With soft lighting, gentle strains of music, and a waft of bergamot-scented fragrance, Anna Vasquez welcomes couples to her “casa a casa” (home to home) personal wedding-ring design experience in Portland, Oregon.
“I wanted to provide a space that was approachable, cozy and conducive to creativity,” says the Honduras-born Vasquez, who founded her studio, Nested Yellow Jewelry Co., in 2009. While couples were excited to have her create their engagement rings, they were “so overwhelmed with wedding details that the wedding ring became part of their to-do list,” she relates. So in 2018, Vasquez, a self-described “romantic at heart,” decided to offer meaningful experiences to help couples “get back into their hearts before the ceremony.”
The couples sit at her worktable or in the comfortable embrace of her velvet sofa to design their own rings with her expert guidance. There are three different experiences they can choose from. The “Make Love” option lets them shape the gold into rings for themselves. Ahead of their appointment, they tell Vasquez their ring sizes and the width of the gold wire they want to use. During the five-hour session, they bend, solder and shape the flat wire before Vasquez “finesses” it as a final step.
“Forever Forge” combines adventure and design: Couples go to a place that has special significance for them, such as the site of their first date or a favorite river, and make an imprint of it in the gold. “I send them off with a mandrel and raw-hide hammer,” says Vasquez. She personally relates to this “indoor outdoor studio,” as nature is one of her design influences.
The third option is “Alchemy Love,” in which the couple watches Vasquez design the rings from start to finish.
The average cost for a private workshop with two 14-karat gold bands is $3,500 per couple, though they can upgrade to 18-karat gold for an additional charge.
“Helping clients make their rings takes custom design to the next level,” says Vasquez. “More importantly, it allows me to do what I love best — connecting with others to create something special.”
This article is from the March-April 2023 issue of Rapaport Magazine. View other articles here.
Image: Designs for a custom diamond ring (Nested Yellow Jewelry Co.)