Jewel Journal

KELSEY + JACOB’S STORY

Can you feel the love in the air… because we can! Valentine’s Day is around the corner and we’ve been having a blast this month with new clients coming in for engagement rings and past clients returning for those special Valentine’s Day gifts. Both being special celebrations of love that we can’t help be giddy over!

As promised, Love Stories are here for the month of February and this week we are staying in the holiday spirit, celebrating an adorable couple with a happy story, Kelsey and Jacob. Read on for this couple’s adventurous proposal story, what they learned not to do when in quarantine with your SO, and what they adore about each other the most.

Names: Kelsey Leland & Jacob Israel

Current location:  Culver City CA

Meeting date + location: Culver City, March 17, 2018.

Wedding date + location: October 23, 2021 (if it’s safe to do so by then!)

How did you meet?

We were at a professional development seminar, and we were put in the same group! We learned a lot about each other that weekend, and then kept finding excuses to meet up after it was over.

The proposal – please tell us the story!

Jacob: We had planned a trip to Mallorca with a group of our friends. I had planned ahead to propose on a beautiful dock, overlooked by a balcony where our friends could photograph. Unfortunately, COVID waylaid those plans, so I had to plan something new, so I decided to create a local adventure.

Kelsey: A little background: I’m a nutritionist and completely obsessed with Chris Kresser, who’s a pretty big deal in the health & nutrition world. Jacob got in touch with Chris on Twitter and asked him to record a video that would kick off a scavenger hunt all over Los Angeles. I was completely star-struck and started crying immediately when I heard Chris Kresser say my name and introduce the game! I knew exactly how it would end, too. The hunt took me to all our memorable places in the city (first meeting place, first dinner date, first concert venue, etc) and at each one, I found a little gold card hidden somewhere with the next clue (and a QR code with the google directions just in case!) I was driving like a maniac and blasting music the whole time, just so excited to get to the last stop. The game ended at Yamashiro, on a hilltop in Hollywood with a great view of the city. But the best part of the view was Jacob, all dressed up, getting down on one knee with the most perfect engagement ring.

When did you know that your significant other was the one?

Kelsey: For me it was seeing Jacob play with my two rescue dogs with such undying love and care. Pretty immediately in our relationship, he started buying them thoughtful gifts, generally obsessing over their wellbeing and falling into a nightly cuddle/belly rub routine that he NEVER skips, no matter how busy or tired he is.

Jacob: For me, it was when Kelsey threw her full support behind two big life decisions. I had a great job at my dream company that made me absolutely miserable. I hadn’t ever not worked since college – even between jobs, and I was really scared by the prospect of living off my savings. Kelsey encouraged me to embrace an abundance mindset and make the leap. Scary as it was, it was 100% the right choice, kicking off one of the best summers of my life and leading to exciting new business ventures. The other was when I decided to invest in a music production program. Kelsey knew I made music but I hadn’t let her know the intensity of my drive to make music. She didn’t hesitate for a second telling me that I should chase that dream and that she fully supported me in doing what makes me happy. From these moments I knew Kelsey would also push me to be bold, to achieve more, and always have my back.

What is your favorite thing about your significant other?

Kelsey: Life is never boring with Jacob. He’s smart, funny, ambitious, intense, goofy, and affectionate–our relationship is a wonderful balance of thoughtful debates, political rants, and butt grabbing.

Jacob: Kelsey is caring and compassionate in a way I had never experienced. The time she takes to understand where other people are coming from is so admirable. And the pride and joy she takes in helping people (both in her work and personal life) is tremendous. She can always be counted on to bring kindness to any situation. On the other hand, she is whip-smart and insanely motivated. She inspires me to work hard every day.

What has COVID taught you about each other/relationships? Did you learn anything about your SO?

