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A Stuller Ring Story: Robert and Derek

Year of the Wedding - Rob & Derrick

Continuing our celebration of Stuller’s Year of the Wedding™, we are highlighting stunning rings and the Stuller associates who wear them.

Love happens in its own time and rarely when we expect. Sometimes there’s a movie-quality meet-cute and other times it develops among friends. Either way, love is something distinct to every couple and something to celebrate.

For Stuller employees, Robert and Derek, their story evolved over several years and is as unique as the bands they’ve chosen for themselves. Let’s look at their journey, their rings, and the story that brought them here.

exchanging rings

The Perfect Combo

Robert and Derek both came to Lafayette from out of town to be closer to family. Robert began working at Raising Canes — a staple fast food restaurant in Louisiana — where he met Derek in 2011. They worked together for a while without saying a word to each other. Eventually, their mutual work friends helped spark a connection that led to more.

Derek took Robert on their first date to the movies in celebration of his birthday. While they don’t remember the movie they saw all these years later, Robert’s most distinct memory is that they were running late to the movie. Derek’s major pet peeve is running late so Robert was amused by watching him stress over being late to the movie previews.

Their first date was on June 15, which became a significant date for both of them. To this day, it is the date they celebrate their anniversary and the date they chose to get married years after. Before we get to those details, let’s talk about the rings.

Interesting and Unique

These are the qualities Robert and Derek were looking for when they chose their rings. Looking at both of their bands, you can tell there are special features that carry special meaning.

rings

Derek is a fan of unusual materials and preferred inlay styles seen in the contemporary metal bands. The original ring he chose was a black titanium coin-edge band with a dark wood inlay (51955). However, after a few years, Derek chose to upgrade his ring to a tungsten band with a meteorite and wood inlay (TAR51920). As a fan of sci-fi, Derek was really attracted to the idea of having meteorite and other interesting materials incorporated into his wedding band.

Robert also enjoys an inlay style with interesting materials but preferred a classic path as opposed to contemporary. He chose a 14K yellow gold band with square channel-set Alexandrite (123133). The channel-set stones gave him the inlay style he liked, but in a classic metal option. Being that Robert was born in June, he always loved his birthstone, Alexandrite. Along with it being his birth month, anniversary month, and Pride month, he felt that the stone perfectly represented the significance of the time.

On the inside of Robert’s band is an engraving of their anniversary in Roman numerals as a further reminder of a day he holds close.

Redefining Tradition

Over time, Robert and Derek moved from the fast-food industry to the jewelry industry with jobs at Stuller. Robert currently works as a product manager in the findings and metals department and Derek works in tools and central supply operations.

For the first few years of their relationships, they spoke casually about the future, but nothing substantial as they could not get married in Louisiana at the time. In June 2015, those conversations began to become more serious with the nation-wide recognition of same-sex marriage. In January 2018, they decided to get married on their upcoming anniversary on June 15, 2018.

While the decision was a big one, there was no elaborate proposal that set the gears in motion. “We discussed it like grown-ups, and it was very boring,” Robert jokes. Neither had ever expected a big proposal throughout their relationship so it really came down to simply a conversation of finally being ready for the next step.

When it came to rings, they took their rings into their own hands. “Getting what we wanted was more important than the surprise,” they explained. With there being no real tradition to follow, Robert and Derek are perfectly happy setting their own traditions.

They enjoyed an intimate wedding celebration surrounded by friends and family. Stuller photography studio coordinator and close friend Carson Webb even officiated the ceremony. It was the perfect day, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Celebrating Unique Tastes

Just as there are many types of love, there are different types of preferences when it comes to wedding bands. From simple to extravagant, Stuller offers a variety of options like the ones Robert and Derek chose. Explore our men’s wedding band selection on our website and help your customers celebrate their one-of-a-kind love.




Kicking Off the Holiday Bridal Season

Ready or not, the holidays are here. Christmas is just 44 days away and we are ready to ship you everything you need to deliver on every customer’s biggest wish. And with holiday romance in the air, what could be more on target than holiday engagements?

This is the fourth episode in our Holiday Learning Series, and this week, Senior Director of Bridal Alex Stuller delves into what is hot and happening in bridal fashions. CLICK HERE to enjoy her presentation on the most exciting new and popular trends.



New & Popular Engagement Styles

Yellow or white gold: what are brides choosing? Yellow has come back strong in both bridal jewelry and jewelry overall. It is also Alex’s favorite, so she is showing several styles in this rich shade. Alex also mentions customers’ trend towards larger center stones and CTW — wonderful for them and you! Here are the dominant trends. It is also worth saying that fancy diamonds are very much in fashion. Watch for triangle, marquise, pear shaped diamonds, and more.

