Vendor spotlight: Sensible Splendor Jewelry
In the market for an engagement ring or other jewelry check out my interview with Jill from Sensible Splendor Jewelry.
Tell me about your business: Sensible Splendor started as an estate jewelry business specializing in excellent values on pre-owned jewelry before expanding to include a wide range of new made-to-order designer pieces and now also offering 100% custom designed jewelry. Our overhead is the lowest you’ll find anywhere, but we have the same wholesale accounts that big chain jewelers have, so you get the same designs and quality for the absolute lowest price.
Tell me about yourself: I worked at the Shane Company for three years while I finished my degree in Chemistry and LOVED it! I quit when I finished my degree, but never found a job I loved as much. I had a real passion for jewelry! I stopped working to stay home and raise my kids, but family and friends would still come to me for advice on jewelry and where to get the best deals and who had the best quality. Eventually my family convinced me to turn this hobby into a business that I could operate while still being home with my kids. It’s definitely an unconventional way to buy a ring, but I take a deep interest in finding my clients exactly what they want and I save them thousands of dollars at the same time.
How do brides find you (i.e. referrals, google, etc)?: I started on Facebook yard sale sites and I still make sure I always have rings posted there, but the vast majority of my business is from referrals.
What’s your favorite part about being in wedding jewelry industry? I LOVE helping people find a ring that’s hopefully something they’re going to love and cherish as a symbol of their relationship for the rest of their lives. It’s such an exciting and fun purchase to be a part of! And I also really enjoy knowing that I’m helping couples save money at a time in their lives when every dollar saved can really make a big impact on the start of their new life together.
Why did you decide to open your business? This really is my passion. I could help design rings all day every day and never get tired or bored. I’m getting paid to do something I would happily do for free!
What’s your least favorite part about owning your own business? Umm… That’s tough. Accounting, I guess? Figuring out my quarterly state sales tax? The paperwork of running a business isn’t always super exciting, but the work itself is awesome. I love all of it.
What makes you stand out from your competitors, are all vendors in wedding jewelry industry equal? Price, quality, education. All jewelry vendors are definitely not created equal. Some jewelers only sell high quality while some jewelers sell a bunch of low quality garbage under high intensity lights so people can’t tell what they’re getting. I can tell you the quality of a piece of jewelry just by knowing what store it’s from and it sadly doesn’t necessarily reflect what you paid for it. Some jewelers charge ridiculous markups for really poor quality and it should honestly be criminal in some cases. I have quality standards that are higher than the vast majority of retailer jewelers and I still beat their prices by a mile.
What are the benefits of hiring a professional to find your ring versus doing finding one yourself? Having a trusted expert help you pick out your ring is a huge asset to you. I know what makes a diamond beautiful and what aspects actually translate into qualities you’ll care about. I know what’s important and what’s not and what to look out for. No matter how much you read about diamonds on the internet, unless you’ve had a chance to compare thousands of diamonds side by side in person so you know what to look for, you’re never going to have the same confidence that an expert has when picking out the best stone.
How far in advance should a bride or groom book/inquire about your services and why? A month is ideal. I can do anything in less than a month. Depending on the scope of the design, the level of customization, whether we’re importing stones, etc, some rings take three weeks. The vast majority of made-to-order rings take about two weeks. I do have a small inventory of in-stock finished rings that are ready to go immediately.
What is the first questions brides usually ask when inquiring about your services? Can you get me something like ________? And the answer is always YES!
What is a consultation/first meeting typically like? Who/what do you recommend they bring? I usually like them to send me pictures of what they like. They can send me pictures from anywhere and I’ll find the common elements of their style choices and help them find the perfect combination in a single ring.
What are some things that brides/grooms don’t typically expect to happen during a consult/meeting? I think they’re usually surprised at how low the final price is. I get asked a lot, “Wait, that’s the price for the ring INCLUDING the diamond?” Because my total price is usually close to the range that they’re used to seeing for just ring settings without a center diamond.
What do you wish brides would ask/knew about your industry. You should always ask a jeweler what quality diamonds they use as side stones; it tells you a lot about their quality but also their business philosophy. You should never believe that sales prices are actual discounts; some jewelers ALWAYS say their jewelry is 60% off when the reality is that they NEVER sell jewelry for the “full” price. The cheapest diamond might be cheap for a very good reason you just don’t realize, and the most expensive diamond might be the most expensive for no good reason at all.
What is your favorite package/product/service and why do you recommend it the most? I don’t think I’ve actually ever done two rings that were exactly alike, so it’s never quite the same.
Describe your dream bride/client: My dream client is someone who knows the style they like and has shopped around so they know what a great deal they’re getting. It’s always more fun when they know that they just saved a couple of thousand dollars.
What are some fun secrets about your industry. Jewelry stores use high intensity lighting to make their diamonds look extra sparkly. The ideal lighting to view a diamond is indirect natural light since that’s the best lighting to see both the diamond color and inclusions and also get a realistic idea of what your diamond will look like in the real world.
What do you wish photographers and other professionals knew about your industry? Make sure brides get their rings professionally cleaned before any photo shoot! Jewelers will clean any ring for free, even if it’s not from their store, so there is no excuse to not go to the nearest jeweler and get it cleaned before pictures. Dirty diamonds are so sad!
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