Jonathan Foltz: How Perseverance & Pivots let to $31 Million in Sales – And a $5 Million Public Acquisition

Jonathan found himself in the jewelry industry by accident. He sold one of his companies in 2016 and was about to invest the bulk of that money into his marketing agency, Digital Age Business. One night Jonathan was randomly browsing online and came across a video discussing Shopify, print-on-demand, and e-commerce trends. His mind opened up to this new business model, and he immediately went to work on a parody website centered around the election. It was slow to take off, and he tried a variety of products, pricing, and offers, but nothing stuck. Just as he was about to walk away from the project, he tried one more offer, and then suddenly, things began to take off.

At the same time that Jonathan was polishing his marketing skills with his political parody website, he already had the wheels in motion to launch Aphrodite’s. When he was curating the first collection to be made available for purchase, he discovered a heart-shaped tree of life design that caught his eye. It did okay but not as well as he felt it should be doing. It wasn’t until he tweaked the offer, the pricing, and he doubled down on the exposure through eye-catching ads that things began to change. The heart-shaped tree of life design went viral, and that is when Aphrodite’s began to scale and get to where they are today.

Aphrodite’s features an array of necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, and anklets, along with select watches and sunglasses. The affordable luxury items are available in trendy sterling silver, gold-tone silver-tone, and natural semi-precious gemstone pieces. Retail prices range from $29.95 to $99.95, and there is complimentary worldwide shipping.

The brand was finally finding its stride when the pandemic hit. As the world was shutting down, so were the borders in the United States. This meant that Aphrodite’s could not get items out to nearly 40% of their customers who were international. Couple this, with over $1 million in inventory they had carried over from the last quarter of the previous year, and things begin to get tight. As big retailers and small shops started folding, it was hard for Jonathan to keep forging ahead and not let outside factors affect his inner focus.

When it felt like there were no more options to explore, there was a light at the end of the tunnel due to quick and smart thinking. Jonathan and his team quickly pivoted what they were selling into gifting and sentimental experiences, switching the business model that had brought them success thus far. Stimulus checks started hitting bank accounts, driving dollars into the economy. And more consumers were shopping online than ever before. According to Digital Commerce 360, Consumers spent $861.12 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2020, up an astounding 44% year over year. That’s the highest annual U.S. e-commerce growth in at least two decades.

As Mother’s Day began to near, these elements blended to create the perfect storm for the brand. In the first week of May, they were able to generate over $2 million in a single week, with one of the days having a company record-breaking 8,700 orders resulting in nearly $400,000 in sales. The leftover inventory from the previous year ended up being a huge blessing since borders were still closed, and the company could not get inventory into their warehouse. The massive sales from Mother’s Day led to over 75% of that merchandise to be sold.

When so many were losing their jobs, the exponential growth allowed Jonathan to hire many new team members to help meet the demand and new workload for all the orders. Another critical element for the increase in business was a much-needed influx in cash and a strategic partner to help the company capitalize on the moment of significant growth. After countless meetings and several months of due diligence, Aphrodite’s was acquired by Bergio International (OTC PINK: BRGO),a world-renowned fine jewelry brand with the highest standards of traditional craftsmanship launched in 2007. The company was founded by Berge Abajian, a 3rd generation jeweler with expansive knowledge around manufacturing and the jewelry industry as a whole. It created the perfect marriage of forward-thinking e-commerce technology and traditional tried-and-true experience.

From Aphrodite’s we can expect them to enhance the customer experience and keep producing higher quality products. They are taking a holistic approach to upgrading everything from the start to end of the consumer journey, including viral ads, high-converting landing pages, premium customer service, and redesigned packaging to continually enhance the emotional experience they provide.

Jonathan Foltz shared, “In the future, we look forward to collaboration and cross-promotions with our parent company, Bergio International. They bring an incredible amount of industry knowledge, particularly on the manufacturing side, which will allow us to elevate our designs while maintaining an accessible price point.”

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