Second Life Podcast: Shelley Gibbs Sanders
In 2017, she could no longer ignore how well equipped she was to create the brand she had long been searching for and, alongside her husband and business partner, launched The Last Line. The brand was challenging the traditional fine-jewelry model with a focus on fit, and selling direct-to-consumer allowed the brand to keep prices lower than traditional retail markups without relinquishing control to the big retailers who would inevitably influence the brand’s designs to fit their customer demographics.
“I’ve seen retail fine-jewelry destroy some of my favorite collections I’ve ever worked on,” says Sanders. Instead, by bypassing the retail middlemen, she was able to lean into the brand’s differentiators like selling earrings individually, offering product in unique materials and colorways, and designing classic pieces with a wild twist. In short, her strategy worked. Since launch, The Last Line has sold over 500,000 diamonds, 100,000 pieces of fine jewelry, and in 2019 was piercing over 100 ears each week between its NY and L.A. pop-up piercing parties. Sanders’s extensive experience and thoughtful execution paid off.