April 27, 2021
Lauren paused, long enough to find the right words to describe how she feels wearing her newly redesigned engagement and wedding ring set. “Fancy. I love it. I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.”
We met at her first Stella & Dot show, about 10-years ago. Lauren and I were both living in Alexandria, VA, at the time. With its small-town vibe, it’s inevitable that everybody eventually meets everybody else.
Taking That First Step
For her 16th birthday, Lauren’s mom repurposed some of her jewelry to make her a sapphire and 14k gold ring. She wore that ring all through her teens until she went off to college. After college, silver became the latest trend, “you had to have the Tiffany tag, the necklace, and the bracelet that all matched,” she recalled.
When Lauren got engaged to her husband Bill, she made it easy for him, “I'd already picked out my set, and our neighbor, who was like my second mother, went with him to pick it up. He just walked in and said, ‘I'm here for Lauren's ring set, and that was it." She laughed, “He didn't have to figure out all the things.” Lucky guy!
About nine into their marriage, Lauren cracked the diamond in her engagement ring. Not knowing what to do with it, she tucked it away with the other jewelry she never wore. But, when COVID hit last year and everything slowed down, Lauren had time to dream about redesigning the unworn ring. “Honestly, if we weren't in the middle of a pandemic, I probably wouldn't have had the time to sit and think about what I wanted to do.”
After not wearing her ring for eight years, Bill encouraged her, "I'd rather you did something about it than worry about not wearing it." At first, Lauren wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her ring, or any of her inherited, stowed away pieces, “had you not been so easy to work with, I'm not sure I would have said, oh, I also have this, and this, and can I just throw all of it together and you figure out?"
She confided she would never have taken her heirloom pieces to a jewelry chain store at a mall and admitted that she would have put it off forever if she hadn’t known and trusted me.
Handing me their sentimental jewelry can feel scary for my clients, so I do everything I can to reassure them, especially when distance requires shipping. In this case, Lauren lived close enough to Alexandria that we met in the parking lot at Target. Just one more reason to love that store!
The Custom Design Experience
When my clients have a lot of ideas and are not sure what they want to do, I encourage them to create a Pinterest board of what they like. This helps them narrow their choices, and it gives me a starting point. Lauren and I worked virtually through many conversations and ideas. “It was so smooth. We talked a lot; we exchanged a ton of ideas. But that's the beauty, like how great is that, that it happened?”
It’s also important for me to understand how my clients wear their jewelry to design a piece that works with their lifestyle. Knowing in advance that Lauren fidgets with her rings lead me to create one ring that appears like three rings instead of three separate rings.
*3D Design Rendering
After Lauren approved the design, I shared the digital 3D rendering with her before moving on to the resin model. This digital tool proved invaluable in a time when no one felt safe going out. We didn’t have to figure out when or where we could safely meet, making things easy.
The final design incorporates Lauren’s engagement ring, her wedding band, her sapphire ring, and a tennis bracelet her mom gave her when purging her old marriage jewelry.
Lauren’s original wedding ring looked like an heirloom, even though it wasn’t, so I tried to convey a similar vibe in the redesigned set, “we were able to bring who I am into the new ring, along with some of the sentiment of my original wedding ring.”
The Big Reveal
This is one of my favorite parts of my job, and it never gets old. When I deliver the finished jewelry, watch my client open that box and see their redesigned piece for the first time. There’s often goosebumps and happy tears, “that was really a fun little moment. Yeah. It was just such a cool day,” Lauren described.
See the big reveal here: https://www.facebook.com/1030475516/videos/10220903441109039/
Hesitating About Working Virtually on Your Redesign?
I can reassure you all day long, about the process, about how much time and attention goes into communicating, about every little detail. Still, honestly, you’d probably rather hear from an actual client, like Lauren…
“I've said this to anybody who asked me about it, and my friends who want to contact Christine, that it was fun. I had stressed over it for years and worried about it. It just turned out to be so much fun! I still cannot get over how it's just so perfect. It's just everything, and it's the right size!”
Are you ready to invest in that redesign you’ve been dreaming about? Contact me today, and let’s get started!
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