Covid taught us that if we can get through uncertain and stressful times like this, we should probably stay together for life! With both of us working from home and running our own businesses, it’s hard to snap out of “work mode.” We had to put structure around recharge / relax time, date nights, and our separate catch-ups with friends. Some small things we’ve figured out: No serious conversations if one of us is hungry. No starting new home improvement projects after 8pm. Headphones work wonders to signal that one of us is in “focus mode.” Little things like bringing each other coffee or a snack go a long way. Compliments and words of appreciation are a must during lockdown–anything you can do to keep the positive energy up!

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

Jacob: Kelsey is an amazing gift-giver. Early on in our relationship, I was binging a tv show where a character wore a Japanese style kimono sort of as a joke. Offhand I made a comment that I could totally rock one of those. Didn’t even think twice about the comment. ~8 months later for Christmas, what did she get me? An amazing kimono. I had forgotten I even mentioned it – but she remembered.

What’s your favorite go-to date night idea? Pre or post quarantine!

Post-Quarantine: Walk to our local movie theater to catch the latest. After the movie, we head to a nice dinner and then to a bar or lounge for a few drinks before a stop at a concert to round out the night.

During Quarantine: Friday night is blocked out for date night. We keep a fairly strict diet during the week, so this is our chance to get a splurge meal. We’ll sometimes get a little dressed up, eat, then walk our dogs before settling in for a movie.

Let’s talk jewels – how did you choose this ring?!

I knew I wanted something unique, and one day I wandered into SK doing a little pre-shopping 😉 The girls were so helpful! I decided that day I definitely didn’t want a pure white diamond. The grays and champagnes were just so pretty and felt more like my style. A few months later, I saw what was the “Annika” ring on the SK website and fell in love with its gorgeous champagne pear diamond. Jacob worked with Sofia to put the ring on a slightly different setting, and the end result is absolutely my dream ring!

How is wedding planning going?

Planning has honestly been a blast so far because we have amazing planners (Round Town Events @roundtownevents) who help us every step of the way. We’re still a ways out, and time will tell if we can keep our original date (safety is a huge priority for us), but we’re forging ahead for now and hoping for the best!

What are you most excited about for your wedding? What was most exciting, if married? 

Kelsey: I’m most excited for the dance party, even though I’m a horrible dancer, ha! I can’t wait to be in one space surrounded by all my favorite people, especially after more than a year of social distancing!

Jacob: I’m most excited to have all of the people who are important to us in one place together. We’re both so lucky to have amazing friends and great families, and so many of them have never even met one another. Also, I can’t wait to watch Kelsey freak out when she gets lifted up on the chair.

Are you going to honeymoon? Yes! We’re waiting to plan too much due to Covid, but we’re thinking Southeast Asia.

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

First and foremost we have businesses to run & grow. But starting a family is definitely a near-term goal.

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

I already went back and bought the Stardust Single Baguette Band for my right hand (it needed some love!), and I’d love to keep stacking on that ring. I love the Classic One Diamond Wire Band & The Chevron Stacking Ring.

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!

ASHLEY + NICOLE’S STORY

It’s February and love is in the air… Which means SK Love Stories are back in action – and we have some amazing stories we cannot wait to share! If you are unfamiliar, SK Love Stories is our way of celebrating couples that have given us the honor of allowing our jewels to be a part of their love story. From whirlwind romances to long-distance lovers, we love to celebrate it all and everything in between!

It’s safe to say that a lot of changes have occurred since last February and although the world wasn’t on its regularly scheduled programming, we are pleased to announce we have still been able to be a part of so many love stories, starting with an absolutely darling couple Ashley and Nicole. Please enjoy this sweet story of this aesthetically-on-point pair (and their “disco ball” rings!)

Names: Ashley Brake & Nicole Ayres

Current location: Nashville, TN

Meeting date + location: 10-20-2013 Cincinnati, OH

Wedding date + location: 10-10-2020 Joshua Tree, CA

UNIQUE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

How did you meet?

We both worked at a video agency in Cincinnati – a workplace romance that caught us both by surprise.

The proposal – please tell us the story!

