Mood the chameleon ring
2004 The Mood ring is launched on November 25th in Lausanne.
2005 The first target audience is young urban clubbing fans.
2007 The brand is selected by the Tokyo Blickfang design festival.
2010 Mood organizes the 1st yourmood kitecups for snowkiting and kitesurfing
2013 Cédric Chevalley takes a little distance and lets Stéphanie Pousaz and Arlette Bélat develop the brand.
“It’s true that we are a company from Vaud in Switzerland but Cedric, the creator of the Mood ring, has always seen it as much more than a local success,” explains Stéphanie Pousaz, the hyperenergetic redhead who has been involved in the adventure since its beginnings. We immediately communicated via a website, he went to Japan. Mood is now a community of more than 11,000 people around the world. We have a reseller in Australia. In Quebec, we are spoken to as if we were known personally. It is amazing! »
Stéphanie Pousaz and Arlette Bélat, the two partners who took over the company in 2013 are amazed by this success. The company was launched nine years earlier by Cédric Chevalley, the craftsman and creator of the interchangeable and customizable Mood ring. The results far exceed their hopes, demonstrating the accuracy of their bet to wager on “a business model against the current of what is being done on the market today”.
Cedric Chevalley could have lost his way. Because in the 1990s, design schools were much rarer, and therefore more expensive than today. Because a technical path seemed, for parents, safer than an artistic path. Because at 17, you do not necessarily know what to do with your creative energy, you prefer friends, skateboarding and snowboarding. ‘‘I wasn’t serious, I was a bad student… When you do something you don’t enjoy, you really aren’t good at it…’’ After having obtained his Federal Certificate in Precision Mechanics, as best as he could, Cedric was put in contact with a glassblowing school in the Czech Republic by his mother, a gallery owner. He created his first vase, a stylized wine decanter: ‘‘I had a revelation. I realized I could make beautiful things and it was fun. So it became a certainty, I could feel where my path was.’’
In order to give himself the means to achieve his ambitions, to finance his projects, Cédric continued in precision mechanics. He then completed his training at the Technical School of the Vallée de Joux. At the same time, he set up his small workshop. He worked on glass, made pearls and psychedelic necklaces, sometimes combining steel and sculpture, and made his first exhibitions. At night, he created. During the day, he aligned calculations in order to integrate the design offices of the great names in watchmaking. ‘‘But across the hall, through the window, every day, I could see the jewellery students… until the day where I was unable to move from my house, I couldn’t stand technique anymore.’’ He therefore convinced the dean to allow him to change his curriculum. He was then 27 years old, his friends were 10 years younger, but he left them there: “I found myself in this training, I finished it in the space of 2 years ½ instead of 4, I changed level every 6 months, because I was really motivated and talented.”
Even though the first stages were not always easy, today, Cedric Chevalley is finally where he had always dreamed to be: “There were sometimes piles of bills that I didn’t dare to look at anymore… now, my biggest concern is to meet all the demand, but they are good concerns! I have the luxury of being able to filter, to receive people when I please, at the times I want, while freeing up time to make new creations in contemporary jewellery, which is not at all lucrative. It is more for prestige, pleasure and sharing with other creators from all over the world. So I am glad I persisted, that I didn’t follow a road that wasn’t mine.”
– « Mood, it is also a philosophy»
Young creator of the famous mood ring, Cédric Chevalley is now releasing a range set with diamonds. The mood concept? Allowing a piece of jewellery to adapt to the personality and mood of its owner. A steel base composed of two interlocking parts welcomes an interchangeable central part called the addon, for which different materials are used.
How did the idea of creating a modifiable ring come about?
The principle of interchangeability has always fascinated me. It reminded me of elements of my basic training in precision mechanics, which I completed before my apprenticeship as a jeweller. After several unsuccessful attempts, I ended up with an ordinary interlocking system. Then I had to adapt it to a ring.
What materials do you use?
For the base, I use steel, extraordinarily resistant even in very thin layers. For the addon, I first of all remained faithful to glass, for its ephemeral nature and its play on transparency. Then, I turned to acetate, which has the same properties without the fragility. Today, I use a wide variety of materials such as silver, titanium, carbon, wood or even lost-wax.
Why do you now launch a set collection?
Several factors led me to do so. The desire to move up the market range was combined with the acquisition of new technical and financial possibilities. And I love diamonds.
What does this new ring look like?
The base is still made of steel, while the addon is made of palladium or white gold. Depending on requests, both parts or only the addon can be set. The mood design remains the same, but customers have the possibility to ask for a non-interchangeable model, for a wedding ring for example.
Your creations are now being sold abroad….
France represents 30% of sales. Mood is also popular in Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and the United States. This success is due to word of mouth and the Internet, especially Google, since my website appears in first place when typing the word “mood” in the search engine.
Did you take the initiative from the start to use the Internet for promotion and sales?
No. At first I was cautious, afraid of copies and scams, before realizing the advantages of this medium. Information technology makes it possible to save customers’ personal data and build customer loyalty. But above all, the web bypasses the major difficulty of distribution, which leads to an exorbitant increase in prices. Without intermediates, our prices can remain affordable.
What does this expansion represent in terms of production?
In 2006, 1000 orders were placed through the website. And until now, the turnover has doubled every year. If the online shop is the cornerstone of this growth, trust between the creator and the customer remains very important. Many interested people get informed on the Internet but are happy to visit the shop. They like to be directly at the source and share their wishes with the creator.
The Lord of the Rings
Cédric Chevalley, from Lausanne, has created a very successful unisex ring. Since the launch of the jewel in 2004, no less than 10,000 pieces have been sold.
Contrast is a word that inspires the young Lausanne jewellery designer, Cédric Chevalley, 34 years old. He became known with his Mood ring: a system of two modular metal rings enclosing a delicate acetate, precious wood or silver band.
Since 2004, the year of the launch when only fifteen rings were sold, the jeweller has increased sales to about 2000 pieces and 10,000 “addons”.
The craftsman becomes a small entrepreneur. His website in French is translated into several languages.
In the mood for Tokyo
The young jeweller from Lausanne was selected to exhibit his Mood rings at the Blickfang show, which took place in Tokyo from 31st October to 4th November.
The Mood ring in the city of Lausanne
Through internet, the sale of his jewellery goes beyond the national level; they are known from Canada to Spain. His creations were so successful that the silver-handed jeweller hired the services of three collaborators and, in August 2006, he seized the opportunity to expand by relocating his workshop.