Jewel Journal

HANA + JAMES’S STORY

It is officially February, and SK Love Stories are back! If you’re new to this series, every week in February we introduce a couple that we have worked with and who have an extra special love story to share. We are kicking off this year’s Stories with a dynamic couple who have been a part of the SKFJ family for quite awhile. Meet Hana Mayeda and James Murray.

From when James happened to “stumble” upon THE ring one day to Hana dripping in SK jewels on their big day, we’ve been so lucky to work with this fun couple over the years. You might even recognize Hana from our last holiday campaign, Dream Dwelling! It’s been such an absolute pleasure to know them – read on for this lively couple’s love story!

Names:  James Murray + Hana Mayeda Murray

Current Location:  Los Angeles + Jackson Hole, WY

Meeting Date + Location:  March 2017 in Ojai, California

Wedding Date + Location: June 8th, 2019 at Cielo Farms in Malibu, California

How did you meet?

Hana: We were at a yoga retreat in Ojai, California. When our eyes caught I was hit by something electric. We waited almost six weeks to officially start dating. It was my feeble attempt to try to control something and somehow pace myself, when in actuality I’d fallen in love with him the moment we met.

The proposal – please tell us the story!

James: I proposed in Sundance, Utah during the film festival. After a fireside lunch we walked around the resort grounds. I had hired a photographer to hide in the snow-covered bushes. When I got on one knee, Hana instantly fell on her knees too. Best yes I’ve ever heard.

Hana: What was funny was that I was the one who suggested we take a walk not knowing that was James’ plan. The setting was exquisite with pristine snow. I almost asked a woman who was shooting with a long lens but instead of interrupting her I pulled out my phone to take a selfie of us. Suddenly James dropped to one knee, and caught me completely off guard and I fell to the ground. Turns out that was the woman James hired so we got beautiful photos from the day after all!

proposal photo

When did you know that your significant other was the one?
James: At first sight. I’d never believed in such stories. Then it totally happened to me. Hana is a deep beauty, equally compassionate and fierce with a heart of gold. I adore her.

What is your favorite thing about your significant other?

Hana: I love his generosity and the way he moves through the world with such intentionality and gratitude. He’s got a pure heart and has spent a career showing up for others – he truly believes in people’s basic goodness. He’s curious and is constantly growing and learning. He’s creative and driven. He’s basically super sensitive + empathic but manly as ****.

What made you choose this ring?

James: I was just holiday shopping on Abbot Kinney and thought, I’ll just go in here look. SK was the first jewelry store I walked into. I looked all over and was about to walk out the door, when I saw the ring. “Uh-oh,” I thought, I’m not going to be able to leave the store without that ring. I asked your stylist what’s the story with this ring. She said “Oh YEAH, we all love that one, we call it the Wonder Woman ring.” It was very different from what Hana had “suggested” so I got it as an “I love you” gift… it was really clear to me that Hana was meant to have it. It immediately became her engagement ring once Hana saw it 🙂

Hana: I’m still blown away. He hit it out of the park.

Do you have any notable stories that have stood out over the years – hilarious, sentimental, anything!

Our relationship has been full of synchronicities and spontaneity since day one. Both avid travelers, a few weeks after we met James asked what places around the world were on my bucket list. The first place I named was Tibet. He said, “I have a friend leading a group there in a few weeks.” The next day he called me and said, “no seriously, do you want to go to Tibet?” Three weeks later we were in the mountains of rural Tibet.

What’s your favorite go-to date night idea?

We love day dates – like hitting the infrared sauna or going to acupuncture and then getting a burger afterwards. James is a fantastic chef so he’ll make a beautiful dinner or surprise me with tickets to a basketball game or a concert. Or he’ll bring home flowers (always two bouquets!) just because. Seriously, he cooks, cleans and can sweep me off my feet. He’s like a unicorn.

Alright – it’s the morning of your wedding. What’s going through your heads?

Ever the procrastinator, I’d written my vows at 3am the night before when I was too excited to sleep. That morning consisted of a meditation, during which the sun came out for the first time in what felt like weeks, coffee, and GF Gjusta bread with extra butter. It was a whirlwind getting ready – it’s own happy chaos surrounded by my closest girlfriends. I was doing my best to stay grounded and calm but I was so excited, I definitely was jumping all over the place.

What was your favorite part of your wedding?

Our dance was epic. We added a number of personal touches like a custom neon sign, matcha/espresso bar and herbal superfood fresh juice tonics. The best part was seeing our friends and family’s reactions to our dance, the night, and the setting. It’s a cliché but bringing together so many people you love to celebrate love… especially your love… is simply indescribable.

Wedding planning is so different for each couple – what’s your advice for planning a wedding?

Step away from it when it gets stressful. Do something fun with your partner instead. Give yourself permission to be selfish + honor your desires. I had a great team of people helping me which I highly recommend. Remember mistakes will happen the day of and the more you can let them go and laugh at them, the more you enjoy the magic.

James: Definitely do a fun dance. Something that needs to be practiced. It will bring a couple back to love and keep the stress of planning at bay.

Did you honeymoon?

We left right away and went to a spectacular, magical inn on the coast of Northern California called The Inn at Newport Ranch. I was so grateful to James for planning it because I had decision fatigue from planning the wedding. We’re doing a bigger trip this summer to Europe.

If you could add any piece to your SKFJ collection, which one would it be?

The necklace I wore on our wedding day. Gah.

Alright – so what’s next for the two of you?!