Nicole knew she wanted to marry Ashley early on. So, instead of rushing the process with a proposal, she told Ashley that if and when she was ready, she should let Nicole know by giving her a ring pop. Fast-forward five years into the relationship, while on a business trip in Santa Cruz, CA, Ashley surprised Nicole with a ring pop and a proposal on the sky gliders at the Santa Cruz boardwalk. They promptly took engagement pictures from their cell phones in a broken photo booth.

UNIQUE ENGAGEMENT RING

UNIQUE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

When did you know that your significant other was the one?

Neither of us believe in the concept of “the one.” It’s more so someone you could see yourself growing with – and growing old with. 

What is your favorite thing about your significant other?

For Ashley, it’s Nicole’s insatiable drive at life – whether it’s building her own company or helping others obtain their dreams. For Nicole, it’s Ashley’s openness and unconditional love for every person she meets.

What has COVID taught you about each other/relationships? Did you learn anything about your SO?

Well, it certainly isn’t ideal to have your first year of being married a Covid year, but we figured if we can make it through a quarantine (we’re in Nashville, so also a tornado and a bomb) – then we can make it through anything.

UNIQUE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

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

The first time Nicole ever went to Ashley’s apartment, the electricity was out due to a storm. While lighting a candle, Ashley caught her (big) hair on fire. (It was much cuter than it sounds.)

What’s your favorite go-to date night idea? Pre or post quarantine!

Pre-quarantine, we love going to our little non-profit indie movie theatre where Ashley always gets a glass of wine and Nicole gets plain M&Ms.

Let’s talk jewels – how did you choose this ring?!

Ashley had been curating rings on Instagram and sliding them into Nicole’s DMs. When Nicole saw the Leonard Cohen inspired Torn Paper Collection, she knew it was the one because of what it symbolized. Light and the refraction of light has always been a theme for us (as evidenced by the crystals and disco balls perfectly placed throughout our living room casting reflections and rainbows in different places throughout the day.) The ring is like an embodiment of that, because it has inklings of a disco ball and cracks to remind us “that’s where the light gets in.”

UNIQUE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

UNIQUE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

You already tied the knot! Do you have any advice for planning a wedding?

We got married on 10/10/2020 (mostly because it’s so fun to say) and our advice is to do your wedding your own way. You will never regret it.

Are you going to honeymoon?

Yes, but TBD on the location and date. We’re waiting for Covid to be over so we can do something really special 🙂

UNIQUE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

UNIQUE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

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

Oh don’t worry, Ashley already has been sliding new ideas into Nicole’s DMs for our 1 year, our 5 year, and our 10 year. (The Claudette Emerald Cut Band, The Petite Wavy Band, The Stone Scratched Round Band, to name a few…)

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

Just over here dream makin’. Ashley bought an Airstream to remodel and Nicole’s growing a creative agency called Jumpsuit! 

UNIQUE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

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!

5 Easy Jewelry Habits to Start in 2021

unique engagement rings

We’ve spent the last couple of weeks reveling in the conclusion of 2020 and looking forward to a new year full of light, love, and (hopefully) dining in at a restaurant. Through the ups and downs of the year, we found 2020 to be full of lessons with a few that we intend to take with us into the new year:

  • Don’t take time with your loved ones for granted.
  • Live in the present because you can’t predict the future.
  • Make sure you are always stocked on toilet paper. (ugh, those early quarantine days )

And while the year was great for learning lessons that will hopefully help this year shine brighter than the last, we’d like to share a few jewelry tidbits that will not only make your year shine brighter but keep your everyday jewelry shining, too. Here are five easy jewelry habits to start in 2021 to keep your jewels lasting through this year and beyond!

1. DO NOT WEAR YOUR JEWELS AT HOME

It’s no secret we’ve all spent a lot of time at home as of late… but that doesn’t mean your jewelry should be worn at all times. We highly recommend not wearing your fine jewelry around the house when you are likely to participate in activities that could potentially risk the health of your jewelry. You’re just asking to snag your diamond necklace while folding laundry or misshape your ring when grabbing the hose to water the plants. Our solution: place one or two jewelry dishes (uhem, like these hand-crafted ones) in places that are easily accessible to you upon entering your humble abode. This will allow you to create the habit of removing your jewels and securing them until you wear again!

