To our Dear Rae Community
I wanted to reach out to update you on what is happening at Dear Rae. With COVID19 hitting us all so unexpectedly, the past few months have been a real rollercoaster. The good news is that it feels like we are finding our feet again and learning to adapt to this new normal. Coming so close to losing something has definitely given me a new perspective and deep sense of gratitude for the Dear Rae family (staff) and community who truly make our brand what it is. I have been blown away by the support and kindness from all of you. It has allowed us to keep our doors open for creating and selling, and for this I am truly grateful – thank you.
I also wanted to give you a heads up that we will have to do a price increase on our gold items in July. During the global pandemic, people have invested in the gold market as it remains to be a safe and stable investment during a crisis. This demand in the market has caused the gold price to spike and increase by 17% from March to June. And our weak rand has added to the problem as we buy gold in US dollars. This jump is astronomical to say the least and is something that is completely out of our control as a small jewellery business. This, of course, leaves us no option but to push up the prices of our gold pieces. *Excluding our new ‘of Earth’ collection.
I know that this might seem to be bad news, but to me it is a confirmation once again that our decision to only make jewellery in solid precious metals is the right one. When you do buy gold from us there are many pros: it’s an investment and will increase in value as the gold price increases; it lasts forever and does not rub off like plated jewellery; it can be passed on to the next generation as an heirloom; and it can be recycled and reworked into something new. To me, the benefits of selling solid gold as opposed to plated jewellery goes way above the small saving on the initial purchase price. The most sustainable principles are to buy less, buy once and reuse.
It is really important to me that transparency always forms part of Dear Rae’s values, as this is a big part of building trust within our community. As we have grown, things have slowly developed and changed. Some of you might remember the earlier years of Dear Rae where we couldn’t afford to work in solid gold, which is why we had so many solid brass options. I wanted to create solid metal treasures in a golden hue and brass worked well. We could educate clients on how to clean their brass jewellery with plat paper, which in turn provided a longer lasting option to plated jewellery. It did, however, react badly on more acidic skin and overall, was pretty high maintenance. As the company grew from strength to strength, we added more and more gold items, and slowly started phasing out the brass. The price jump from brass to gold is big. There’s no denying that. But working in gold has helped us create a superior product that holds its value and lustre. There is so much hard work and love that goes into each piece, and it is important to me that they are treasured for lifetimes.
So yes, gold is obviously a luxury. That being said, we have always tried to make it more accessible to the South African market. Here’s how: When we first started adding gold jewellery to our ranges we decided to discount our usual gold price by 20% when selling to our South African market. We have a set pricing formula that we follow to cover our costs and while this means that we make less profit when we sell gold jewellery in South Africa, our hope is that this 20% discount makes buying solid gold more accessible for our local community.
I hope this sheds some light on the inevitable gold price increase and that I have managed to convey why my team and I still believe in making our handcrafted jewellery in solid gold. If this crazy time has taught me anything, it is to stick to our company values. We will continue to do our best to support the South African industry by employing a local team and sticking to the most sustainable practices possible. We will be transparent about how we do this, so please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or suggestions.
Thank you for your continuous support.
Karin Rae Matthee