A little over a month ago I had the privilege of helping a customer, Kristin, put an order through for her and her fiance’s wedding bands. After finding the Freakin’ Sweet Knots custom ring app through Shapeways, Kristin and her fiance were able to design matching rings for themselves without any help from me. They dialed in their ring sizes and played with the sliders and buttons which updated the rings in real time so they could see exactly what they’d be getting. Normally, they’d just checkout and their rings would then be 3d printed and arrive within 4 weeks of ordering, but their wedding was less than 4 weeks away. Since I’m not the manufacturer of the rings, I couldn’t offer any kind of priority processing, but my delivery date estimates are padded a bit, so she was comfortable putting the order through anyway. The rings arrived with plenty of time to spare.
I was surprised to receive an order for wedding bands so close to the actual wedding date, so I followed up with Kristin with some questions about her experience with Freakin’ Sweet Knots. Here’s what she had to say.
Me: Your initial inquiry caught me by surprise. Wedding rings are very powerful symbols and designing them and having them made is a very intimate process. I would expect most people to go with a local jeweler because of the personal interaction. What drew you to Freakin’ Sweet Knots and what ultimately made you decide to order your rings using the custom ring app?
Kristin: We attempted to design our own rings through other websites and even using 3D design programs we use for our careers, but we could not come up with a design that was meaningful. I did not want an engagement ring and instead a special wedding band for both of us, but I realized quickly that’s not the priority of other consumers. I personally did not want to work with a Big Box jewelry store at all even though they offer “custom” designed jewelry, and unfortunately we do not have access to professional smaller custom jewelry designers due to our remote location. I wanted bands that matched for both of us, but it was very difficult to find any that could look masculine or feminine on the right person. Most pre-made matching bands were just masculine which did not appeal to me, and some of the designs I tried to create on my own were too feminine. My husband was impressed by your custom ring app, and I could not believe how realistic it was. Furthermore, both of us really like Celtic knots and never knew that about the other until we happened upon your app. It was perfect.
Me: Another surprising part of your request was that it came in less than a month before your wedding. I (like most people), tend to put things off and end up getting into a time crunch. If I were looking for rings online and saw an estimated delivery date after my wedding, I probably would have moved on. You inquired further and still ultimately ordered your rings through Freakin’ Sweet Knots. I was hesitant to guarantee they’d arrive in time because I personally wasn’t in control of the manufacturing and there was shipping time to worry about as well. Did you have a back up plan if your rings didn’t arrive in time?
Kristin: By the time we found your app we had been searching for rings for too long, and it was nearly too late to have rings for the ceremony. I wasn’t sure what we were going to do if we hadn’t found your app because I wasn’t willing to settle and didn’t have a second choice already designed. My husband’s company uses a 3D printer on occasion, and he understood why we could have an issue with lead times for the rings we wanted when we saw the delivery date as after our ceremony. I was willing to do whatever it took to pursue the only “perfect” rings we found. We knew that the manufacturer Freakin Sweet Knots seemed to work with had a lead time that still worked with our deadline, and I thought there might be a slight chance that we could still order the rings. In all honesty, I researched Freakin Sweet Knots and you to find out if you were someone I could count on for something so important, and as soon as you responded to my request I was confident you were trustworthy. Your quick responses told me that you were not treating your business like a hobby, and that you took your product seriously like I did.
Me: Freakin’ Sweet Knots aims to be easy to use and to produce high quality designs, while still allowing you creative control. How would you say Freakin’ Sweet Knots measures up to those goals?
Kristin: I was so impressed by the options the app has available to allow me some creative freedom as well as how quick and easy it was to manipulate the design or transition from one material to the next. As I have no jewelry making experience, it was also wonderful knowing that the app would set my limitations and only allow me to design what could be produced.
Me: The design of your rings was handled by Freakin’ Sweet Knots (and you), but your rings were ultimately created by Shapeways in their premium silver material. How did they come out?
Kristin: The rings are beautiful, and I’m amazed by the detail of the threads and gaps in the ring just as they were designed. We selected sterling silver to give us an option to tarnish the metal. My husband was concerned that a shiny metal would be too flashy for him as he never wears jewelry. We used a sulfur tarnish to darken his ring, left it in a separate ring bag until the ceremony, and it was the perfect simple change to meet his needs.
Me: I, too, wear a darkened a ring that I ordered from Shapeways. Do you think that tarnished silver should be a material option when ordering?
Kristin: As simple as it was to tarnish the ring ourselves, I think most people do not want to take extra time to purchase a product to tarnish their jewelry (especially men). I definitely think a tarnish option should be added, and I know anyone would pay a little extra to not go to the trouble of doing it themselves.
Me: Would you consider using Freakin’ Sweet Knots again?
Kristin: I never wore jewelry (until now), but I saw some of the other custom products you have created, and I am really interested in purchasing additional jewelry that will have a similar look to the ring I will already be wearing. In Texas the big silver jeweler has been James Avery, but I find their quality to just be okay as their prices continue to increase. Your designs paired with 3D printing have excellent potential with customers who are ready for a change like me. Right now you have an excellent product, excellent service, and excellent pricing. I do not know any business that has all 3 elements. Mine only has the first 2, and my price varies to accommodate. My point is that I didn’t even order my rings before I fell in love with your products, and I know that other people will only need one order or less before they will want to purchase from you again and again.
Me: Thanks Kristin! I’m so happy for you and your husband and am glad I could help you find your perfect rings.