Nikolay Piriankov knows that engagement rings are special. Their sentimental value shouldn't be defined by the size of the rock or their cost. They have a story to tell, one that's unique to each couple and their relationship.
At the same time, he knew that the diamond industry wasn't transparent when it came to ethical sourcing. He also had an ax to grind with the lack of customized designs out there.
Traditional jewelry shops didn't offer personalized experiences (you picked a ring in stock or nothing). And the establishments that did offer customized designs were too slow, too expensive, or both.
Nikolay decided it was time to change that, to put the magic back in the business—and Taylor & Hart was born.
Taylor & Hart is an award-winning jeweler specializing in custom-designed engagement rings with ethically-sourced diamonds and gemstones. Their hands-on approach puts each couple at the center of the design process, with personal design consultants offering guidance and advice every step of the way—without breaking the bank.
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Scaling a business on automation
Nikolay's business idea was as unique as the rings he wanted to sell, but he knew that, without automation, the business couldn't scale.
That's because the first bespoke ring they ever made—for Nikolay's old college buddy who planned to propose in the Amazon jungle—took too long to make.
"We made him a ring that really fit the moment, the person. It was a very organic-looking design," says Nikolay. "But it took a full year to make."
Nikolay says that there were just too many moving parts in the business and too many people who needed to be kept in the loop throughout the design process—which was hindering production.
"We just found that we were spending so much time duplicating communication and often making errors in data entry," says Nikolay.
All that back-and-forth between teams was wasting time. Then he found Zapier.
With automation, Nikolay drastically reduced the number of steps and communication needed between teams when designing rings.
He did this by setting up an automated workflow (or Zap) that would notify relevant team members in Slack whenever important updates were logged in Salesforce, their CRM. That could be a production update (like when a ring band is ready for resizing) or a customer update (like when a client has confirmed their ring size).
That way, Taylor & Hart consultants and craftspeople were getting real-time information on what they needed to do next.
"Now we can do a custom engagement ring in as little as 15 days," says Nikolay.
"Traditional jewelers would not be able to do what we're doing because they don't rely on technologies like Zapier to automate," says Nikolay. "What we're gaining is the ability to scale our company to be a global player in the jewelry industry."
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Expanding as a global player
Taylor & Hart have since leveraged automation to play out in different areas of the business, like requesting customer feedback and scheduling bookings—without having to pay a fortune.
"One thing that really surprised us about Zapier was just how feasible economically it is to have this kind of solution," Nikolay says. "For a lot of enterprise-level software, you would have to pay a fortune to automate your business and have consultants come on board."
Nikolay says that without Zapier, they'd have had to expand their staff, which has obvious cost implications. "I see Zapier as an enabler to have a much more lean team and company."
For example, when customers book a consultation through the Taylor & Hart website, they use automation to send that booking straight through to a dedicated consultant's calendar, so there's never any mix-up.
They also use Zapier to measure customer satisfaction. Once a ring has been delivered to the customer, Taylor & Hart ask them for their feedback via email. Once the customer responds, these scores get calculated in a spreadsheet and sent to the company dashboard, giving the team live visibility on their performance.
Nikolay says that this helps their team receive the right insights at the right time.
"The scalability of our business comes from two parts," says Nikolay. "The first is being able to reach more customers, and the second is being able to maintain our competitive positioning by giving customers the best experience in the shortest time frame possible. Working with Zapier, we've been able to take those processes and constantly make them better."
A disruptor for the ages
Beyond helping Taylor & Hart scale to become a global player, Zapier has also changed how the company thinks about problem-solving.
"I think one thing that everyone in the company now asks themselves, whenever there's some manual work to be done that no one wants to do, is there a way to use Zapier to fix this? And nine times out of 10, the answer will be yes."
Automation has really made Taylor & Hart change the way the jewelry industry operates, though Nikolay remains humble.
"It wasn't like we decided to become disruptors," he says. "It was just the fact that customers weren't getting the kind of engagement rings that we knew they wanted."
The magic of their business comes from the craftsmanship and quality you'd expect from fine jewelry. But Nikolay adds: "The customer experience is really highly enabled using technology."