This weeks interview features Laurie Sarah Kassabian of Laurie Sarah Designs, Laurie is located in Los Angeles, CA.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My jewelry beginnings have their start in a very humble upbringing. I learned very quickly to make little crafts to sell to buy the things I wanted (and sometimes even necessities). By the time I made it to college, I was making friendship bracelets and costume jewelry to help pay my way. I married after college and shortly thereafter was introduced to gemstones. I was immediately hooked! Now what to do with my sparklies? Someone introduced me to who they called “the best diamond setter in Los Angeles”. I worked with him over many years creating incredible handmade pieces. After 12 years of marriage, my husband died a horrible death to cancer. As I took care of him, my jewelry business faded away. But it stayed in the back of my head as my main idea to support the 3 small children that had just lost their father. After his death, I threw myself into the jewelry as a “sink or swim” situation. I began working more and more with my diamond setter. As time passed, we realized that we were doing more than making beautiful art, we were falling in love. We married last year, and have now joined forces to bring our customers the product of our love.
What special things do you create for weddings?
When you think about it, brides start dreaming of their wedding dress the minute they see Cinderella at age 3. They imagine the flowers, every detail of the colors, their hair, what suit he’ll wear… Shouldn’t the wedding rings reflect the same individual personality? Just for fun, I go into the jewelry stores at the mall and I think “how boring!” Each bride and groom deserve rings that are as individual as their love is. For example, right now I am working on an Engagement Ring that incorporates not only their birthstones, but their national heritage. Her hand is literally going to be grabbed wherever she goes with people wanting to know the story of her ring.
Who or what sparked your interest in making wedding-related items?
Actually, the Etsy community did. My original intentions when I opened my Etsy shop were to hand make intricate beaded, one of a kind necklace and earring sets. But when I started posting my first hand made Diamond and Gemstone Rings, it very quickly became apparent the people were interested in using them for Engagement Rings. I very quickly put it together that because of the downturn in the economy, people were looking to colored stones instead of diamonds to bring the cost down. Also, there is a whole group of people that just want something different.
What is a little known fact, or something unique about your work that is interesting?
I don’t think people realize that when my husband and I create a ring completely from scratch for someone that we are literally carving a tiny statue of art for them. Taking a piece of wax and carving it into something that holds the exact size stones they want, in the exact design they want, all in the perfect size for their finger – it’s statue in miniature. And honestly, we don’t charge enough for what we do. I guess I just have a big heart for people’s happiness. Being a part of it is more important to me than charging the high prices you find in retail chains.
If you are married, what’s the one thing you wish you had for your wedding that you didn’t?
More time to have incorporated all the wonderful creative things I see other people doing!
What is your favorite wedding song?
Celine Dion’s “The Power of Love”
What is your favorite part of the wedding journey?
This is the beginning of each bride and groom’s story. The story of how they first met, their first date, first kiss, first fight, that first realization that “I found The One”. The story of the proposal will last with them their whole marriage. My favorite proposal story to date was working with the fiancé to create the perfect ring with me for his love. He attached the ring to a gorgeous imported puppy that his girlfriend had fallen in love with. He brought her into the room, she saw the puppy and then the ring around its neck. He sent me the video later and I was crying watching the look on her face. I was so honored to be a part of such a precious moment.
What advice can you share for all the brides getting married this year?
Enjoy this time of your lives. So much happens so fast that I think it’s easy to get caught in a whirlwind of stress. Simple is better. Don’t forget to have fun too.
What is your perfect honeymoon spot?
Well, between my husband and I, we have 6 kids, so when we went on our Honeymoon, our biggest criteria was “anywhere quiet”
If you could pick anyone famous that would purchase your items for their wedding, who would they be?
Anyone who walks down the red carpet with it on.
If you could choose 1 item from your shop that you wish every bride could have, what would it be?
The “Custom Design Link” that starts their journey to creating the ring of their dreams.
Links where we can find out more about your work: