but what were some of the things that really catapulted. Each from being a kind of a twinkle in your eye to a startup, to something that you’re really now eyeing mass market?


Absolutely. So Nordstrom’s has a special place in my heart for sure. As you mentioned, I worked at Nordstrom’s in high school just like at my after school job. And I met the Nordstrom buyer at Capsule before the pandemic. Capsule’s no longer a thing, but it’s a pretty big accessories trade show.


And when the Nordstrom buyer stopped by my booth, I was like, we have to make this happen. I, I got an award as a Nordstrom employee when I was 17 years old. This is highly exciting. And I was like, I’m VP fashion board. I was fashion board member of the year. This is bringing it home for me.


This is like why I do what I do. And I think that my story definitely helped us get our first PO from Nordstrom’s. So that was definitely a big thing. But Nordstrom’s was not our first account. I think anybody who gets Nordstrom’s, that’s a first account. My goodness. good for you But our first big partnership was with Winky Lux the beauty brand. The founder was actually on a previous Building While Flying podcast. Natalie is absolutely amazing. I had pitched the brand to her and I was like, we should do a EACH x Winky Lux partnership. And she thought it was like a cute brand. There was a lot of visual crossover she took a chance, it was just after they had raised their their seed round.


So like having a venture backed brand that that gave each like a little bit of a stamp of approval. It’s like what Gary says about the high school cafeteria. Natalie was the one person who was like, she can sit at the cool kids table. So that opened every single door for us thereafter We got our seat at the Cool kids table and then not even a week later, free people requested samples in ink to po.


after we launched in Free People, then Anthro came, then Urban came, then Bando came. And Lisa says G came like it Just from there on the domino effect of us having a hundred stores was like,


And also with maintaining those Relationships just because.


my background is in product and design We were able to make exclusives for all of these accounts. So there was very little crossover and they were willing to to push each becasue they had their own, they had one of each, as we like to say. So yeah, so the exclusivity really helped get people over the finish line. So it would be, their own shape or in their own color.


So that, that was huge for us. I think it’s so interesting you’ve got. Actually such a deliberate, deliberative, and intentional founding story, we talked about it right quite rapidly, but the fact that your design background and the model making background enabled you to design for manufacturing so efficiently.


Paired with the fact that it’s all in the us, which is super attractive to buyers right now. And then on top of that, yes, your ability, because you’ve got this efficient setup to make bespoke solutions for your partners, really like all these things working so well together with one another are such as solid foundation for the brand.


So when you think about that arc you’ve been on, first time founder, you’re making it sound very easy. what, What have you learned Say yes and figure it out later. Just be like, sounds like a great opportunity. We’re gonna, we’re gonna do it. And then, you have people in your corner. I have the most amazing female founder friends. I have the most amazing board. And I can call on them and ask for, advice, words of wisdom.


My manufacturers feel like an extension of our team. And they will, pull favors all the time. I’m like, I need thousands of units for Fab Fit Fund in six weeks. Please. And they’re like, no problem. We got this. And also because it’s so easy to make, they don’t like, they can move through things very quickly.


And there’s a lot of nuance to that. But I think also there’s, there’s an understanding with our manufacturing partners, there’s an understanding with our board advisors. There’s an understanding with, every, everyone that we have ’cause when they need something we show up for them too, of course.


So I think it’s I think it’s just like jump on those opportunities and. You’ll figure it out. Like I’m just like, I literally am Building, While, Flying. So yeah it’s absolutely wild. Finding an enamel partner in the US was quite the saga. Oh wow. Yeah. We, yeah. A lot of our manufacturers would not touch it.


But we found  an automotive powder coder to get us all the colors we needed for Nordstrom’s, for banjo, for Urban Outfitters. So we were like, racking up these barrettes by hand and, passing them off to, you know, Guys were like, what is this? But I’m also like, you have paint that’s waterproof, so so I think you can figure it out and you don’t see any other jewelry in there and you just see a giant car park or like the bonnet of a car.


Some of the narratives of just how the constraints of looking for the manufacturing. All manufacturing in the US brings such interesting stories. Like I feel like that could be such a wonderful little side tale to be telling and content around some of the crazy partners that are connected to your brand.


I hope all of those car manufacturing production line dudes have got nice little daisy in the inline. They definitely do now. They definitely do now. But we actually, it was a very hard decision for us because our customer most certainly voted on on plastic versus enamel. And the plastics are eco-friendly.


Oh, okay. They’re cellulose acetate. We decided to go. So they’re grown from plant fibers, right? There’s no polymer in them, which we’re like and it’s made from recycled. So it’s self generative. You grow the. Flatten it. It’s a really cool process. There’s a bunch of YouTube videos and I was like, okay, our customers can get behind this for sure.


So we made the decision. We’re like, you know what? I don’t think our audience, I don’t think our customer base and our retailers are gonna disrespect us for choosing to produce this in Italy. They’re, they’re absolutely experts, I should even call it plastic, same cellular acetate that is in, eyewear and handbags and, really high quality stuff. It’s not like the same plastic being used for toys Rs. So we’re at least able to keep some integrity. And thus far, luckily we’ve gotten no pushback. I’m, I personally am fine with the narrative of US and Europe.


Yeah, especially because it’s primarily us. Oh, wonderful. Yeah they’re fantastic people. Yeah. And I think, the, this, the attentiveness to the manufacturing process and to finding the right sustainable solution, I think is the kind of, that’s the sort through line. Obviously where possible you are looking to have your production as local as possible.


What are your eyes on, I think, I know must mark it one day in the future, but Is there anything in the near term that you’re like, I wanna crack it.  I wanna be, queen of TikTok or get this celebrity in or open up this new production line, or what are some of the things that are just in your sights in the near future?


And then what’s the dream? So I am definitely going to move things into bridal, an occasion in red carpet. In the not too distant future. There’s just I’ve gotten so many requests for it and I’m like, I really need to lean into this. And we’ve tended to sell, give stylists like 10 days cover to cover somebody’s head with or whatever.


So really leaning into. There’s a lot of great content, a lot of editorial moments, a lot of street cred. And then, mass market being a household name. People have this aspirational brand to look at, where you’re selling, a headband, you know you have headbands on the red carpet, or you have hair clips on the red carpet, but then you can still find.


A piece of piece, a piece of the brand at Target where, your average person can report it and you’re still getting some of each, which is, the joke. I keep making a lot of data in this brand. But yeah, so just having a diffusion line, so there’s the high low, which I think works well, with TikTok, so speak, even though it wouldn’t be a per se, but. you can meet the customer where they’re comfortable and some are comfortable at the higher level. A lot of our customers are more comfortable at the mid, and then you have those opening price point customers, which is a bit younger.


So just making sure that everybody feels served, but without compromising the brand. So that’s.


The war, so to speak, to be a household name. So household name for jewelry will be the support. The supporting and necessary role. You’ve found yourself as a place to capitalize on and so you should it’s been such an incredible pleasure to chat with you. We’ll be keeping our eyes on progress of each JUULs especially on social. We were thrilled to see you appear both in shout outs and tags from your many admirers on the New Jersey side, but also on your own platforms.


And wish you all the very best as you continue to scale. Thank you so much, Katie. It was great chatting with you. And thank you so much for having me on and allowing me to tell our story. 

Welcome to Building While Flying!

This weekly podcast is brought to you by Sasha Group. We’re the consultancy meets agency arm of the VaynerX family of companies. We help ambitious companies build strong brands that flex with the times through strategy, branding media and marketing.

In ever-changing times, businesses and brands have to shift and adapt. And across all sectors, there is an air of experimentation. Business owners are trying new things out in the wild;  building the plane while flying.

Our pilots, Katie Hankinson, Mickey Cloud, Maribel Lara, and Joe Quattrone will be talking to a diverse range of business leaders and founders. They’ll explore how these guests tackle various challenges while staying resilient and committed to growth. Through these real-life examples of strategies put into practice, we hope to inspire you to experiment and develop your own strategies as we all navigate these uncertain times together.

Sustainable and Trustworthy US-based Hair Accessory

Abby Dubios is the founder of EACH Jewelry. After years of designing for world-renowned brands, like Kate Spade and Coach, Abby set out to forge her own path and build her own jewelry brand. Her mission is to make ethical fashion fun, accessible, and empowering. Since starting the company six years ago, they’ve sold over half a million units.

In this episode of the Building While Flying podcast, Abby joins Katie Hankinson to talk about her journey as a first-time founder. She gives insight into her background, shifting to hair accessories, and her big breaks.

In-flight topics:

  • Why she chose to start her own company
  • Creating a brand around her values
  • The shift to hair accessories
  • Using brand partnerships to grow
  • Her dreams for what’s next
  • …and more!

New York, NY
Chattanooga, TN
Los Angeles, CA