This NYC Startup is The Smallest Modular Smart Jewelry Technology



We all know that size matters – especially when it comes to wearables.

The small size and modularity of Trellie’s patent pending technology allows jewelry and fashion designers to be more creative while designing their watches, bracelets, rings, necklaces and handbag accessories. Brand loyalists can purchase multiple pieces of jewelry or handbag accessories and choose which one they want to wear that day by simply removing and inserting Trellie’s tiny smart jewelry technology themselves.

And who wants to wear the same pieces every day, anyway?

Which is another element that sets Trellie apart and makes it very smart.

“Our B2B wearable technology platform enables brands to easily bring wearable tech products to market while engaging customers on their mobile phones and gaining important customer insights,” said Trellie Cofounder and CEO Claude Aldridge. “The wearable technology market has evolved, and now it’s about keeping it simple – no missed calls, texts or meetings. If you want different alerts – social, fitness, safety – you can have them, this time on any piece of jewelry or on your handbag. Now there is a stylish way to focus on being present and being connected at the same time.”

The company will be presenting its own line of smart jewelry this Spring at major retailers across the country.

Aldridge tells us more:

Tell us about the product.

Trellie’s flagship offering is a B2B technology platform that powers established fashion, jewelry and lifestyle brands to easily launch their own wearable tech accessories. We’ve recently announced a partnership with one of the largest jewelry manufacturers in the world, serving designer jewelry brands and retailers including Henri Bendel, Vince Camuto, Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade, HSN, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom and Macy’s, to launch our first product on the platform.

Our Trellie smart jewelry offering will launch in May this year.  It’s comprised of a tiny, modular technology “nugget” that can be interchanged among a variety of jewelry, including rings, bracelets and necklaces. Using Bluetooth Low Energy, the “nugget” pairs with a mobile app (Android & iOS) that allows the user to automatically filter which calls, texts and calendar alerts notify the device via light, vibration or both. This means you can put your phone away, and feel confident you’re still connected to the important people and events in your life. We’re solidifying other partnerships to launch new wearable tech lines that will be built on our platform.

How is it different?

Recent efforts in the smart jewelry industry continue to produce only single-use technology embedded in a piece of jewelry. With Trellie, jewelry designers and brands can continue to focus on their clientele, designing their own lines to match the look and feel of their brand, utilizing patent-protected wearable technology.  Since the Trellie “nugget” is tiny and modular, jewelry and fashion designers can be more creative while designing watches, bracelets, rings, necklaces and handbag accessories. Brands can easily bring wearable tech products to market, while engaging customers on their mobile phones and gaining important customer insights.

ted talk pic

Claude Aldridge

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

We’re in the wearables and fashion-tech space.  We’ve just announced a design and distribution partnership with one of the largest jewelry manufacturers in the world (Glitterrings). By partnering with established brands, Trellie can really use its core technology competency to complement the brand’s customer loyalty and reach.

The opportunity in the smart jewelry tech market is significant. The January 2014 Transparency Market Research report expects sales of wearable devices — including smartwatches and fitness trackers — to reach $5.8 billion in 2018.   In September 2014, research firm MarketsandMarkets published their report predicting it would hit $11.6 billion by 2020.  The Trellie “nugget” will help the fashion and jewelry industries leap forward by empowering brands to design their own full jewelry lines – necklaces, rings, bracelets and handbag accessories – with the smallest tech available in the industry.  Trellie is bringing smart jewelry to the mainstream – not just early adopters of wearable technology – as its price point is nearly 1/2 of other smart jewelry.

What is the business model?

The business model is simple…Partner with an established fashion and jewelry brand to power new wearable technology offerings built on Trellie’s patent-protected technology. We want to make it as easy as possible for our partners to launch product and take advantage of this huge growth opportunity.

 What inspired you to start the company?

Trellie is based on the simple irony that, in this crazy mobile-centric world we live in, it is almost impossible to stay connected to the important people and events in your life.

Socially, we’re at a point where it’s just not practical or polite to have your phone in front of you at all times. And even if you could, the increasing amount of calls, texts, emails, social and calendar alerts make it really difficult to distinguish between the stuff that matters and the stuff that can wait. We’ve made it our mission to find a better way to filter out the “noise,” yet remain close to the people and events that are important.

Trellie’s modular smart jewelry technology enables you to detach from your phone, prioritize who and what is important, and look stylish doing it. Now there is a stylish way to focus on being present and being connected at the same time.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?

Trellie Smart Jewelry will launch in market this May and we will be announcing our retail distribution partners at that time, as well as other partnerships with leading fashion and jewelry brands.

Tell us about your own line of wearables that you’re launching.

We’re going to be offering a variety of different styles and looking to approach the market in a threefold fashion via multiple retail outlets, on TV’s HSN as well as online.

If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?

John Ason. John has a great reputation as an investor and has demonstrated his willingness to invest early and leverage his experience to help his companies capitalize on the opportunity in front of them.  He also understands the power of the female consumer and has backed many companies where the target market is women. This is our target demographic as well.

Why did you launch in New York?

We actually launched in both NYC and in Kansas City.  This dual focus in general really embodies Trellie as a brand as we have our tech roots in one of the biggest telecommunications hubs in history, Kansas City, and then our jewelry and brand partnerships in NYC.  Both hubs are of equal importance to the company and are a part what make Trellie unique.

What’s your favorite NYC hangout where you like to go to kick back and relax?

Lately, we’ve been doing a lot at The NoMad Hotel.

About the author: AlleyWatch

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