Art Deco

Art Deco has been emerging as a trend over the past few seasons. Now it has come into its own, and our designers have met the challenge. We love the fact that these designs communicate extravagance and restraint. You will discover the halo-style below on page eight of our October Bridal and Bands brochure.

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Updated Classics

Timeless looks never go out of style, yet each generation adds its own special touches. Look for hidden gallery details such as elegantly understated hidden cross solitaire. From the top, it looks like a classic, and from the sides, it takes on a deeper meaning. The split-shank solitaire shown has been updated with sculptural detailing on the shank and gallery — luxurious touches that win hearts.

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Favorites from 2020

We have watched these styles fly out the door, and because many are flexible 3C designs, customers have a world of options. They can change the stone shape and size and choose from at least 13 metal qualities. You will see this stunning double infinity style on page 40 of our holiday brochure — an outstanding engagement choice. And you will notice that the accented style below features rose-cut diamonds, beading, and claw prongs — all important trends.

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Showstoppers

These designs will stand out and start conversations with everyone your customer knows. Yes, she’s definitely engaged. There is no denying that. And what could be more appropriate to a wintry proposal that this fabulous snowflake design? Its gorgeous dimensions sparkle with round and marquise accents that delight the eye from every angle. Does she prefer something dazzling and edgy? The asymmetric beauty will steal her heart away with its emerald cut center (or oval) and its bouquet of marquise and round accents.

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Stackable Anniversary Selling System and A&E Selling Systems

Irresistible stackables continue to take center stage, allowing each bride to build her unique look. And the best part? The more bands, the merrier. She can add to her stack for her anniversary, birthday, Mother’s Day, the holidays, or just because she feels like it. Our prototype Stackable Anniversary Band Selling System and our new Anniversary Band ($499) and Eternity Band ($399) Selling Systems let her try on many designs to find the one she loves — and give her ideas for future purchases.

And because these selling systems feature prototypes, you can offer her all these choices without investing valuable inventory dollars.

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Trends in Men’s Wedding Bands

Gone are the days when men’s wedding bands were predictably plain. Today men have many more choices, and they love it. Sometimes it takes him longer to choose his style than it takes for her to choose her engagement.

Classic bands

Classic hand styles still hold sway over a significant percentage of the band market, but today you are just as likely to see them with special finishes, laser patterns, or both. And do not forget engraving. If you have not tried our Classic Band Builder experience, now is the time to try it. Customers can watch as you make each change and try as many options as they please until they arrive at the one they want.

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3C Diamond Bands

Diamond bands have returned in a big way, and our 3C designs let men choose the stone shapes and sizes and the metal quality to achieve the right look. We offer a wide range of choices so they will be sure to find the one they want.

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Contemporary Metals

This contemporary metals trend continues strong as grooms look to them for personal statements and durability. Is he a rock climber? These are the bands to show him. They can choose from tungsten, titanium, cobalt, stainless steel, and our two new additions: tantalum and silicone. We are extremely excited to offer tantalum, a rare metal that can be both engraved and sized — highly unusual for contemporary metals. Silicone bands have a price that cannot be beaten and offer customers the unusual choice of 10 colors: black, gray, maroon, green, navy, royal, yellow, and various stripe combinations. Yes, they do come in women’s sizes.

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ever&ever® Bridal Program

No discussion of Stuller bridal would be complete without mentioning our extraordinarily successful ever&ever® bridal program featuring our flexible 3C designs so couples can customize to their hearts’ content. Alex closes her presentation by previewing ever&ever’s®enchanting new holiday video, which is part of its exclusive marketing assets.

If you are interested in this program, contact a bridal program specialist at 800-877-7777, ext. 2528 or visit Stuller.com/everandever.


Extended Holiday Hours

The holidays can bring a lot of stress, so we’re here to take some of that stress away. When you’re in a holiday quandary, we’re here to help.

Our customer experience team is currently available from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central. On the Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, we’ll be here for you from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Central.




Contemporary Metal Bands: Trending and Here to Stay

A man’s band tells a very personal story. Whether it is worn to mark an occasion like marriage or to make a fashion statement, a band tells you a little something about his life.

That is why the metal used to make a band is so important. Gentlemen, does your band say that your love is as strong as the mightiest metal on earth? Is it as unique as your personal style? Give some thought to your options and explore metal choices you might not have thought about before.

In a previous blog post, we covered classic bands made of the precious metals you’ve come to expect. Now, let’s take a look at contemporary metals and how they make a solid foundation for a band for both aesthetic and functional reasons.

