By Hannah Connorton
Anthony Lent’s sterling silver “Flying Heart” pendant is part of his new collection, and was also offered as a gift to Kickstarter backers who pledged $125 to his campaign.New York--Fine jewelry designer Anthony Lent has successfully used Kickstarter to fund the development and initial production of a new sterling silver collection. 

Lent’s campaign on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding website, took just 33 days to reach a final pledge total of $56,580, exceeding its goal of $50,000. A total of 345 people “backed” the project, donating anywhere from $1 to $10,000.

The funds will be used by Lent to manufacture a silver jewelry collection of popular pieces that have, up until now, only been available in 18-karat gold. The money also will be used for associated promotional and general product development activities. 

“We decided to use Kickstarter for the very simple fact that it’s a great way to engage directly with the consumer,” David Lent, a co-owner of the company who also is Anthony’s son, told National Jeweler. “It’s a great way to interact with your customer and help strategize how you will go about production, public relations and other business development.” 

Some of the designer’s pieces were offered as “backer” rewards for those who funded the campaign, depending on the size of their donation. Other backer rewards included Anthony Lent chocolates and personalized Tweets on Twitter.

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The Philadelphia-based Anthony Lent brand, which has exhibited at the JA New York and Couture shows, has been established for a little more than a year. 

The company said the success of its Kickstarter campaign indicates the viability of crowdfunding platforms for jewelry designers seeking to raise capital, as well as engage directly with consumers.

“Kickstarter is in many ways an extension of social media. We earned some new fans and customers that otherwise wouldn’t have known about us,” Lent said. “Kickstarter is something people relate to--they feel personally connected when they are one of your backers. It’s much more intimate than a traditional online buying experience, and allowing that experience to fund something new and exciting for us is a bonus.”  

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