THE WAY THEY WERE MEANT TO BE.
By Nick Coutu, son of independent jewelers at Lessard Coutu Custom Jewelers and creator of Engager Rings.
IF THE HEART OF YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING IS THE DIAMOND,
THEN THE SOUL OF YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING IS THE RING IN WHICH IT SITS.
WHO WOULD YOU ENTRUST WITH THE DELIVERY OF THE SOUL OF YOUR CUSTOM ENGAGEMENT RING?
- MY STORY -
Ask Moe and Marianne, or their apprentices Marci and Victor; What defines the perfect engagement ring? Love is tough to explain, isn’t it?
They see customer’s ideas and instantly put them on the screen. Their minds burst with ideas. They would wake up in the middle of the night with visions of elegance and sparkle.
They would probably be seen as artisans by most, but it’s deeper than that. It wouldn’t be fair to categorize them with a buzzword that includes breadmakers and beauty products. They might also be referred to as craftsmen (and a craftswoman) but again, it’s deeper than that.
They are my parents and they are the two people who have showed me by example to always look above and beyond yourself. Always try to improve upon yourself. Always strive to elevate your craft. I learned that growing up as I shared the roof over my head with the family business. The business acted almost as a third parent, showering me with life lessons.
I had to write this and found Engager because I think it’s important to provide a platform and awareness of the practices that took place within the walls that raised me. I also want to call on other jewelers who practice those same principles elsewhere in the world.
What separates them from everyone else is simple. They are technically skilled like craftspeople and artisans, but they also apply a social consciousness to their work. They are obligated to work their best for the welfare of other people. The devotion to their craft and care for their customers has resulted in an ever-evolving and industry leading reputation that delights customers beyond their expectations. Some of their customers might even say that their work has strengthened their relationships. It’s important because so much good has come from their work. It’s important for love and it is still practiced at the house I grew up in.
- MY PARENTS AND THEIR SHOP -
My parents believed that once you decide on your occupation, you must immerse yourself in it. You have to fall in love with your work. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret to success and is the key to being regarded honourably. They ultimately decided that they would have a live-in business which ultimately fostered their lifestyle to be immersed in the in-house creation of beautiful engagement rings.
Their early customers became very familiar with their immersive lifestyle and quickly became advocates / promoters of their shop. Nobody has a better reputation than they have. Out of all the places to get an engagement ring, Moe and Marianne’s is the best by far.
All of the engagement rings exceed expectations of the customer. The recipe is simple: listen to the customer and help them with the basics, and they will design an engagement ring that is beyond what they’ve ever dreamt of.
“Simplicity leads to purity.”
Their shop became so popular in the region that customers had to begin to make appointments at least a month in advance.
They’re not trying to be exclusive or elite, the techniques that they use are no big secret. It’s just about making an effort and
repeating the same every day. There are some who are born with a natural gift. Some have a knack for listening, a humble and genuine care that is respectful and non-prejudiced whether the budget is small or large. That’s what you call ‘natural talent.’ In this business, if you take it seriously, you’ll become skilled. But if you want to make a mark on the world, you have to have talent. The rest depends on how hard you work.
If it doesn’t make the recipient cry tears of joy, they don’t let it go out the doors.
I’ve seen jewelers that are great designers, listeners, and caretakers, but none that are so customer focused as LC Jewelers.
They set the standard for perfect engagement rings. They are always looking ahead. They’re never satisfied with their work. They’re always trying to improve their skills / make their product better. It’s essential to them to check every detail. To be a perfectionist.
They’ve always worked incredibly hard, never took days off. They’ve opened the doors at 9 AM to 6 PM plus appointments and only closed on sundays for almost thirty years.
- THE WAY OF THE ENGAGER JEWELER -
A great jeweler has the following 5 attributes:
Takes his work very seriously and consistently performs at the highest level.
Aspires to improve skills.
A deep caring for the customer.
Must do things his way.
Engager jewelers embody these 5 attributes by strictly following the Shokunin discipline.
In the Shokunin discipline, the subjects are not trying to be special. Each vendor is a specialist in his field. Moe and Marianne are experts in ‘engagement rings,’ but in each of their specialties, the vendors are more knowledgeable. Together, they’ve built strong trusting relationships with their vendors (or suppliers).
In your search for the perfect engagement ring, you’ll search for a vendor whose reputation indicates good track records of quality, originality, consistency. It’s very hard to find a jeweler with all three bases covered.
Too often Moe and Marianne see engagement rings come in for repair that have been marked up like crazy, the craftsmanship is shoddy, and worst of all, it lacks imagination, creativity, uniqueness, or representation of the couple. They spend that extra evening with customers to make sure every detail is perfect and no one has ever had a disappointing experience there.
For them, it’s not about money, they just want to make better engagement rings. There’s a yearning to achieve more. They feel ecstatic all day, they love making their customers smile, laugh, or even cry. They’ve never hated the job and don’t feel like retiring even though retirement looms.
They gave their life to it.
Pictured: As you can see, there is zero limit to creativity.
- ENGAGER FOR THE WORLD -
I wish my parents could make engagement rings forever and for more people. I feel good knowing that my friends and my family love the engagement rings that they made for them so much.
Apprentices embark on a ten year commitment before being able to do the real thing. Marci is in her eighth year. Victor is in his first.
It was a long time before Moe and Marianne referred to Marci as a jeweler. It will be a long time for Victor as well.
The quality of stones and metals is extremely important and it takes time to develop the ability to discern good and bad. Their suppliers know everything about diamonds. They know everything. Getting to know them and building trust also takes time.
You must be able to tell the customer’s story properly with the right diamonds, the right materials, and the right designs. Who in their right mind would buy diamonds from their suppliers if they don’t know what to do with them?
With these kinds of diamonds, you have to be able to surround them with accurate symbols, lines, and ideas that relate to the customer. The whole ring tells a story. You have to pay attention to the details. I can’t think of another place to buy engagement rings that pays that level of attention to all the details. Which is why no one has been able to imitate them.
People think that an engagement ring should be picked from a showcase. But actually, it should be imaginative, thoughtful, and meaningful. They’ve devised techniques to facilitate the customer’s imagination and memories to end up with a meaningful and thoughtful ring, and involve the customer every step of the way.
Each customer has an idea of their ideal engagement ring but they need a careful and diligent jeweler who is experienced with the improvisational designing of meaningful and thoughtful engagement rings. Mastering the art of collaboration between customer and jeweler is difficult and requires a refined intuition with many years of experience on the part of the jeweler.
For example, when you see your masterpiece that you’ve created on the screen for the first time, there’s a sense of elation, a sense of overwhelm that has to happen. It’s a gasp and it brings smiles, sometimes tears. It’s love. That's how you define love.
If the jeweler and the customer are not in complete harmony, the engagement ring won’t be special and that gasp simply does not happen. The ring won’t be thoughtful or meaningful. You have to have that customer care, that jeweler whose only goal is to exceed your expectations.
There’s an ebb and flow to the process that you can’t find in any other store. When you see the elements of your relationship come together on the concept of the ring, you begin to grasp the memories and aspirations of your relationship and place them elegantly to make something like a song.
When they make jewelry for their customers, they feel like they’re winning, like they’re victorious.
You will never be cared for like you are cared for when you design, collaborate, and make the engagement ring of your dreams with Engager.
Now, at the push of a button, the same engaging face-to-face and one-to-one experience is available to you with the Engager App.