(all photos copyrighted by Devoted to You Inc.)
I am a jewelry girl and I love accessories day in and day out, whether it is costume or fine jewelry. When it comes to engagement ring and wedding bands, custom designs are a definite YES for me. Although there are lots of choices available at the big names like Birks, Tiffany and Cartier, custom designs are something to consider when it comes to putting a personal touch to make a piece of jewelry more meaningful. Going custom allows you to tailor every detail in your ring to make it look like no others, and can also have a keepsake purpose to pass it down to future generations.
We met Leif Benner, a jewelry designer/goldsmith who has been in the business for 15 years and this year is his 10th anniversary for his store at The Distillery. If you think the whole design and manufacturing process would take long, then you may be wrong. Leif says it can take as short as four weeks from design to manufacture. The whole design process starts with the gem.
Once the budget for the ring is set, Leif will begin sourcing for the gem and start sketching the design based on the gem selected. If the groom wants to surprise the fiancee-to-be, the best advice is to ask her girlfriends and sisters for help in researching and investigating the designs that she would like. Once the sketches are done and approved, a digital rendering of the ring will be created and will be proportional to the gem selected. This allows the groom to see the ring at different angles and planes of field. A prototype will then be made in wax, in actual scale to the finished ring for the client to visualize the ring before it is manufactured.
I cannot understate how important this step is; and is not available in many of the bigger box stores. Most people are not designers by trade, so it’s hard to bridge the gap between conceptualization and the physical product. So no matter what you may think looks nice in paper doesn’t necessarily look nice in real life. This step offers the client an option of understanding what he will get before it goes into production. As an example, when Elton made a custom engagement ring for me at Birks, he said he told the clerk what he wanted based on the combination of aspects of different types of samples and pretty much dove in blind; crossing his fingers that it would turn out good post-production. Luckily it turned out wonderfully appealing, however I can picture how it could have gone horribly wrong and thousands of dollars could have been wasted not knowing what the final product looks like before it’s made.
When we asked Leif for his opinion on matching wedding bands. His comments were that he would not suggest this, because usually when one side has a stronger idea on the design, the other compromises. It’s better for him to design a wedding band if the couple comes in and picks something that they both love, because a relationship involves both parties. Sometimes it is hard to find a common ground between the guy’s band and the girl’s band when the girl’s one has a lot o intricate details and a guy just want something simple.
Currently, Blo has 20 locations to serve you across North America with more opening soon. Book an appointment and get BLOWN away!
The Gift Network
It is quite a headache setting up multiple gift registries at big department stores and scanning items that you don’t really like. On top of it, you need to spend time maintaining them. On a regular day, how often do you shop at these department stores who offer a bit of everything but not specialize in anything? Here is a solution for you. The Gift Network is a network of over 100 gift registries under one roof. They partner with 100+ independent stores across GTA to offer you specialized products that cater to your tastes. The varieties of choices are endless, from mattress stores to designer furniture stores to art galleries and gyms and spas. To make things easier for you, there is even a feature where you can post the links of your other registries that’s not part of the network. It is an extremely flexible gift registry that if certain more expensive items are only partially contributed/funded by your family and friends, you can pool all the partial contributions from the different stores to put into a gift card to purchase another item in any of the partner stores.
Looking to go vintage, yet love the environment? Forget the typical stretch limo! The Electric Bus Company will lay out the red carpet and guarantees to provide its clients with a one of a kind experience. The founder and sole owner is a licensed auto mechanic who brought together a combination of luxurious ideas, changed them up and created a vehicle that has definitely made its mark in the auto and limo service industry.
Some features to highlight include:
– Service for Greater Toronto Area
– Gas and emission free
– Seating for six passengers
– Panoramic windows
– Transportation and driver
– Whisper quiet ride
– Beverage cooler
– Chemical free air conditioning
– One charge can take you from Toronto to Niagara Falls
What a way to represent LOVE and PEACE than to ride in one of these things! Looks like it’s brought out the hippie in me!