Today’s wedding vendor interview is with Abby Sparks, Founder & CEO of Abby Sparks Jewelry based in Denver, CO! Enjoy:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

Abby Sparks Jewelry was born in 2013, after I saw lots of my friends struggle finding the the perfect engagement ring and wedding bands. They didn’t want to blindly order something on the internet, and walking into a big box retailer and pointing at a ring felt weird to them. I saw my community seeking out a more personal, meaningful jewelry buying experience. They wanted to know how their ring was being made. . Using my jewelry design experience, I wanted to create an experience where my clients could get the unique ring they were looking for. Abby Sparks Jewelry started as just me, meeting clients at coffee shops and talking about their dream ring. Now, five years later, I have grown my business into an amazing, badass team of women in a beautiful loft space in the heart of Denver. From our jewelry designers to the creative department, the entire team works hard to give you a meaningful custom jewelry experience where you are fully involved, fully guided, and fully educated to create your dream custom jewelry.

Read the full interview after the cut!

How did you get into the business?

I started making jewelry when I was about 6 years old, thanks to the help and support of my dad and grandma, who supplied me with tons of beads and gems. My grandma (of Native American descent) had a huge collection of jewelry and beads and artifacts that I loved to play with when I was young. I was so inspired by all of the totally unique and beautiful pieces she had, and it had a long-lasting effect. My path took an interesting turn and I ended up studying chemistry and getting a pre-med undergraduate degree, and then spent my twenties traveling the world and working in consulting. I eventually came back to my roots in jewelry design and I got an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship, and launched my business soon after.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

The reason that I love jewelry, and I think it’s so important, and I devote my career and passion to it is because there are few other things that that commemorate your life, that stay with you, that mark the really big occasions that change your life, and that your family passes down through the generations. We change our clothes, our cars, our homes, our careers, but our jewelry doesn’t change. When we wear these pieces we are reminded of those big milestones that make us who we are. And for me, those are the things we need to hold on to, be reminded of, and be proud of. I also get to look at beautiful things all day, which definitely does not suck.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to others just getting started in your field?

Starting a business in diamonds and fine jewelry wasn’t easy, and I faced a lot of naysayers who didn’t believe that I had the balls, the knowledge, the drive, the education, or the diamond pedigree. But I never stopped trying to reach my dream. When you’re just starting out, don’t let the doubter or the naysayers stop you or change your mind. If you want it, go after it with everything that you are.

What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?

Being a mom to my son, and exploring all the great things the city of Denver has to offer.

Any great stories from working with a client?

I love all of the clients I work with. Getting to be a part of someone’s story for a little slice in time is such a blessing. Whether it’s working with a couple on an engagement ring, or helping someone repurpose a piece of heirloom family jewelry into a new design, jewelry is always really meaningful to the individual and you get to hear their story and what’s important to them.

What makes you different from others in your field?

Abby Sparks Jewelry is different from other jewelers first in the fact that we’re not a jewelry store. There is nothing you could come in and purchase. There’s no jewelry to buy. Everything we make is completely custom and unique to each of our individual clients. Our clients are able to create exactly what they want, with jewelry design to fit their lifestyle, instead of trying to fit their lifestyle into a mass produced ring that was made to fit thousands of other people.

Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?

A trend we’ve been seeing a lot of is geometric rings, and achieving the look by putting a traditional round cut diamond in a hexagon-shaped setting. We’re also doing more pear shaped, emerald cuts and marquise cut diamonds, and setting them horizontally for a really unexpected twist on a classic style.

A trend to avoid, not that we don’t love some of these, but some of the newer trendy styles and gemstones aren’t durable enough for an engagement ring. Think about it: you wear an engagement day every day for decades and decades, and then you hopefully pass it down to the next generation. It’s gotta withstand years of wear, years of accidentally hitting against car doors, pots and pans, and fitness equipment. Soft gemstones like turquoise, pearl, and moonstone, just won’t last. They’ll get scratched and they’ll break. They’ll seriously cook in hot tubs. This is why diamonds are the most commonly used stone for engagement rings — diamonds are literally the toughest organic material on the planet. If you’re curious about the durability of non-diamonds, there’s an industry-wide approved scale that measures the hardness of different gemstones. Moissanite comes close, as do sapphires and rubies. I’d also advise against the super thin, super dainty bands that are everywhere right now. Yes, they’re delicate and beautiful, but metal bends if you knock it against something hard enough.

What tips or advice can you give to couples who are in the midst of planning their big day?

When couples are ready to start engagement or wedding ring shopping, they need to know what they value the most, and this varies from person to person. For our couples, it’s having a completely custom engagement ring that’s totally unique and that they won’t see on their friends or on other people on Instagram. Another top concern is ethical sourcing; couples want to know that they’ve got a conflict-free diamond (this can be a lab-created diamond or ethically sourced) or an ethical gemstone. Some couples want to work closely with a jeweler because they want to see that the ring is high quality and built to last a lifetime. So when you’re ready to start shopping for rings for your engagement or wedding, you need to identify what’s most important to you as a couple, what you value, and what will best symbolize your relationship.

Thanks, Abby! For more information about Abby Sparks Jewelry, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head striaght to their website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Abby? Add them to the comments below!