When Stuart and I were looking at our next steps there was one thing we were adamant about – our start up days were done. From here our direct investments were going to be in scale ups, we didn’t have the appetite or energy to take on another start up. But then Jessy Cameron reached out….
I first met Jessy back in 2011 in a very non business setting – we were both featured in the Courier Mail’s Queensland’s 50 Most Stylish feature – but we’ve stayed in touch ever since. Sascha is a big fan of Molten Store, the jewellery business Jessy has owned and operated for nearly 10 years now, and when Jessy asked me for feedback on a deck outlining a new venture she was involved in Sascha and I were both keen to take a look.
Jessy and co-founder Michael Cotton had designed a business model that would allow consumers to unlock the value in old gold jewellery and turn that into spendable currency. We’re talking the necklace you got for your 21st that you haven’t worn in decades, or the bracelet that an ex gave you that you’re never going to wear again, or the single earring who’s partner was lost on a night out years ago. Things that are too valuable to throw out, but you’ve never had a way of unlocking that value.
Jessy and Michael had established a way to weigh and test the gold content in this old jewellery to determine it’s value according to the global gold price – which is at an all time high – and deliver that back to the consumer in the form of an EFTPOS card, less a recycling fee.
Sascha and I were immediately intrigued, and at a time when buy now pay later methods are proliferating at a scary pace we could see how something like this could be a fantastic alternative to going into debt for consumers, particularly when the pandemic has negatively impacted so many household budgets.
The other appeal was the sustainability and circularity component, whereby recycling gold minimises the need for newly mined material. When excavating enough gold to make one ring generates around 20 tonnes of mining waste, putting the gold that’s tucked away in jewellery boxes or sock drawers back into circulation can have a really positive environmental impact. There’s a great video illustration of that here.
Sasch and I had a chat with Stuart, and within a couple of days we were face to face with Jessy and Michael talking about how we could all work together to bring this to life.
Fast forward a few months and a whole lot of hustling, and Giltfree launches tomorrow (Friday December 4th) in a pop up at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre. Locals can call in and drop their jewellery off in person, but customers Australia wide are welcome to post their jewellery in. The process is simple, after creating your account and logging a photo of what you’ve submitted we send the gold to our lab where it is assayed, and based on its weight and carat group we send you an offer for it. If you want to accept the offer, you receive a physical EFTPOS card or a digital gift card. If you decide not to accept the offer, we return the jewellery to you. You’ll have your card in hand (or inbox) in less than 7 days, ready to spend wherever you choose!
We’re super excited about creating a way for consumers to shop Giltfree via the worlds’ oldest currency and at the same time have a positive impact on the environment.
You can find more on all things Giltfree here: