What’s up! I’m Drew Hemnes, a Senior in the Interaction Design Program at Santa Monica College. I have worked in fashion since 2016 as a Clothing Designer, Production Assistant, and Senior Accessory Designer. I am ready to extend my love for fashion, design, and strategy in order to redefine what it means for a brand to exist. I look forward to speaking with you.
Hemnes.us ecommerce experience is a project that I have been working on throughout the duration of SMC's IXD program. Using the knowledge attained from my educational background as a User Experience designer and expertise in Fashion and Luxury, I developed a seamless shopping experience within Shopify's boundaries. After extensive user research between friends, family, and colleagues and running a competitive analysis between similar online luxury stores, I began to create what I believe to be the perfect way to shop for jewelry on the web. The website includes a shop-able catalogue, customer testimonials, about page, brand statement, newsletter, contact page, editorial images, unisex sizing recommendations & printable measuring tools, email & sms marketing, and a simplistic checkout experience. Product photography was done via iPhone 11 Pro, Moment's spectacular iPhone lens, and Foldio's photography accessories which were retouched using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom. On-body images were done in a seamless studio rental and were retouched by a client overseas. In my opinion, the brands shopping experience is what makes it stand out amongst the rest.
Some problems that I was able to tackle for this project were developing a luxury shopping experience with a minimal budget, providing customers with an easy way to determine jewelry sizing, developing an effective brand statement, identifying my intended market, and creating a seamless shopping experience.
The jewelry market has been something that I have been studying closely for years. Throughout this research I have identified key insights on what makes a jewelry brand's online store stand out amongst the rest. Most brands within this market tend to lack a sense of brand while others focus on much more than the product itself. Similar companies fail to provide customers with that "wow factor" which can be told through powerful imagery, an easy to use shopping experience, clear product shots both on and off body, and providing customers with incentives to return.
Creating a shopping experience with a luxury feel on a minimal budget was only possible because of my experience in the fashion industry, willingness to ask for favors, and having a natural eye for luxury. Creating a competitive analysis between jewelry brands in this market made this process clear and concise. This experience was attained by mimicking eccomerce design characteristics of brands like Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and many more. Developing tools where customers could easily determine their ideal jewelry sizing was accomplished by creating a unisex necklace size reference illustration, a printable ring sizing tool, and an average bracelet size chart for both men and women. The brand statement has been an ongoing process of fine tuning and iterations. Defining this aspect of the brand was done by determining what makes Hemnes stand out amongst the rest, constructing an "our promise" sentence, and highlighting the brands use of sustainable packing and ethical manufacturing practices. Creating a seamless shopping experience was done by eliminating any possible nuisances that come along with online shopping. This characteristic of hemnes.us was only made possible through user research, data metrics, competitive analysis, visual appeal, and UX/UI.
For our Interaction Design Portfolio class, we were asked to create a personal portfolio website that highlights design projects, while focusing on helping us create a strong and consistent identity. For this project I decided to switch my design portfolio from Square Space to Cargo Collective because of Cargo's seamless format and endless customization capabilities. This class allowed me identify my brand, how to tell my story through an interactive experience, design for hiring professionals, polish my resume, highlight my skills, and focus in on what work best describes who I am as a designer. For this project I had the pleasure of mentoring by Hulu's Production Design Manager, Megan de Castro. Her industry expertise as a Senior Art Director and Associate Creative Director at Deloitte Digital and BA in Graphic Design at The Art Institute of Seattle provided her with the perfect scope on how I, as a Brand Strategist, would succeed in this class. Megan saw my unique background in Fashion, Visual Design, and Branding as my most compelling attributes in my design history. Just a few months after discovering my design practice and polishing my design portfolio website, I was hired as Creative Director of a start-up clothing brand Troubled Humans. I must say, this was because of success in this class.
Problems tackled for this project included; design aesthetics, discovering my personal brand, user experience design, design for hiring professionals, storytelling, resume improvement, and web design.
Some insights that I collected throughout this project was that I am a Brand Strategist at heart. Second, I learned that hiring professionals are likely to scan your work in a very short period of time - which makes it very important to design my website for just that. Third, my mentor Megan de Castro, Hulu's Production Design Manager helped me identify what other industry professionals to compete with within the Luxury and Fashion space. Lastly, this class helped me design my online presence to e ready for hiring.
Switching over my Design Portfolio from Square Space to Cargo Collective helped me create a visually compelling website experience while maintaining the luxury feel that I wanted to create. Discovering my personal brand expertise was solved with the help from my mentor and identifying my passion for branding in the luxury space. Competing with other industry professionals offering Brand Strategy was done by creating a compelling personal design portfolio site, polishing my resume for hiring experts, and creating a persuasive LinkedIn profile. Defining my unique design practice was accomplished by telling my story in a single paragraph and highlighting my expertise within my case studies. Polishing my resume was done by understanding how resumes are scanned by employers at scale. Creating a successful design portfolio was done by focusing on user experience, storytelling, and visual aesthetics.
Catering to unique and creative individuals, HEMNES provides handmade jewelry to those who seek beauty in the mundane. HEMNES was founded in Los Angeles by designer and natural creative, Andrew Hemnes, who translates his fascination with the beauty of raw materials into handcrafted designs, creating a new breed of statement jewelry for the everyday. Inspired by the contrast between natural materials and modern design, HEMNES fuses the traditional with the contemporary. Now located in the heart of Los Angeles, HEMNES seeks to provide curated, luxury jewelry that is designed and produced with transparency. At Hemnes, we make a conscious choice to stand up for what we believe in. That means that each HEMNES piece is the curated result of sourcing materials that don’t contribute to the devastation of our planet by having waste byproducts. After the materials are sourced, each piece is hand-made to order in Los Angeles. We believe that in hand-making each piece to order, we are created a personalized experience between the consumer and our brand. That’s what makes us stand apart. HEMNES is all about functionality and variety. HEMNES jewelry is designed and sized for both men and women. We produce each item out of Stainless Steel, which means that it is extremely durable and you don’t have to worry about it tarnishing. Wear it in the shower. Wear it during your workout. Wear it everyday. Wear it for life. HEMNES was not born from the sole intention of wanting to start a business, but instead was mindfully constructed to design beautifully-made jewelry for those who seek to stand out.
Hemnes is a new jewelry and accessory line that I created in order to provide a solution to the egocentric stereotype that comes along with purchasing product within this industry. There are a lot of jewelry brands out there, brands that put out short-lived, expensive, niche products that add unnecessary waste byproducts to the environment that we all love and cherish.
It is very important to be sustainably conscious of what you are putting out into the world. Most affordable jewelry brands use cheap metals which are toxic to the skin and leave buyers with green necks, wrists, fingers , etc..
Hemnes jewelry is constructed entirely out of stainless steel, a metal that does not rust, tarnish, or turn your skin green. Each piece is handmade and designed to last for decades. Hemnes provide fashion forward accessory designs at an affordable cost. Our materials are ethically manufactured in the USA, sustainably distributed, shipped in our custom biodegradable bags and recycled mailers, and hand assembled and quality controlled in Los Angeles.