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Meet Vanessa Nicole of Vanessa Nicole Jewels in Gaslamp

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Nicole.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a master diamond setter who designs custom engagement rings for clients worldwide.

I began as an apprentice to a Russian master jeweler after graduating from U. of Michigan. I started setting diamonds wholesale for jewelry stores, then transitioned to retail after my YouTube videos transformed the company. I only started making videos because jewelers didn’t believe that a (rare) female diamond setter was actually creating the samples I showed them. Despite being the jewelry industry, it’s a very male-driven industry.

My educational ring videos have received nearly a million organic views on YouTube, and I’m the author of Amazon #1 Bestsellers, ‘The Perfect Custom Engagement Ring’ and ’67 Amazing Ring Designs to Inspire Your Perfect Engagement Ring’. To date, my company has a perfect 5-star client rating on every online review site, and I work hard to EARN each and every one of them.

I tell men, “Your girlfriend is one of a kind, so the ring that represents your love should also be one of a kind.”

The engagement ring industry is very commercial, lacking the connection to what this ring truly symbolizes. I am the only jeweler who creates a custom ring along with a Making of the Ring™ DVD documenting the entire process. Each client is asked on film, “What do you love about [Laura]?” “What do you look forward to in your marriage to [Laura]?” etc. This voiceover is edited onto footage of her engagement ring being created from scratch, exclusively for her. Every new bride calls Vanessa saying, “I’ve watched it dozens of times…he’s never said these things to me before!”

My success is based on my company’s core values, and I do whatever it takes to “be seen.” I personally emailed Ariana Huffington about why I should be a contributing author for The Huffington Post and she agreed! (Ask and ye shall receive!)

After beginning to post videos online, I believe the reason our company revenues increased 732% within 5 months compared to the previous year is because of the emotional connection we began to create with each one-of-a-kind engagement ring. That, combined with education-based marketing created a solid business foundation.

On a personal side, I am married to my teenage sweetheart, have twin 3-year old boys (we almost lost one during birth and were told he could have brain defects. Working during that period was ROUGH.) Being a “present parent” is very important to me. I’ve built the company while still spending 4 hours each morning with my boys and also being home to put them to bed each night.

Has it been a smooth road?
I have certainly made mistakes over the course of learning how to run a business – getting ripped off, trusting people I shouldn’t have, figuring out how best to be productive, etc.

I document each mistake in a folder and outline what I learned from it. I may make mistakes every now and then, but I can be sure not to make them again. I make the choice to get up and not dwell on what can’t be changed.

When I was pregnant with twins, one of them almost didn’t survive birth, coupled with getting a very rare skin reaction (PUPPPS) to the male hormones that coursed through my body. I was in the hospital for a week, and found myself packing FedEx boxes from the hospital bed to ensure my clients received their rings on time.

Allocating time to spend time with my husband and boys along with work has been challenging, but I knew it would be. Joe and I now take monthly staycations to reconnect, which is amazing for our relationship.

I will occasionally get an invoice from certain suppliers who grossly overcharge for things and don’t apologize or act embarrassed when I bring it up to them. It drives me crazy because if the situation were reversed I would be mortified. It further instills the importance of being “on the ball” since no one cares about a business as much as the owner does.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Vanessa Nicole Jewels story. Tell us more about the business.
I am most proud of consistently making clients happy and “over the moon” about their ring– it literally keeps me up at night if something comes up with a client that I need to address. They entrust me with their money and time to create the ultimate symbol of their love for another person. With that comes an incredible sense of responsibility on my part to never let them down.

I legitimately give a damn if my clients are happy. I beam with excitement while listening to their amazing proposal story; I share their joy when welcoming a new baby into their relationship; I hold their hand when they tearfully explain how they inherited their mom’s treasured jewelry and wish to repurpose it into something meaningful…

When one of my clients receives his/her custom ring, it doesn’t come from a mold of 50,000 other rings just like it. It wasn’t mass produced on an assembly line in some factory halfway across the world. Their ring was hand crafted with careful thought, years of experience, and with their specific name and face in mind. It was created for a new friend, not just a customer. Every ounce of my artistic and creative passion went into the ring they will now wear for the rest of their lives.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
More than 60% of my clients are not local and I never meet them in person. People are becoming increasingly open to doing business with people they never meet despite a high purchase price.


  • Custom engagement rings start at $8,000

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Ring images courtesy of Vanessa Nicole Jewels. All couple images are client supplied with permission.

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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