Hard Aspects, a stainless steel, 18K gold plated jewelry and sneaker accessories brand discovered its name through astrology. For all the astrology gurus, this will be up your alley.
Co-founders Sarah Wright and Priscilla Zhou are both deeply invested in astrology and felt like astrology was trendy at the time. So they thought why not create our brand’s name off of something we love.
“While we were looking up a bunch of different astrological terms, hard aspects came to mind,” Wright said. “It has something to do with opposites and we both have very different styles like I only wear silver jewelry and [Prisicila] only wears gold jewelry. So I would say, it’s kind of the middleman between the two like if you like gold or silver, it’s a brand for both people in that way.”
Wright and Zhou are trying to create a jewelry and sneaker accessories brand that is unique. Hard Aspects is a high-quality jewelry brand that is affordable yet trendy for those who love to accessorize.
“We have good quality products at a pretty affordable price point,” Zhou said. “I think a lot of the times you see jewelry brands with really high markups and so we try to keep our prices around a good range for our target demographic.”
When brainstorming what direction to take with their brand they noticed there was a white space in the market for sneaker accessories and jewelry. They choose stainless steel and gold plated because they are on the more affordable end of materials. Their goal was to make their sneaker accessories more accessible to the general public at a lower price point for the trend-forward, people.
“We were doing a lot of trend forecasting and looked at a lot of different trends that were coming up into the market,” Zhou said. “That’s kind of how we stumbled across sneaker accessories because it was something that was done by a lot of the higher-end brands at a really high price point.”
The sneaker accessories target a much younger audience, an audience of Gen Z who cannot afford to invest in accessories to be worn on their sneakers. They’re targeting trendy, fashionable people who want to accessorize their white, Nike platform sneakers for a day and take them off for the next day.
“I loved our gummy bear chain for the shoe, I just felt like that was unique, different and added some color to it like a white sneaker,” Wright said. “We have a few new earrings coming soon and one of them I really like is a little zipper.”
Other than sneaker charms and shoe chains, Hard Aspects offers necklaces, earrings and rings.
“I would say my favorite piece that we’ve made is the custom name necklace,” Zhao said. “You can customize it with whatever characters you want on it and then it comes with pearls and our bling beads into it. It’s just a good representation of everything that we have, because the bling beads, is what we use on the sneakers, but we’ve incorporated it into this necklace that also has the charms and I think it just encapsulates everything that we started with and what we’re hoping to branch into which is a jewelry market. “
Hard Aspects’ social media presence has helped them out immensely. The majority of their traffic comes from Instagram. It’s a godsend that Hard Aspects can reach out to micro-influencers to spread the word about their brand. Most recently Instagram approved Hard Aspects for a shop feature. This has left them with a lot of traffic allowing customers to access products more easily and shop right from their page.
“I feel like social media is probably the reason we have a lot of hope for it,” Wright said. “I don’t know how I would be able to start something without the power of the internet. We grew up with it, we know how it works and it’s just been the source of all of our sales I’d say.”
An entrepreneurial spirit stemmed from Wright and Zhou. They both knew they wanted to start a business but were unsure of what that business would entail. The two initially met at their summer internship with Kohls in 2019 and during their senior year, they kept in touch ever since. They shot around ideas and played in the ideation stage for quite some time until they moved in together to balance their brand and their 9 to 5 day job.
The two work 50/50 on Wright searching for silver and Zhao searching for gold and coming up with ideas and products that are well-rounded. Wright has more of a design background and focuses on the website, creating motion graphics and branding. On the other hand, Zhao’s main job is product development and photography.
“She has a very good eye for design and she knows how to follow trends and so I’d say she’s definitely more on like the product heavy side of the business,” Wright said.
Eventually, Hard Aspects hopes to take the direction of their brand into streetwear and create their own streetwear line. Their goal is to have apparel that coincides with their sneaker accessories.
It’s a dream come true for both of them to be full-time business owners of Hard Aspects and making a living off of it. But as of right now they don’t want to get over their head or overwhelmed with the success. They’re building on the momentum of the sneaker accessory and making a market for this trend.
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