Hello! About Me:
Hi! My name is Annamarie Gansheimer and I am so excited to be a Jubilette at Your Jubilee for this upcoming Fall Semester. I am originally from Tucson, Arizona and I am currently a junior at Arizona State University studying Special Events Management and Tourism. I love golfing, being outdoors, and spending lots of time with my family and friends!
Ever since I was little I have always dreamed of my own wedding. One of my favorite parts to day-dream about has always been my engagement and wedding rings. I believe these bands are a reflection of a couple’s personal, unique style and a symbol of their eternal love for each other. I recently had the privilege of interviewing Julie Schwalbe, a Graduate Gemologist and owner of Forever Facets in Scottsdale, Arizona. Julie creates stunning custom jewelry, including wedding rings, and works with each of her clients, start to finish, to ensure they receive an amazing set of rings that will cherish forever.
The Birth of a Dream and a Business:
Julie Schwalbe has always had an appreciation for the fashion industry and fine design! In fact, she graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Fashion Management. In the early 2000’s, while her children were at school all day, Julie truly discovered her passion for jewelry when she came across an online course in gemology. She said she loved how “jewelry and current fashion trends influenced each other and helped to inspire new, innovative ideas”. Julie became an Accredited Jewelry Professional and then started her own business by attending gem shows, purchasing beautiful stones, and then selling them to others out of her home. She then realized just how far she could take her passion when customers began asking her to create custom designs just for them! Julie said her business was truly born after this realization and her “ideas and range of customers flourished”. She continues to be proud of the progress she has made and hopes the future holds the same.
This beautiful piece demonstrates how Julie incorporated a band on both sides of the engagement ring.
During our interview, Julie came to life when discussing her process of helping the bride and groom create one-of-a-kind keepsake rings. Julie casually remarked that there are generally two ways of getting started creating the soon-to-be bride’s engagement ring and wedding band. The first, and most common, involves the groom coming to her and asking for a custom design to surprise his girlfriend with. Julie laughed, “he generally has stalked her Pinterest boards or asked her close girlfriends what she prefers when it comes to her idea style”. The other option is that the couple comes together so that both can work with Julie to design the bride’s dream ring. “This give the bride a more open experience in creating a piece of jewelry she will wear for the rest of her life”. At either of these initial consultations, Julie walks the client step-by-step through the design process; beginning with deciding on the kind and cut of the main gemstone. After this has been decided, the client(s) are guided on all other aspects such as color, band width, and style. Julie, being an expert Gemologist, ensures the ring looks cohesive and put together and creates a stunning final product the bride and groom will love!
This shows how much attention to detail goes into every custom designed ring including color, cut, and style.
I have recently noticed there have been some new trends in wedding ring styles, especially with such great exposure on social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. So, I asked Julie what her take was on the most recent trends and what she personally sees as the most popular right now! She said that yellow-gold and rose-gold have been making quite a comeback recently. “These specific colors used to be seen as a more mature, elderly, trend and not something young couples getting engaged were particularly interested in”. Now, it seems like everywhere we look, the most popular trends in fine jewelry is rose-gold! Julie has also seen a changing trend in how skin tone plays a part in what type or color of jewelry women are choosing to wear. “It used to be that having a paler complexion required a heavier metal to stand out against ones skin tone. Now, women want to be trend setters and stand out from the norm”. Now, with the recent explosion of individualism in our world, women are becoming more daring in their fashion choices and wearing whatever they please while embracing personal self-expression. Julie encourages her brides to do this as well and to choose wedding rings based on what they are drawn to particularly because this is a forever piece they are designing.
An amazing example of one of Julie’s custom designs in yellow gold.
I wanted to thank Julie Schwalbe for taking the time to talk to me and for our wonderful conversation. I can truly say I learned a great deal and now I have even more to day-dream about!
Lots of love!