There are two things I really enjoy talking about here on Gem Hunt - one: female entrepreneurs and two: people innovating in the world of fine jewelry. This interview with Justine the founder of Beaumade checks both those boxes.
If you are not familiar with Beaumade, it is an app you can download in the app store and use it to virtually try on engagement rings. What's cool about it, is it has all your favorite indie designers, so you can explore lots of beautiful and unique engagement rings. Some of our favorites here at Gem Hunt are in it like - Stephanie Gottlieb, Victor Barbone, and the Claire Pettibone for Trumpet & Horn designs.
Also, it is a great way to organize your thoughts as you search for the perfect engagement ring. If you are an engagement ring addict and this sounds like dangerous territory - it is - it's pretty easy to use and get carried away and next thing you know you are trying to convince your boyfriend you need seven engagement rings - one for every day of the week, right?
Tell us about your background and what led you to start Beaumade?
About a year ago, I was peeking at engagement rings on Pinterest and Instagram. There were so many gorgeous options! I had no problem falling in love with different rings, but I always wondered how each one would look on my own hand.
In addition, I personally love indie designers and artisans — artists who make these gorgeous pieces of jewelry, usually with an amazing story behind it. I was actually working for a different mobile app startup at the time, so I assumed there was a cool app out there where I could discover these designers and then “try on” their engagement rings at home before dropping some (not so subtle) hints to my future bridesmaids and boyfriend.
I couldn’t find anything like it, but I really wanted to use an app like that, so the idea that turned ultimately into Beaumade was born!
Where does the name Beaumade come from?
When you ask a woman about her engagement ring, she’ll gush about how it sparkles and how she can’t stop staring at it and how it’s exactly what she wanted. But regardless of appearance, she’ll almost always say that what she loves the most is that her ring is from her fiance and that it represents forever.
Beaumade loosely (very, very loosely) translates to ‘made beautiful’ in French, and the name refers to how a gorgeous ring is made even more beautiful by the promise that it represents. Bonus, it’s also an homage to my last name, which is a nice nod to my family.
Why are you passionate about Beaumade?
It’s an incredible feeling to bring an idea to life and share it with people. I love working with amazing designers who are all so unique and creative, and it’s even better to think about Beaumade being part of a couple finding the perfect engagement ring. All-in-all, it’s a labor of love.
What is the most fun part of working in this industry?
There’s so much to explore and discover. It’s such a personal journey and the industry is changing so quickly. The classic jewelry lines we all know are just the tip of the iceberg. Every day I learn about more amazing designers that offer something uniquely their own, and people are gravitating towards these designs more than ever, which is really interesting to see. At the end, of the day, the industry is made up of people who are searching for the perfect ring that represents a lifetime commitment. That is pretty special.
Tell us a little more about the start-up journey with Beaumade?
In the near term, we’re looking to make more and more connections between consumers and designers. That means partnering with more designers, reaching more people, and continuing to regularly add more gorgeous rings into Beaumade so there are options for everyone. Long-term, if we can continue helping more and more people discover their dream ring while connecting with an amazing artist, I’ll be thrilled.
We have made note that the jewelry space is an emerging start-up space — why do you think that is?
The jewelry space — and the engagement ring industry especially — has a really rich history, but it hasn’t gotten a lot of attention from consumer technology to date. We’ve seen more focus on the wedding industry, but with millions of people getting engaged each year, there’s a huge opportunity to streamline and modernize that entire journey.
Any last advice for people on how to best use the app?
You get the most out of Beaumade when you snap a photo of your own hand to see how each ring looks on you. You may be a rose gold lover, but when you see it against your skin tone, realize that you prefer platinum or white gold. So I highly recommend snapping a photo of your hand in natural lighting.
I also recommend peeking at every collection. There're so many amazing rings to discover, and most of our designers can customize any ring, so looking around will help you find which designer is the perfect fit for you.
Finally, when you find a ring you love, save it to your Wish List for easy viewing later. Or, even better, share your favorite rings with friends or that special someone to drop the perfect hint!
What’s the most number of rings you have tried on in one night?
There're a couple hundred rings in Beaumade, so…
Justine would love to hear any suggestions you have on designers to add to Beaumade — feel free to drop her a line at — firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow this link here to download the Beaumade App on your phone.