Lots of travel. Creative projects. Deepening our roots in our homes and enjoying the time as newlyweds. I just asked a woman I know how long we get to be newlyweds. She said, “honey, we’ve been married forty years and a few of these grey hairs of mine are definitely from him, but if you stay in the gratitude and keep listening to each other, you may not technically be newlyweds when you’re my age but you can still feel like that.”

James: more please.

Do you have an engaging story to share of how you met your love? Stop by here and share for your chance to be the next featured Love Story!

10 TIPS TO HONING IN ON YOUR DREAM ENGAGEMENT RING

DREAM ENGAGEMENT RINGS

One of the most rewarding feelings here at SKFJ is the moment you or your significant other declares  “this is THE ring.” So whether you’re putting together a wishlist to suggest to a special someone or choosing the perfectly suited engagement ring for your honey, we are here to help!

Here are our top 10 tips for honing in on YOUR dream engagement ring.

1) START BY DEFINING YOUR  PERSONAL SENSE OF STYLE

An engagement ring or wedding band is a meaningful and personal symbol to cherish for a lifetime and it should reflect who you are! Are you a minimalist who appreciates natural, understated beauty? A vintage romantic with a love for flair or a touch of drama? Or do you appreciate modern, geometric shapes and clean, smooth textures? Once you’ve defined your style, it will act as a guideline as you enter the world of engagement rings. Need some help pinpointing your style? Take our easy Engagement Ring Style Quiz here!

2) BAND TOGETHER

When choosing an engagement ring, think about if and how you’d like to pair with a wedding band. Do you prefer an evenly stacked set? Do you mind if the band doesn’t sit flush against the engagement ring? Or would you even consider wearing your engagement and wedding band on different hands? (We don’t have rules here!) All these factors play into choosing your wedding band, whether you’re into something on the more simple side like our Classic Three Diamond Wire Band or a more intricate nesting band that fits around your ring, like our Pear Shape Tiara Ring.

3 ) CONSIDER YOUR JEWELRY WARDROBE

Open up your jewel box at home and take some notes! Do you wear primarily yellow gold? Deciding you want to try rose gold for your engagement might not be the best idea if the ring doesn’t pair well with all your other favorites. Take into account what you wear on the daily, and go with your gut on the metal that initially makes the most sense to you.

4) CONSIDER YOUR LIFESTYLE

If you have a profession where you work with your hands (medical professional, artist, etc) choosing a ring with a low profile and bezel might fit in best, rather than something very high set with prongs. If you know you are hard on your jewelry but you love delicate vintage pieces that possibly require extra care, consider choosing a newly made ring that has a vintage feel. Choosing a ring that fits into your life best will most likely give you the most longevity and most happiness along the way!

DREAM ENGAGEMENT RINGS

5) SPARKLE FACTOR!

Are you a mega-sparkle diamond diva or an understated, alternative gem type of gal?

“The type, quality and size center stone contributes the most to both cost and style of your ring.”

If you truly enjoy sparkle, a round brilliant, Old Mine or Old Euro, or even a Brilliant Pear cut are all great options for maximum shine. If you are more interested in having something with a modest brilliance, a rose cut, rustic diamond or even an alternative gem like sapphire or emerald are great options… A note for the guys: If you are considering a colored stone, be sure that she not only loves the color, but that she is comfortable wearing it EVERY day.

6) PRIORITIZE YOUR BUDGET

“The main thought to keep in mind when working around a tight budget is to PRIORITIZE. There are many ways to create or select a beautiful ring by choosing the elements of a style in smart way.”

Make a list of characteristics you want in your diamond, with the top being the non-negotiable trait. If you know you MUST have a 2 carat diamond because anything smaller just looks “tiny” on your long fingers, then consider a beautiful champagne shade instead of completely colorless diamond, or perhaps think about a halo design in the same color as your center stone to create a larger look. Both of these changes will typically give you a larger impact for your money. Consult with a trusted diamond or jewelry professional to help guide you in making the smartest choices to get the best value for your investment.

7) SENTIMENTAL VALUE

An engagement or wedding band is perhaps the most sentimental object someone can have. Do you or your partner have a family heirloom that could be passed on or re-purposed in some way? Sometimes a dated style can possess a beautiful diamond that could be re-set in a new design, giving it a new life and creating a beautiful way to remember those in our lives. As much as we love designing something from scratch, we love re-designs as well! You can find more info on that process here.

8) GO GREEN

Ethical and environmentally sound gem and metal sourcing are big considerations for many people. Always check whether your favorite jewelry store provides conflict-free diamonds and works with suppliers who abide by the Kimberley Process. If natural diamonds are not your preference, consider a lab grown diamond. Lab grown diamonds are the perfect natural diamond alternative because they have all of the same properties as a natural diamond without the additional strain on the environment. We are proud to partner with Diamond Foundry, a leader in the field of lab grown diamonds. You can view our selection of lab grown diamond rings here, or start your own custom process here.

9) A WORK IN PROGRESS…

Sometimes that dream ring is really that- a distant dream. Whatever your situation may be, remember you’re marrying the person- not the ring!  There will always be room for upgrades as time and your life together evolves. Your ring can always be redesigned and additional bands to come can create a wedding stack that reflects meaningful milestones in your life.

10) THE “GUMBALL RING”

Everyone loves a great proposal story that starts with “a gumball ring.” Designing or picking an engagement ring together can be a romantic process that ensures everyone is happy with the outcome. And that way you’ll abide by the most important rule:  have fun with it!