Everyone loves a good home party, but in today’s busy world it’s hard to get a group of people together to socialize. Ricki Jean has solved this problem in a truly unique way: online live oyster shucking parties. It’s an interactive experience that has turned out to be a real gem of an idea.
It all started as Jean was browsing options to keep her professional mind active while on maternity leave.
“I watched a pearl reveal while feeding my daughter one day and was hooked. I thought, ‘how fun is that!’ It was exactly what I wanted to do.”
It wasn’t smooth sailing at the start, however. Jean had to apply for not only a business license, but also a seafood and import license. She opened The Shuckery in 2017, and it was an instant hit.
“Business grew by word of mouth, Facebook advertising and contests like the Big 6 Oyster Draw,” she smiles. “People loved that the online experience is a different take on home parties. It’s a party with a twist!”
So, how does it work? Host a Shuckery Party by contacting Jean at The Shuckery LIVE on Facebook or ordering off her website. Then, everyone tunes into a Facebook live interactive event. Jean opens oysters and reveals the pearls inside while she live-streams the event. Each person watching can directly take part in the shell’anigans through messaging and live contests, and everyone gets to see the beautiful pearls that party guests have won. Each oyster contains 1-2 pearls and after the party, the pearls are shipped to the winning guests. Currently Jean incorporates some of the pearls into interchangeable locket pendants so the winners can wear their prizes right away, but she’s also got a specially-designed pearl drill so she can anchor the pearls in rings, earrings, and necklaces too. Her first shipment of anchored settings will be arriving soon and she’s very excited to expand her line of new pearl jewelry products.
While there are other companies doing a version of the pearl reveal, The Shuckery LIVE differentiates itself with a variety of contests and viewer trivia. The entire experience is fun, immersive, and interactive. It’s a great way to host a party for birthdays, anniversaries, girls’ night and more, even when each guest is separated geographically.
Jean’s business background has helped her build her brand, but she admits that like every entrepreneur, there is a learning curve. “I have to be patient when it comes to finding the right marketing strategy,” she notes. “There’s way more to it than just targeting an audience." She’s completely open to the ongoing learning it takes to keep the brand moving forward.
“The most rewarding thing, for me, is that it gives me a creative outlet and it’s a lot of fun!” Jean smiles. “I love creating the contests and finding new products to offer. I like building my own marketing calendar and coming up with different events and sales.”
The Shuckery is evolving and growing. The pearl drill will greatly expand the range of product offerings, and a new website and Facebook page make the already-easy booking and interactive process even smoother.
Jean uses her Shuckery success to give back to the community with events like Give Shell-ter, which is running during August. During the month 5 per cent of sales proceeds are donated to the local homeless and crisis charity of the party host’s choice. Neurofibromatosis research and the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation are also important causes that The Shuckery LIVE supports.
As her business continues to grow, Jean would like to give a very big thank you to her amazing and supportive family, most notably to her Aunt Michelle for her input and patience while testing the website, and for providing advice and mentorship. She also thanks her past and present clients, vendors, suppliers, and local business support organizations.
"The Shuckery LIVE is a fun, unique, and relaxed experience from the booking process to receiving your pearls,” concludes Jean. You can experience the fun by learning more and hosting a party at theshuckerylive.com or on Facebook.
For every 100 Facebook page likes, The Shuckery LIVE does a draw, so don’t forget to hit that Like button!