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Alara Jewelry

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Alara

BOZEMAN AND MISSOULA, MT

AS A BIOCHEMICAL ENGINEERING student, becoming a jewelry store owner was not at the top of Babs Noelle’s career choices. But tap into her frustrated creative streak, add a chance meeting with a wholesale jeweler at a fitness club, and you have the unlikely beginnings for a successful jewelry retail business with a unique slant on marketing.  

Launching her first Alara store in Bozeman, MT, on a shoestring budget, Noelle adopted a do-it-yourself approach to store design and advertising that not only cut costs but also avoided an exercise in generic jewelry-store image-building.  

“Frankly, once you get in the zone of creative, yet financially prudent thinking, you find that your constraints are actually your greatest opportunity to be a standout,” Noelle says. 

Alara’s bright yellow logo and store color scheme are a clear break from the norm. According to Noelle, the feeling produced by the coloring is “warm and upbeat but not silly.” Alara’s packaging and promotional materials consistently stick with the same coloring and sassy “Dang, we’re good” slogan.  

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When coming up with advertising concepts, she initially mimicked ads that she appreciated herself, but soon realized that the store needed to be marketed in her own voice. “Humor is key,” Noelle says. “Our approach in the store is very humor based; that’s what I do with the ads.” Thanks to a local business selling such space, local Bozeman restrooms provided some of the primary advertising wall space for Alara.  

“Without a doubt, the bathroom ads were my early advertising success, and allowed my business to grow rapidly very early, and on a tight budget. Designed differently for each gender, they directly speak to the very different perceptions of jewelry’s value in the eyes of each.” 

In a conservative state such as Montana, the often slightly risqué style of Alara’s advertising has to be handled carefully. Noelle warns that any store injecting a similar sauciness into its ads should do so tactfully. — ANDREW MORGAN 

BRAND COMPONENTS

ADVERTISING
Advertising is tailored specifically to each gender. Men’s ads tend to be more picture based while the women’s usually contain more text and often highlight Noelle’s philanthropic efforts.  

IN-CASE TABLETS
Branded tablets provide the designer’s name and eloquently describe the pieces.  

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STATIONERY AND PACKAGING
Alara’s logo and bright color scheme are used on all stationary and packaging. The Alara bag is imprinted with the same quotes as found on the store’s front windows.  

DESIGNER CARD
Designer cards serve several purposes: as an “artist card” to be enclosed with a gift, as a mini-brochure to remind customers of what piqued their interest, or as an accompaniment to a wish-list card. 

POSTERS
Although not branded with the Alara logo, in-store posters epitomize the store’s character with their bright and cheeky style.

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