2. CLEAN YOUR JEWELRY ONCE A WEEK

This is important because dirt, chemicals, hand-sanitizer (hello, 2020), and any other undesirable substances can build up over time and eventually damage your jewelry. Cleaning your jewelry at least once a week keeps your rings and/or jewelry in good health and shining bright.

We recommend keeping your cleaner in your bathroom cabinet where it’s accessible and easy for you to integrate into your weekly routine. You only need a minute or two – literally. And not to worry: if you don’t have a cleaner or don’t see results from your current one – ours works magic!

3) DO NOT SLEEP IN YOUR JEWELRY!

We put an exclamation point at the end of this habit because we mean it – and we’re speaking from experience. On occasion couples will come into the shop, engagement ring in hand because somehow the ring magically bent from a perfect circle into an oval shape. Womp. And when we ask, “do you sleep in your ring?” the answer is almost always a hesitant “…yes.” The ring can be fixed (in most cases) but this situation can also be avoided completely by taking your ring off before going to sleep. When we are deep in our slumber, dreaming of diamonds (oh, is that just us?), we’re not aware that our jewels might be wrapped around a pillow or a thread, and then can be yanked in the opposite direction if tossing and turning. And with gold being a malleable material, this makes it easier for our jewelry to bend or warp out of the intentional shape. This doesn’t just go for unique engagement rings but also for earrings, necklaces and bracelets, too – all of which can snag and break from force.

So we repeat: DO NOT SLEEP IN YOUR JEWELRY!

4) TREAT YOURSELF

Alright, we’re done scolding you now. On to the fun part: new jewelry! The days of eating out at your local restaurant, sipping Pinot at your favorite downtown wine bar, or catching a movie with your lover are still on hold. So why not put a little of that saved cash to good use and start a bling fund!

Making large purchases, even when they will last a lifetime and beyond, is a commitment that should never be taken lightly or made too impulsively. The best way to plan for your splurges is to save, save, and save. Each month, put a small amount of cash away so when you’ve saved enough for that dream piece, you aren’t dipping into your regular funds and can rock your new bling without buyer’s remorse.

5) INSURE YOUR JEWELRY

With the year we’ve all had, we couldn’t possibly be prone to bad luck in the new year – but accidents happen! This is why we always recommend insuring your jewelry, or at least the pieces of significant value. We work with Jewelers Mutual, a jewelry-only insurance provider that protects your jewelry from anything and everything.

We’re going into 2021 with a fresh perspective – even fresher jewelry- and have lots of fun plans in store. Make sure to follow along with us on Instagram or sign up for our newsletter on the homepage to get notified of helpful blog posts, new arrivals, events (virtual and not) and so much more. Wishing you a happy 2021, Treasure Society!

Los Angeles-Based BIPOC-Owned Businesses We Heart

We believe in working together for a greater good, and as a small businesses in Los Angeles, supporting other small businesses is something that we are not only committed to but honored to do!

Showing support and solidarity for BIPOC peers, friends, family and colleagues can come in many forms, but one tangible way to express instant support is to shop, sip and dine at BIPOC-owned businesses here at home in Los Angeles.

As we commit to consciously making these decisions, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite LA-local spots to share with you that are not only beautiful businesses that are doing good for the community but are all BIPOC-owned!

RESTAURANTS

Chulita – Venice

Right in our hometown, Chulita brings botanas y mezcales, also known as Mexican drinking food, to Venice Beach. Not only are the food and drinks completely up to par, but the ambiance is bright, airy, and welcoming to all from near and far. The owner, Shireen, is a lively addition to the dining area and greets all with open arms. Stop here for top-notch guacamole which goes perfectly well with their Prickly Pear Margarita! They’re currently open for patio seating and takeout.

