For Rocksbox CEO and co-founder Meaghan Rose, being her company's target customer paid off.
"I asked myself, 'If I could create the ideal shopping experience for myself, what would that be?'" Rose wrote in an email.
So the Wharton School MBA and former consultant at McKinsey & Co. and Bain & Co. took technology and new retail trends and applied them to a timeless product category: jewelry, which she described as having an "especially broken shopping experience."
"There are too many options, which makes it overwhelming and uninspiring," Rose said.
So far, Rocksbox has raised $11.5 million in funding. Key investors include Matrix Partners, KEC Ventures and SignalFire.
"Consumers' increasing focus on convenience and decreased focus on 'ownership' is inspiring companies to deliver more value and greater level of service than ever before, and advancements in technology are making it possible," said Rose.
Rocksbox operates a subscription model in which members get three pieces of jewelry in the mail for $19 per month, with the option to either purchase the products or swap them for new ones.
The company has integrated technology and social media into its customization model.
When customers comment on the company's Instagram product posts with "#wishlist," those items are then added to their future orders. Similar to other subscription models, Rocksbox sends customers surveys after they sign up to understand their style preferences. It also tailors the boxes using data from interactions with the website.
"We invested early in building out the technology to understand our customer at an individual level," she said.
Rose said the company is on track to "triple the business" this year and to ship 500,000 pieces of jewelry each month to customers. She declined to disclose the company's annual revenue or sales.
"I think one thing that has differentiated me as a founder and CEO is that I personally relate to and empathize with our customer," Rose said, adding she is "the target Rocksbox customer."