It took Taylor Kingston around six months to figure out where to begin choosing an engagement ring for his wife Colleen – and he's certainly not the only guy to have faced the decision feeling almost helplessly inexperienced.
The fact Colleen doesn't wear a lot of jewelry didn't make Taylor's task any easier. He knew that cost, size and extravagance wouldn't be important to her – but trips to traditional jewellers didn't bring him any closer to finding the perfect ring.
“The problem was that I didn't have any experience, and yet they seemed to expect me to know about what I wanted,” he recalled. “The experience itself just wasn't pleasant. It would have been a case of 'let's just get this over with', and that's not the way I wanted the whole engagement thing to go.”
Taylor's fortunes changed when he found Chris & Alix online.
“I eventually started thinking about custom designs, and it wasn't until I got in touch with Chris & Alix that I felt like I had a plan and could move forward with everything,” he said. “It was someone else to share ideas with and get working on something without needing to have any experience to draw from.”
Chris & Alix sent Taylor examples of other rings, and he was able to develop his own creation by picking elements that he liked. They sent him 3D software images of the ring – and being a 3D artist himself, he was able to play a more hands-on role than most customers, manipulating the models to his own tastes.
“I wanted something that had a celtic knot sort of shape – almost flush, with a protruding element off the ring,” Taylor explained. “Something small and delicate. They did a great job of translating that into something that could be physically realized. They printed the design off and I was really impressed.”
It also mattered to Taylor that the ring was locally and ethically sourced. Chris & Alix looked at various coloured stones – but in the end found a colourless sapphire from Northern Canada, which looked fantastic in the resulting white gold engagement ring Taylor ordered.
The couple, who live in Montreal, were so pleased with the ring that they came back to Chris & Alix to have matching wedding bands created.
“They wanted something for Colleen that matched the engagement ring, and they sent me one design which was perfect,” said Taylor. “I don't wear jewelry so I wanted something that I knew I would like, and it was difficult to put my ideas into words. But they were able to build it and it came out exactly how I wanted it to.”
Taylor and Colleen met in London, Ontario, around eight years ago. Colleen was the roommate of a friend of Taylor's who was at university.
They got married on October 11, 2014.
Taylor and Colleen's story was also featured in La Presse on Saturday, January 24, in an article about engagement rings.