Alza Vegan – Leimert Park

Being the first Ethiopian restaurant in South Los Angeles, Chef Azla and her daughter Nesanet duo together to offer warm vibes and the yummiest vegan Ethiopian food! Chef Azla takes traditional Ethiopian recipes and modifies them in vegan form, to be delicious while nutrient-dense. They’re currently open for takeout – order here!

Sky’s Gourmet Tacos – Mid-City

“Mexican with a splash of soul,” is how this 28-year-old non-modern but non-traditional restaurant describes itself. Founder and owner, Barbara “Sky” Burrell, does her own thing and if we do say so ourselves, it’s working tremendously. From her mouth-watering filet mignon nachos to her famous homemade cheesecake that literally melts in your mouth, you will find nothing but satisfaction upon leaving this place. With a second location in Marina Del Rey, Sky’s Gourmet Marketplace, you can now snag their famous tacos and grocery shop as well. But whatever you do, don’t forget to ask for an extra side of Sassy Sauce.

WOODSPOON – DTLA

In the heart of a place very near and dear to our hearts (AKA, where our production takes place!) WOODSPOON is a hidden gem that is tucked nicely on the corner of Main and 9th and has been around for over a decade. Simply put: this place feels like home. With its mismatched chairs, laid-back crowd and a menu that is not too intimidating but tastes exquisite, this place checks all the boxes for the perfect casual dinner that will have you leaving with a full belly and a full heart. (Pssst – the Brazilian Chicken Pot Pie is a MUST!)

Poppy + Rose – DTLA

Talk about SOUL FOOD. This off-the-beaten-path restaurant is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser and is exactly where you want to take your in-laws that are in town for brunch after perusing the Los Angeles Flower Mart around the corner. Husband and wife duo, Michael and Kwini Reed, only use honest ingredients and provide a real country-kitchen nostalgia with each dish – including their biscuits which are homemade from scratch each and every morning… Catch us there bright and early!

COFFEE SHOPS

Flowerboy Project – Venice

Also in our hometown of Venice lies the sweetest cafe/flower shop combo. Sip your matcha whilst browsing the novelty home goods and stopping to smell the roses. You might come for the coffee, but bet your bottom dollar you will be leaving with an armful of fresh blooms as well!

Super Domestic Coffee – Culver City

Leave this place with coffee in hand… on your new bike! Combining coffee and cycling, this cute Culver spot serves cold brew and cycling accessories! Super Domestic gets its name from a bicyclist that does whatever it takes to help their leader steal the win – which goes hand in hand with the shop’s mission: helping everyone who comes in have the best day possible. Love!

Coffee by Kofi – DTLA

Another favorite in DTLA is a coffee shop and art studio that offers a cozy feeling upon stepping into the doorway. The owner of the coffee shop is simultaneously a mixed media artist that showcases his threaded-button artwork at the coffee shop as his gallery. Walk-in for coffee, walk out with button-studded coasters to set your oat milk latte on!

SIP & SONDER – Inglewood

Not just a coffee shop, but a creative space for entrepreneurs, artists, creatives, and people that want to connect to come, grab a coffee, and do what they do. Founded by two women, Amanda-Jane Thomas and Shanita Nicholas, who met in law school are shared a similar passion for building community – and we are glad they did! SIP & SONDER is currently open for storefront pickup orders.

LIFESTYLE

LOOMHQ – Mid-City

LOOM is a space of learning and growing that provides modern education to empower everyone. From reproductive health to new parenting, founders Erica Chidi Cohen and Quinn Lundberg made sure there is a class for everyone and build LOOM on community and inclusivity. They are providing online classes for the time being, which you can have a look at here!

SELVA / NEGRA – Los Angeles

Obsessed is an understatement when describing this minimally tomboy-yet-feminine line that is fully produced in Downtown Los Angles. Founders Kristen Gonzalez and Sam Romero built the brand aiming to support women and their individuality. Make an appointment to stop by their studio or scroll their cool-girl Instagram for all the inspo here!

