Virtual design is the new way to put a ring on it.
The road to “I do” begins with a ring. That’s what gets the party started. Until recently, visiting jewelry stores to browse, select, and design engagement rings and wedding bands was all part of the customary process. Shop a few jewelers, get some ideas, and partner with a jeweler to create the final product that ultimately seals the deal at the wedding ceremony.
Then COVID-19 happened, and retailers—including jewelers—closed. Fortunately, love and engagements did not. Yes, you can browse rings online, but that only gets you so far. To have a truly unique ring, working closely with a jeweler on its design is a critical step in the process. Fortunately, select jewelers in Dallas are just as creative with ring design as they are with ideas to work around COVID-19 ordinances, so their customers’ engagements can proceed as planned.
You can still safely and productively meet face to face with jewelers—on screen—with Zoom and FaceTime. This is usually the best way to kick off a virtual design consultation, says Kiley Trent, managing director with Matthew Trent, Inc. “We have been using FaceTime for the majority of our virtual design consultations,” Trent says. “We set up appointments to discuss things like design details, sketches, and 3D mock-ups we have put together to show them what the finished piece will look like. It is so important to us to still be able to deliver the same experience we offer in the store. We are doing everything we can to mimic our usual custom engagement ring consultation process.”
Before you jump on FaceTime with a jeweler, it’s a good idea to have a general idea about what you want your custom ring to look like. “Have pictures or images ready,” says Samantha Kurniadi, marketing manager with Bachendorf’s. “Also have a budget and a time frame for when you want the ring to be completed.” The initial conversation for a virtual ring design will begin via email or text, so the salesperson and/or designer has all the necessary information to begin a video call for a diamond presentation. “We will then start the CAD process to present to the client,” Kurniadi says. “This stage consists of a lot of conversations and approvals. Once the CAD is approved, it will be cast and set.” For most custom ring design projects at Bachendorf’s, the process takes two to three weeks start to finish.
Having just a few people in a jewelry store still meets COVID-19 gathering guidelines, so soon-to-be engaged couples can rest assured that everything a salesperson or designer needs is at their fingertips. And most luxury jewelers can work with any timeline the customer requests. “We have everything at our disposal, and if not, we always say things are just a day away,” Trent says. “Clients are often shocked their dream diamond can arrive to us the next morning in a tiny FedEx box. We always do anything we can to stay within timelines and help people bring to life their dream piece of jewelry. We have had people come in on a Saturday to talk about their custom engagement ring, and when we ask when they are getting engaged, they calmly say, ‘next Saturday’ with no hesitation. We also have people come in who want to take it slow—start with a diamond, work on a custom mounting for about a month, then pick up the finished product months later because they know if they take it home earlier, they won’t be able to wait.”
Now that COVID-19 restrictions have somewhat loosened, select Dallas jewelers are participating in the new retail-to-go program. “With retail-to-go in effect, we are able to meet for jewelry pick-up or drop-off,” Kurniada says. “As for shipping, we can ship (the ring) to a family member, a close friend, or a neighbor you trust. There are so many ways we can keep the ring a secret or a surprise. This is also something we can brainstorm with the client.”
In addition to online and curbside service for items already ordered or a quick shopping experience, Matthew Trent is launching an e-commerce program with curbside pick-up for local customers. In the coming weeks, both Matthew Trent and Bachendorf’s will be available by appointment for people to visit the store for shopping and in-person design consultations, one at a time, with sanitation processes in place as recommended by the CDC and City of Dallas.
Ready to ring shop? Start here:
Schedule a virtual appointment online or email email@example.com. Someone will be in contact within 24 to 48 hours to schedule the appointment through GoToMeeting. For curbside shopping and delivery options or for in-store consultations, once open, visit this page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit bachendorfs.com for hours and details about its three locations at the Plaza at Preston Center, the Dallas Galleria, and in Fort Worth.
Schedule a virtual appointment by email at email@example.com or call 214.871.9170. For curbside shopping, pick-up, or drop-off, the store is open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. To gain inspiration and ideas for your engagement or upcoming wedding, Matthew Trent is lifting spirits by showcasing a collection of stories on social media about their customers who are newly engaged or recently married, as well as customers who have celebrated life’s milestones with them—having babies and special anniversaries– by choosing custom jewelry. Check out the Matthew Trent Share the Love #sharethelove campaign on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/matthewtrentjewelry or on Instagram @matthewtrentjewelry to view current stories or to submit your own love story.