By Annabelle Macgugan.
Rippling with romance and joy, Larsen Jewellery invites clients to immerse themselves in the creation of their dream adornment. Engrossed in the intricate jewellery house is jeweller Kate Reid, who has kindly lent her time and expertise to help illuminate the wonderful world of Larsen Jewellery.
I am fascinated by the ambiance of Larsen; the luxurious experience, and (hopefully always) joyous motivation that draws people to visit. How would you describe the atmosphere on a typical day, with everything from newly engaged couples designing rings to individuals seeking gifts for loved ones?
Everyday our clients comment on what a lovely atmosphere there is in our studios, it is busy but calm and welcoming at the same time. At Larsen Jewellery we have the pleasure of sharing the happiest moments in our client’s lives. We not only see them when they get engaged or married but often to design a special piece of jewellery to celebrate the birth of a baby or to mark a significant wedding anniversary. It is this shared joy coupled with our amazing team of passionate jewellers that makes the Larsen Jewellery studio feel warm and inviting. Our approach is always to enable our clients to choose the right design, diamond and price for them rather than the pushier sales tactics they may have experienced elsewhere.
As every situation is different, and the desires of your customers are unique, each consultation must bring new and exciting challenges. What could my would-be hubby Liam Hemsworth and I expect from the exclusive Wedding Ring Experience Larsen offers?
Well you and your dreamy fiancé would be among many couples who have had this unique insight in to a process that usually takes place behind closed doors. Firstly, we would invite you in for a design appointment, there are an endless number of styles and design options for you to choose from for your wedding rings. In our studio, you would meet with a designer, try on samples and select two designs that suit you both perfectly. At your next appointment, you would be taken through to our custom-built workshop where an experienced jeweller will teach you how to make each other’s wedding rings. Your jeweller will stay with you for the entire appointment giving help and advice so that your wedding rings will be perfect. Half way through, we provide a light lunch and drinks then once you are finished, we pop a bottle of bubbles for you to celebrate. If you have chosen simple designs, you will actually finish them within the 5-hour appointment but if you have chosen design features that require a little more expertise, these will be done for you in the following weeks. We take photos of you and your partner throughout the day so you can look back on how you managed to turn a non-descript piece of metal into the ring your loved one will wear for eternity. Some couples have even chosen to show these photos in a brief slideshow at their weddings.
Larsen creates elegant and timeless pieces, distinct to the individual. That said, have you noticed any specific trends in ring and jewellery requests this year?
The halo designs are still the most popular however we are seeing many variations including adding vintage elements and using less common diamond shapes. There has also been an increase in couples choosing rose gold as either the main metal or to add some contrasting detail underneath the setting.
To venture to the technical, can you unravel for me the mysterious design process of an engagement ring? How is the piece created? What is the biggest challenge you face?
The design process itself happens in many different ways, sometimes we are presented with an image found online, sometimes a well-worded concept and sometimes a very vague description. We use samples, images and sketches to narrow down the options and often a 3d design is drawn using CAD so the final concept can be approved.
Every engagement ring we make is custom made to order and we use many different techniques depending on the ring design. Components may be hand forged, 3d printed, carved or lathed depending on what is going to give the best results. We have very high quality standards and always ensure that each piece is made to last, which is evident in the fact that we offer a lifetime guarantee on our workmanship and the materials. Our experienced jewellers are incredible at what they do and take great pride in each piece they create.
In regards to our biggest challenge, I would say it is striking the balance between delicate and durable. Many people often request to have a very fine band on their engagement ring, there are thousands of “barely there” rings on Instagram and Pinterest that look so delicate and appealing in photos. In reality however, they don’t stand up to everyday wear so we build extra strength in to the rings. Doing this without compromising on the design is a real challenge but we like to think we find the happy medium in all cases.
If you could offer your clients one piece of advice for when they walk into a consultation, what would it be?
I’m not sure I have any, every couple is different and it is very rare that we would send someone away to do their homework. We don’t need people to know exactly what they want or how much they want to spend before they walk in the door either. We have lots of designs for people to try on and many different diamonds and gemstones to show them. I guess my main piece of advice is this: If you have a specific diamond or gemstone in mind, we would love to know beforehand so we can source a range of options to show you at your appointment. Other than that, just relax, you’re in good hands!
Given your exceptional skills and experience, working at Larsen must be a dream come true! What drew you down the path of a jeweller?
As a kid, I always loved playing with little things, I used to sew clothes for my Polly Pocket if you would believe that! When I was 13, I did metal work at school and fell in love with it but it wasn’t until I had nearly finished year 12 that I decided I wanted to be a jeweller. I then looked in to the various TAFE and university courses available before being offered an apprenticeship in 1997. 20 years later, I still love it!
As you bring the dreams of everyone who walks into Larsen to life, you have created so many beautiful pieces. When you think back, what is your favorite creation to date?
Wow, there are quite a few that stick in my mind. I have made some very decadent rings with large centre diamonds and some stunning Art Deco inspired pieces using client’s own gems. I think my favorite would be our Atlantis design ring. It is fairly simple but I really love how it looks when worn and I love the detailed engraving on the sides.
I am aware that Larsen is very ethically and socially conscious, and offers Fairtrade certified wedding rings and conflict free diamonds. How important is being socially and ethically responsible to the Larsen family?
To me it is very important and I’m sure all my colleagues agree. The diamond and precious metal industries have some dark history and it feels good to be part of a movement that is making a difference. Many of our clients ask about fair trade diamonds and metal and we are very proud of being able to supply them. We also contribute to several charities by making pieces of jewellery for them to auction, we all take great pride in designing and creating these. I don’t think many businesses are aware of the positive effects these initiatives have on employees, not to mention the lives it changes around the world.