Whit Hazen – Los Angeles

If you didn’t already know, we are floral-obsessed at times, which is why loving owner Whit McClure’s beautiful floral arrangements is even easier! This design studio is focused on creating beautifully crafted flowers and home goods and self-describes the style as whimsical, dynamic, and seasonally-inspired. Get in touch with her here!

Palma Vintage – Los Angeles

Your vintage needs are no longer! New e-commerce shop ran by Julissa Perez not only brings us rare vintage finds from low to high-end designers, but 5% of profits will directly go to the Equal Justice Initiative. Check out her website for vintage goodies or follow her airy desert vibes on Instagram here!

We hope these recommendations not only bring you a full belly, new clothes or a caffeine high but a happy heart as well, knowing we are supporting each other.

If you have any recommendations that you’d like us to add to this list, we are happy to oblige! Please reach out here.

 

THE BOYS CLUB: TALKING MEN’S WEDDING BANDS

So he found your dream ring (ok – maybe with your help!) and seeing that sparkly rock on your finger brings your joy level up to a 10, not only because it’s stunning but because it signifies an official engagement to the love of your life! You have scouted out your perfect location, checked the dress off the list and your caterer is to-die-for… But wait. You realize that your guy hasn’t put a thought into his wedding band yet.

The process of men trying on bands is an enjoyable and often a bit humorous experience for us stylists here at SKFJ. It’s common for many men to come into the showroom never having put on a piece of jewelry on in their life, and the moment a ring hits their finger it’s often the same look you see on a dog’s face when you put a sweater on them for the first time: THIS FEELS WEIRD. But after a few moments (and a few “I feel like I’ll never be able to wear this” mumbles) he typically warms up to it and says, “Ok, I like this one.” And there you have it, the ring has been chosen. This process can often take less than 20 minutes, the polar opposite to women.

Needless to say, men can tend to be a bit more decisive when it comes to fashion-related decisions but regardless, we all need options! So whether you and your guy are just about to start browsing for his band or you’re looking for an anniversary upgrade for his current ring, here are some men we know all too well and what they’ll often opt for.

FOR THE NATURE LOVER

Your guy loves nature – and now he can wear it for the rest of his life! Take his love for the great outdoors literally with our Woven Branches Wedding Band. Three sinuous twig branches are woven in an asymmetric pattern, symbolizing unity and strength. This ring not only lets his love for the outdoors shine but is also a unique, non-traditional wedding band that he will cherish forever!

FOR THE CLASSIC MAN

Baby, you’re so classic. He’s timeless, sophisticated and as cool as can be – and his band should reflect that! An even texture, masculine squared edge, and substantial weight make our Smooth Classic Wedding Band ring a timeless wedding band for your man.

FOR THE ARTISTE

Sensitive, charming and passionate are a few words you might use to describe your artist lover, and he needs a ring to reflect those qualities! Our Faceted Wedding Band features a hammered surface that adds a handcrafted touch to a traditional wedding band, making it perfect for someone that has a love and appreciation for the arts (and you!)

FOR THE HOPELESS ROMANTIC

You’ve found your Romeo! Surprise flowers and candlelit date nights are plentiful in your life because your man loves… LOVE – and we have just the ring for him. Our Torn Paper Edge Wedding Band is organic and understated but the real romance is in the engraving. Add a custom message on the inside or the outside of the ring – a date, a sweet saying, or anything special and meaningful to you and your lover.

FOR THE RUGGED ADVENTURER

When he’s in between blazing a trail to a hidden waterfall and building your nephew a treehouse, he’s your fiance. Natural, masculine and organic in character, this wedding band series breaks the mold of traditional men’s wedding bands! Our 7mm Raw Textured Wedding Band features an imperfect, time-worn surface that adds just a bit of rustic charm to a traditional wedding band and only wears better with age – just like him!

These bands are all available in 14K solid yellow, white, or rose gold, and in your choice of our signature matte finish or in a shiny finish.

Need more inspo? You can find all Wedding Bands for Men here!

Have a custom idea for you or your man? Get in touch here!