A Surprise Redesign!

February 07, 2022

A Surprise Redesign!

When is the Right Time to Redesign an Engagement Ring?

You might think all jewelry designers are competing for the same business, but that’s not the case. My friend Barb from Bobbi Kahn designs “Funky, Chunky Fabulously Hip” jewelry which is different from what I do. So when her nephew Ben asked her for a recommendation for an engagement ring redesign, Barb referred him to me! 

“I asked, my aunt do you know of anyone who designs rings? And she responded in less than 15-seconds with your name, ‘Christine!’” 

Before contacting me, Ben had done his research and liked what he saw on my website. “I love thinking about where jewelry comes from, where it is, and where it's going and that there's always a story that goes with every piece.” 

Feeling at Ease Through the Process.

In the beginning, it’s essential to address any fears, concerns, or hesitations about working with me or the process. Ben shared...

“I didn't have any hesitation with working with you. I had hesitation with doing it at all. Because I didn't know if my wife was going to like it.” 

Ben’s concern was not uncommon. When a partner or spouse wants to surprise their loved one, it’s normal to feel uncertain about what they will like or think.

When Ben bought his wife’s engagement ring 17-years ago, he knew he’d do an upgrade eventually. But as with many young couples, the timing was never right. But, when the stone fell out of her engagement ring, and she no longer wore it, the timing seemed perfect. 

“When the stone fell out, it gave me a perfect opportunity. And also that it coincided with our 15th wedding anniversary.”

The Virtual Redesign Experience

“Not being able to sit across from someone over coffee and look at designs and doing everything electronically gave me a little bit of pause because I like to see and feel things.”

I reassured Ben that he would be as involved as he wanted to be, and he admitted, as we got into the process, he was very comfortable very quickly. 

“We clicked on what we wanted to achieve and a thoughtful, introspective approach to jewelry design. It's something that's going to last for decades, maybe get handed down through the family. I wanted it to have a unique story, not something just plucked off the shelf without any history to it.” 

Ben appreciated the multiple updates and check-ins to let him know how the ring was coming along. He also loved the collaborative nature of the process, “the way you positioned it as a piece that's jointly designed between the two of us, made me feel like it was something I designed for her.”

The Collaborative Design Process

Ben enjoyed the back and forth nature of the process, where he had an opportunity at multiple stages to say ‘more this’ or ‘less that.’ 

“That back and forth banter and just giving me something to react to helped get me to where I knew what I wanted once I saw it, but I had no idea how to get there.”

My clients often don’t know precisely what they want. Some people have an excellent idea, and others don't, but being able to have that collaborative process is instrumental in achieving a positive result. 

Initially, I’ll present several different design directions to see what my clients respond to, both positively and negatively. From there, I’ll use their feedback to start designing and building the piece. 

Selecting Stones Virtually 

Sometimes the design dictates the need to source additional stones. In Ben’s case, I sourced a beautiful sparkling blue Montana Sapphire to add to his wife’s ring. Often, the stone selection is the most challenging part of a virtual redesign because it’s challenging to pick a stone you can’t see in person. 

“That was the part I was the most hesitant about. But the fact that you immediately jumped to Montana Sapphires, I thought, was great because my wife's from South America, and I feel strongly about not buying anything from a conflict zone. So I felt good for ethical and moral reasons. The color looked a little bit like the Caribbean Sea, where my wife is from...fantastic!” 

To help Ben select the right color and stone size, I shared both videos and pictures so he could gauge what would look the best on his wife’s hand. 

“Simple things like when you put all the stones on your hand and sent me the picture, allowed me to see color against skin tone and size.” 

The fact that we could manage the stone selection virtually kept the process moving along. We were able to look at many stone options, including color, cut, and clarity, in a short amount of time. Ben joked that if he’d had to slip away multiple times to look at stones, “my wife is going to think I'm having an affair!”

The Unboxing Experience

Ben said, “I was ecstatic. It was perfect. I just had to be patient and not give it to her that first day. I wanted to wait until our anniversary.” 

When Ben finally gifted the redesigned engagement ring to his wife, she was incredibly surprised, "Oh my God, it's an engagement ring!" 

Ben shared the whole redesign story, all of the thoughts and pieces that went into creating the ring for her, including incorporating the four tiny diamonds from her original engagement ring. 

“It was a nice way to surprise her. She didn't know I had done it, didn't know I was doing it. I think she was happy with the result, both the thought that went into it and the physical piece that she has on her finger.”

Did the Experience Meet Expectations?

“You did a fantastic job. I didn't know what to expect, but my expectations were exceeded!”

I love hearing this from my clients because I love what I do, and I put my heart, creative inspiration, and years of experience into every piece. 

My clients can easily buy something from a case in a jewelry store, but when they choose to work with me, that’s special. Knowing the people and the story surrounding each piece and then the collaborative process that we share is what I love most about what I do.

Is the time right for your redesign? Contact me HERE to get started.