Have you ever found yourself in the midst of everywhere yet nowhere while looking to buy the ideal engagement ring for your partner?
We’re pretty sure that most of us would give a solemn yes to this one.
Purchasing jewelry is no cake walk. Especially when you’re flooded with no less than a thousand options
(and yes, they all look the same to us too. )
To make the job of looking, and finding the right fit a lot less nightmare-ish, we got down to chat with
Evian Gutman – Founder of Ringcommend.
Evian took us through the workings of how he ended up at the helm of a ring business, and how his brand is helping several other hopeless romantics like him find some ray of hope. And the perfect ring, of course.
In Evian’s words –
My background has little to do with the company that I now operate. When I finished school, I decided to enroll in Law School, where I studied a combined International Relations / Law degree. Upon completing this I had a mini quarter-life crisis, because if law school had taught me one thing… it was that I didn’t actually have any interest in becoming a lawyer! Fortunately, the degree was looked upon favorably by a leading consulting firm in Sydney Australia, where I ended up getting a job as a Management Consultant. I did this for a number of years, and because of my strong familiarity with tech, ended up growing into a Head of Digital Marketing role. This ended up taking me to New York for a number of years.
Having made a small fortune for myself and friends renting out apartments on Airbnb in New York, I formalized that offering by providing consulting services for short-term rental hosts. Over time, this developed into the company, Padlifter, which is now the world’s largest marketplace of short-term rental service providers. Before deciding to move back home to Australia, I took a short break and spent a good chunk of time travelling around India. When I came back to Australia, I met my beautiful wife, went through the process of proposing, and decided to start Ringcommend to help hopeless romantics just like myself find their very own perfect engagement ring.
“When I proposed to my (now) wife in 2018, I thought the task of finding an engagement ring would be relatively simple and straightforward. I was terribly wrong.”
I spent two months looking into my different options. I spoke to fourteen different jewelers. I looked at over fifty different rings. I ended up purchasing a ring that was way out of my budget. I learned that I could have got the same ring for $2,500 cheaper only a few weeks later.
I was shocked to learn that the average customer will look at 26 rings over 3.5 months before making their purchase, and that if paying retail, will likely overspend by no less than 35% too.
I became fixated with making sure that other hopeless romantics just like me were saved from the headaches and hassles that I went through. I became determined to provide guys in my shoes with a high-end engagement ring at rock-bottom prices. I knew that there had to be a better way, so I created Ringcommend.
On challenges, and why walls can be doors too –
Starting a jewelry business was a difficult endeavor. There are few discretionary purchases in life that are as expensive as an engagement ring. It also holds an immense amount of sentimental value. Unlike buying something like a pair of sneakers or even a new phone, this isn’t a purchase you want to get wrong. Because of this, there is a big trust factor involved in winning new customers. Many jewelers have spent decades building a track record of pleasing customers they can rely on for referrals. At the beginning, we needed our initial customers to take a small leap of faith with a new untested company. Fortunately, we are yet to see a couple do anything but beam a smile from cheek to cheek upon receipt of their ring. We are thankful that we too are now able to rely to word of mouth recommendations and a proven track record of exceeding customer expectations.
Support and experience – The ingredients for ‘making it’ :
I was fortunate to have had experience in starting a number of successful businesses before. I had access to some really great business mentors that were able to dispense some incredibly valuable advice. I also have an incredible family and friendship circle, all of whom provided substantial support in the form of encouragement as well as word-of-mouth recommendations. All of this was essential for maintaining morale as well as kick-starting the business to get it off the ground.
Why Ringcommend is different –
Ringcommend takes a tired and old idea and brings it into the 21st Century. When it comes to buying an engagement ring, most guys have only a few requirements for what they’re looking for: they want something that will make their girlfriend happy, they want something that’s good value and within their budgets, and they want the buying process to be simple and painless. That’s basically the opposite of how things work right now. I wanted to change all that.
At Ringcommend, we created a platform that takes the cost and complication out of the buying process. We basically ask our customers four simple questions: What is your budget? What is your preferred setting? What is your preferred diamond shape? And what is your preferred ring metal? With these four answers, we’re able to recommend an engagement ring that’s 100% right for them.
We’re able to do all of this by eliminating standard retail overheads, and by utilizing our network of wholesalers, to pass on these savings directly to our customers. The customer not only gets exactly what they want, but at the best possible price. And all of this happens in less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee!
On partnership –
I am incredibly fortunate to partner with one of Australia’s most established veterans of the jewelry industry— Waldo Perez. Waldo literally has jewelry pumping through his veins! Over the last decade alone, Waldo has delivered more than 500 engagement rings to happy customers. From the youngest age, Waldo learned the craft from his own father, who was also an experienced jeweler in his own right. One of my favorite things is watching Waldo deal with our customers. His ability to explain the intricacies of diamonds and the craftsmanship process is something to marvel in. Waldo has a passion for jewelry that I am yet to see in anyone else, and always ends up helping customers get everything could possibly want from their ring and a whole lot more.
There is no substitute for having a reliable, talented and motivated partner to build a business. For this, I am super thankful to have Waldo’s support.
What to expect when you find yourself at Ringcommend –
At Ringcommend, we pride ourselves on five core values that we live and breathe in all of our dealings with customers.
The first is value. By operating online, we eliminate many of the costs and overheads associated with running a business and pass all of these savings on to our customers. When you purchase your engagement ring with Ringcommend, you’re getting top-end jewelry without the top-end price tag.
The second is simplicity. Who can be bothered running from jeweler-to-jeweler, repeating budgets and requirements and haggling over price?
What if there was a one-stop-shop that gave you exactly what you were looking for at the price you want it for too? Good news… there is!
The third is expertise. Buying an engagement ring isn’t like a buying a pair of sneakers… there’s a lot to get right (and a lot that can go wrong!) We’ve been in the jewelry game for multiple generations and have master jewelers that have practiced their craft for over half a century.
The fourth is trustworthiness. You want to know that you’re in capable hands. You also want to know that the jeweler that provides you with your ring is trustworthy, reliable and honest too.
The team that run the show at Ringcommend originally came from the other side of the fence. We understand the importance of customer trust firsthand.
”We’d love to say that we’re a big multi-million dollar operation with a global footprint… but we’re not! We’re just a small team of dedicated and honest jewelers keen on satisfying local customers.”
What does the future hold for Ringcommend?
We want Ringcommend to become the one-stop-shop for guys looking to find their perfect engagement ring. I was shocked to learn that the average customer will look at 26 rings over 3.5 months before making their purchase, and that if paying retail, will likely overspend by no less than 35% too. There’s also the challenge of needing to understand the million-plus combinations of diamond attributes that determine an engagement ring’s price, which few first-time customers are equipped to get their head around. To achieve this objective, we understand the importance of brand-building.
We’ve therefore taken the time to answer the following questions –
• What is our reason for being?
• What makes us unique?
• What are our most important values?
• How do we want to be regarded by our customers?
• What are the things our customers expect from us?
• What place do we want to have in the market?
By having answers to these questions, we feel confident that our brand will succeed, and we will continue to grow.