This redesign project is extra special for me because I had the opportunity to work with my friend and fellow small business owner, Jessica. She is the founder and owner of Southern Sugaring, a local salon specializing in sugaring, in-house made beauty products, and luxurious spa services. I’ve been a customer and fan of Southern Sugaring for years, so I was honored when Jessica reached out to me. This is the perfect example of small businesses supporting other small businesses!
Jessica came to me with multiple pieces of jewelry - rings and earrings - that she acquired over the years. One was her engagement ring, which had family history, but while it was unique in style, it was very chunky and uncomfortable for daily wear. She also had pink tourmaline stud earrings, pink sapphires, and a ring with a ruby (her daughter’s birthstone). And, of course, diamonds! All of the stunning stones she brought to me came together in a dreamy palette of pink and lilac purple hues that she loved and wanted to use to create one mega-perfect ring.
I sketched about six initial designs, but as it always seems to happen, we landed on the organic, flowy Kristen Baird signature style. The winning design had a double band with a large inset where all the stones would congregate. We knew the overall design had to be extremely low profile for Jessica to wear everyday with ease. She uses her hands A LOT at work with the sugaring, so the stones would have to be set in bezels and not prongs so as to not snag on anything. Jessica also is a fan of both yellow and white gold, (hello mixing metals!), so we decided that the exterior bands would be 14ct yellow gold while the inset with the stone settings would be 14ct white gold.
After we settled on the design, I generated a CAD (computer aided design) model of the ring, specifically for the interior part because I needed the stones to fit together so precisely. I was happy to harness this technology for my benefit. I then sent the CAD model out for the interior to be prototyped and cast into 14ct white gold.
With the interior in progress off-site, the next step in-studio is always the sterling silver model. I created the exterior bands and then cast them into 14ct yellow gold. I added these little white gold “bits” or granules, as I call them, as settings for more diamonds along each band. The white gold was actually sourced from her original pieces, which made me super happy because I love being able to recycle materials like that!
The white gold interior arrived just as I had finished removing alllll of the stones from the original jewelry. I then connected the interior and the exterior bands together and got to work on the intense stone setting process. I had to set all of the interior stones very tight and carefully to make sure I got it just right. The larger diamond was the first to be set and the colorful stones followed.
For the diamonds on the exterior bands, I drilled into each granule to set the smaller diamonds all around. To finish, it was time for LOTS of cleaning and polishing. I cannot emphasize how much “clean and repeat” I do on every piece until the final product emerges.
The Final Result
From the ruby to the pink tourmalines to the pink sapphires, the Pink Sugar Ring boasts a beautiful array of the pinkish palette that Jessica is drawn to and known for within her own business and brand. This two-toned ring with 14ct yellow and white gold matches everything that she wears, and the low profile settings allow her to comfortably wear it whenever and wherever! With the Kristen Baird signature design style, the ring gracefully flows with lots of movement enhanced by Jessica’s colorful stones. Check out the 360 degree view in the video below. This truly is a completely unique piece!