When we first began in business, we carried just about every important bridal Designer ring line in our store. It was costly to inventory all of these pricey lines, but we felt as the engagement ring specialists, “The Engagement Ring Store”; it was important that we feature all of these heavily advertised lines.
Over the years, however, we found that several of these Designer lines weren’t a good fit for our brand. Some lines had quality issues; with others their rings just didn’t sell that well. And then when the recession hit in 2007, several of these companies broke their exclusivity agreements, wanting to sell the national chains to increase their suddenly declining sales volumes. Since one of our core beliefs at EE Robbins is to offer unique styles to our customers that can’t be found all over the town, we elected to drop many of these Designer lines. We have always felt that uniqueness is important to our clients when selecting this very special ring that will symbolize their lifetime commitment to one another.
So for many of the above reasons, we decided it was time that we started designing and manufacturing our own rings. Fortunately we already had a great head-start here. For many years, earlier on in my career, I had designed rings for a major jewelry Co-op, made up of hundreds of stores around the country, I knew that I already had a talent for design. In addition, our Ring Buyer, Susan Greenwood, had years of experience as a fashion consultant and New York fashion model. We had also established a great friendship and a close business relationship with noted Northwest artist, Erik Hall, who over the years designed hundreds of incredible engagement and wedding rings for our clients. We were equally fortunate to find a very talented Production Manager, Julian Lin, not only an expert in jewelry manufacturing, but also extremely skilled in CAD CAM – the state of the art methodology for ring design. We also already had an accomplished Master Goldsmith and wax carver in Sanh Duong. We were further fortunate to add to our Design team a gifted English Designer, Benjamin Marchant. With this talented group of Designers and others as well, we began to build an impressive collection of magnificent engagement and wedding rings. Not only were these styles beautiful, but we found that we could save up to 30% and more by manufacturing ourselves rather than paying for Designer rings. We not only could offer lower prices on our rings, but we could better control the quality, offer faster delivery and better control our own destiny. Within a few years time, almost fifty percent of our rings were designed and manufactured by us.
However, we still intend to represent a handful of coveted Designer lines in our stores. Lines like Simon G. who offers beautifully made rings that are very well priced; styles by Mark Schneider, who has won more awards for jewelry design than any other Designer on the planet. We also are proud to feature rings by Ritani, a company that has mastered the art of micro-pave’ – a very difficult diamond setting methodology as well as several other lines that we feel that offer our customers diversity of style and are consistent with our uncompromising quality standards.
In closing and without hesitation, I can proudly state that this metamorphous in our merchandising make-up , transitioning from Purveyors of Designer rings to Designers and Direct Manufacturers of our own rings, has been the most exciting and important change since our company was first founded. Our business has improved since we made this transition and our clients have found our rings to be equal to any Designer ring styles that we’ve ever carried. With our expert design team, we are also able to custom design a unique ring for our clients that can’t be found anywhere else in the world and often for less than a pricey Designer mass manufactured ring. This custom process is both interactive and fun. We start with a detailed artist’s sketch, produced by either Erik Hall or Benjamin. Then once this sketch is approved, we build a three dimensional CAD Cam rendering. Then again when our client approves this, we produce an actual wax of the ring. Again, changes can easily be made anywhere along the line. Once the wax is approved, we then produce a casting. From here, when approved, we polish and set the diamonds and voila – one’s own masterpiece – a one-of-a-kind ring that is sure to be cherished forever. Either way, with an EE Robbins in-house ring creation or a custom ring, our clients can’t possibly lose. As most people already know, we at EE Robbins will not compromise on quality. We are totally dedicated to our customers’ happiness and a ring that is truly the ring of our clients dreams, each made to last and be treasured for a lifetime and more.