The solid-gold Queen of Scots snake tiara that I unveiled (ha!) last month on gorgeous bride Alyssa Brownell was the start of something new: The Wendy Brandes Wedding collection.
Thank you to Brecken Branstrator, who covered the new collection for National Jeweler today. She was a nominee in the editorial category at last week’s Womens’ Jewelry Association Awards for Excellence, so congratulations for that, Brecken!
This isn’t the first time I’ve done wedding jewelry, of course. I’ve always done fully custom engagement rings and wedding bands, including redesigns such as Helen’s 18K rose gold and platinum stacking-style ring.
By “fully custom,” I’m talking about work that goes far beyond what you can create on a build-a-ring diamond website. On those sites, you can customize by selecting a style from a range of conventional engagement-ring settings — all of which can be mass produced — and then choosing center and accent stones for the setting you picked.
When you work with me, the only limit is our imaginations. You can say, “I want a ring that looks like two squirrels kissing over a diamond acorn,” and I will make it for you. (I keep thinking of that design lately. Someone please ask me for that!) Or you can give me a pair of diamond earrings that you never wear, and I’ll find you a center diamond that matches perfectly and then create a ring around the trio, like I did for Heather.
You can ask for an engagement ring that looks like one of my poison rings, and I’ll make it for you like I did for Lori.
You don’t get rings like these by ticking off boxes on a website. This is highly personal work that can only be done by collaborating with a designer. And I’m going to continue doing that work! But for the first time, starting with the tiara, I’m going to offer one-of-a-kind wedding jewelry for both women and men — including rings, cufflinks, shirt studs, headpieces, and anything else you might desire — that is already made and ready to go. You won’t have to begin your ring from scratch, which takes time to produce. But even though you’re buying “off the rack,” you are still guaranteed to have a ring that no one else has or will have. The first two rings, which will be available before the end of the year, will feature fancy-colored diamonds: one black, and one pinky-brown.
I will also be offering limited-edition semi-mounts (settings), and when I say “limited,” I mean LIMITED. As I’ve explained before, the more you make of any item, the lower the costs are. For a lot of manufacturers, “quantity” means tens of thousands of units, if not hundreds of thousands, of any one style. My maximum quantity for settings is going to be five. Not 5,000. Not 500. Literally, five settings in one style. That way, you “won’t see yourself coming and going,” as my old business partner liked to say, but you have a choice that falls in between fully custom and ready-made. The run might not even make it to five. For instance, if two women getting married wanted matching engagement ring settings, I wouldn’t produce any more of that style in order to keep theirs special!
To sum it up, I’ve now got three wedding jewelry options:
- One-of-a-kind, fully custom jewelry.
- One-of-a-kind, in-stock jewelry.
- Limited-edition settings.
Don’t forget to read today’s National Jeweler story for more information. I’ll also be talking about the collection in a video in the next few weeks. Subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss that.