March 08, 2022
Finding a match online is not just for dating! There was a time, not all that long ago, that commissioning a custom, luxury piece of jewelry had to be done in person, face-to-face. For starters, there’s the whole trust factor. Are you going to feel comfy, shipping your precious, inherited diamonds to a virtual stranger? And yet, here we are, in 2020, and a growing number of clients, like Elizabeth, are not letting location limit their choices for finding love, or selecting the perfect custom jewelry designer!
Our world is smaller than you think…
Social media platforms have made the world a smaller place, one where location has less relevance on who you choose to work with. Elizabeth and I went to high school together but had long ago lost touch. 25-years later we found each other on Facebook and reconnected. Despite living several hundred miles apart, she had no hesitation about working together long-distance. She’d seen my work on social media, knew the versatility of my designs and knew I was right for the job, “I had seen some of the things you’d done before and I was always impressed with the versatility of your work. You’d done a lot of different styles, which was good, especially because I didn't necessarily know what I wanted.”
Elizabeth was forthcoming about the initial experience, “I generally tend to be pretty traditional with jewelry. But other than that, the sky was the limit in many ways, because I didn't have a vision in my brain.” So, we started with a clean slate, designing her engagement and wedding ring set. She was excited to re-use the diamonds she’d inherited from both of her grandmothers, Mary Elizabeth and Lucy Elizabeth, with who she shares her name. “I think it’s neat to have that piece of both of them” she shared.
Fortunately for Elizabeth, there were very few girls in her family, so she inherited most of the bling… lucky lady! With no preconceived idea regarding the final design, Elizabeth simply enjoyed the process. She happily took the lead in reviewing all the different options and making the final decision. “I had to let Chip have his opinion, but mostly I felt like I got to be the ‘decider’, which was great.” And when she saw the one, she knew, "that's the one that speaks to me."
Trust is everything in a relationship…
It’s crucial to make sure my clients feel safe about me handling their heirlooms and gemstones especially on collaborations like this when we’re working together 100% virtually. Elizabeth understood she’d have to ship her diamonds to me, but I made sure she felt comfortable, and had no reservations, “I didn't worry about that at all. It was very easy” she confirmed.
One of the best parts of designing engagement rings and wedding bands is learning how my couples met, and a little of their backstory. Over the years, it seems like my most connected couples met online, like Elizabeth and Chip. Elizabeth shared with me, “we always say that Raleigh's a big little town because city-wise it's large, but everybody knows everybody”. As it turns out, she and Chip knew a lot of the same people, but not each other, long before they met online. Their first date, lasting 7-hours, was a pretty good sign of their compatibility, and eventual engagement.
Having already participated in the design process, Elizabeth knew the proposal was coming and was anxious to see the finished ring. But Chip still wanted an element of surprise, and a traditional proposal, so he had the finished ring delivered to his office. Despite Elizabeth’s pleas to see the ring right away, he said “nope”, and proceeded with his plan.
Chip was initially going to propose right before Christmas, while both of their families were in town, but ultimately had a change of heart. Instead, he opted for a more intimate experience, with just the two of them. Right after Christmas, Chip took Elizabeth back to the restaurant where they’d had that first epic, 7-hour date! Elizabeth was thrilled to finally see the ring. She explained that even though she’d been part of the design process, seeing the ring only on her computer screen, “it was a totally different thing to get it in person and see it all put together!”
More than just a ring…
One of the best parts about designing a custom piece, not just for my clients, but for me as well, is that it’s about more than just the ring. The process is a very personal, intimate, and collaborative journey, and the end result is a unique piece, unlike anything else. Elizabeth agreed! She loved being involved in the entire process, and encouraged anyone who's on the fence about hiring me to design an engagement ring to “Go for it! Use Christine’s wonderful creative brain. She’s got great ideas and can obviously give a variety of options. There are little tiny details that you would never get if you didn't do a custom piece.”
Have more questions about the custom design process, or are you ready to get engaged? I’d love to chat about your ideas and bring your vision to life. Take a few minutes to fill out my custom inquiry form here and set up a time for your free consultation.
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