For the past few years, we have witnessed a novel concept in the world of watchmaking: configurators that allow consumers to personalize their own watches by selecting bezels, dials and other accents. Now, thanks to the Gemist website, consumers can personalize their own jewelry, as well – creating anything from small stackable rings to larger necklaces and even statement cocktail pieces.
The idea is the brainchild of fonder Madeline Fraser who is no newcomer to the entrepreneurial spirit. Her first foray into digital startups happened almost eight years ago when she began an interior design company, Zoom Interiors, online. From the home she narrowed in on furniture and created Hutch, a mobile app to visualize furniture in your house before you buy. Now, she is opting to revolutionize the idea of customized jewelry with the online Gemist platform. She has even garnered the support of De Beers Diamonds and other top investors.
The adventurous soul can visit Gemist and begin creating their own jewelry immediately, opting for a particular style and then selecting the customizable options such as which material (gold, sterling silver, even platinum) to make it out of. The next option comes with the gemstones and settings. Variety is the spice of life here, with many different gemstones to choose from that run the gamut from orange spinel to garnets, sapphires of all shades, emeralds and diamonds. For those looking to create highly affordable personalized jewelry, there is even the choice to use Swarovski crystals. Other options include having a piece of jewelry entirely stone set or partially gem set, depending on the piece.
For those looking to spend a bit more money and be totally secure in their choices, Gemist offers Stylist Consultations. The shopper can opt for a 30-minute free phone conversation to collaborate on styles ideas, budgets and more. There are even certified gemologists on staff as well as fine jewelry designers. Depending on the materials, the stones, the elaborateness of the jewelry, one can spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a customized piece to tens of thousands.
If the customer works with a consultant, when she or he is ready to move ahead with the job, they pay a $150 deposit and Gemist moves forward with the design, offering drawings and a variety of renderings so that the customer can make edits or changes if wanted (up to three times). When the design is finalized, the customer pays a 50 percent deposit. The jewelry item is then made by hand at the brand’s Los Angeles studio and pictures and a final video are sent to the customer, who pays the remainder of the fee before the piece of jewelry is shipped.
Alternatively, the customer comfortable with her own (or his own) ideas, can go ahead and create the order online without the assistance of a stylist. Still unsure what you want? If it is rings, Gemist offers a “Try on at Home” box of rings. Customers pay $45, which they get back once they return the box of rings, and Gemist ships a box of several mock-up rings (not made of precious materials or stones) for the customer to try on before ordering. If the customer doesn’t return the box in two weeks, they pay $125 for the box. But according to Fraser, less than 1 percent of customers don’t return the box. They’re too eager to order their own personalized rings after trying on the mockups. For those who don’t know their ring size, Gemist offers a physical ring sizer that hey mail to you, or they have a PDF ring sizer online for customers to download and print.
Gemist jewelry includes huggies earrings, charms, rings, necklaces, accessories, bridal and engagement rings and more. In short, the Gemist concept is fun, whimsical and enormously personal. It isn’t every day you can pick your metals, pick your stones, pick your setting and do it again and again as many times as your budget allows.