Precious Metal vs. Contemporary Metal

Choosing a metal has everything to do with how you view the ring and what you value most in a ring. Are you interested in a rare and valuable piece? Do you prefer a piece that is durable and can handle any condition? Knowing the answer to these questions will make it a lot easier to narrow down the options for the type of metal you’d like to use.

Precious metals, such as gold, sterling silver, platinum, and palladium, are more rare than other metals so they tend to cost more and hold value better over time. As softer metals, they are easier to work with and customize though more prone to scratching and damages.

Contemporary metals, such as tantalum, tungsten, titanium, and cobalt, are starting to see more use as individuals look for alternatives to the traditional, precious bands. Contemporary metals offer many benefits. They are durable, extremely easy to maintain over time, and are available in a wide range of experimental styles and colors.

A Closer Look at Contemporary Metals

Let’s take a look at what each metal brings to the table.

Tantalum is the newest addition to our contemporary metal offerings. It is a fairly heavy, hard, and strong metal, which makes it durable and resistant to cracking. What sets this metal apart from the others in this series is that custom finishes can be added to tantalum bands. This metal is quickly increasing in popularity and is sure to be a fast seller.

Tantalum band

Tungsten has historically been a best seller. As one of the heaviest contemporary metals and one of the most durable metals known to man, tungsten earns its name from an older Swedish term meaning “heavy stone.” Enjoy in a variety of colors and styles fitting for those with modern tastes.

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Titanium is the perfect metal for someone looking for a strong metal that is still lightweight. Not only is titanium a good choice in a strong metal, but it is also one of the most affordable options offered.

titanium bands

Cobalt is an extremely strong metal with a high scratch resistance and is five times harder than gold. It is an excellent choice for someone looking for a metal that can shine in both classic and contemporary stylings.

Cobalt band

Stainless Steel is a very resilient metal and is resistant to any form of corrosion. Bands made of this stainless steel are quite affordable and require very little upkeep.

Your Future is Contemporary Metal

Rings are commemorative symbols. They symbolize power, love, commitment, status, achievement, and so much more. The stories they tell share a lot about a person so give extra thought to what your ring says about you.


For more resources about how to help men discover contemporary metal bands and current stylings, check out more blog posts by Stuller.

What’s the Best Metal for Men’s Wedding Bands?

What’s New in Bridal?




What’s New in Bridal?

I think most of us began 2020 thinking it would follow the general pattern of prior years. We had no idea that we would face a year of major and unexpected changes, which have brought all of us a sense of instability. What better time to remember our relationships and commitments that grow stronger — through all the challenges we face.

To inspire this positivity, we want to share some of those sparkling moments that stay true no matter the changes. Take a look at some of our latest designs for 2020 — a stunning preview of our new October Bridal and Bands brochure with a complete selection of our new styles. This post features new engagement rings, eternity and anniversary bands, enhancers, and wedding bands. Be sure to scroll all the way through to see our most exciting addition of all!

Engage with Elegance: New Designs

Intricate details and modern classics: this incredible assortment of engagement rings features some of our newest Designer Bridal pieces. This collection has it all, from fancy halos and scattered accents to asymmetry and nostalgia styling.

Browse our new engagement ring designs.

Create Brilliantly: New Stackables

This is the year for stackables, and you have limitless options. Our new anniversary and eternity band designs offer customers an extravagance of intricate details, sculptured elegance, modern flair, and updated classics. These outstanding styles — with more to come in the October Bridal brochure — capture the enduring happiness they celebrate. Choose them as perfect gifts for an anniversary, a birthday, a new baby, or just a Wednesday.

Browse our new stackable bands.

Re-envision Your Look: New Enhancers

Does your customer want to add some bling to their engagement ring? These stunning new enhancers offer all the brilliance and detail she could ask for. Better yet, you’ll find an enhancer that’s perfect for any engagement ring design. Brighten up any bridal look.

Browse our ring enhancer designs.

Style Statements: New Wedding Bands

Contemporary Metal Wedding Bands are having a breakout year, and we offer a wide array. Our choices include Tungsten, Titanium, and now Tantalum, a rare, premium contemporary metal with a weight similar to precious metals. We love Tantalum because, unlike other contemporary metals, you can customize your it with a special finish and engraving for a more personal touch. Perhaps most astonishingly, Tantalum is shatterproof, and you can size this alluring greyish blue metal!

Browse our new wedding band styles.


What comes through in all these designs? Whatever challenges we face, our hearts and spirits seek joy and beauty — reflections of optimism and hope. Our in-house designers have created exquisite expressions of these deeply felt emotions. So, as customers look for their bridal rings, you can offer them a stunning range of elegant, distinctive looks to help them find their perfect choice.