Diamonds & Whiskey

Perfectly curated diamond designs paired with an altogether harmonious whiskey. Take a step into the Wanderlust Jewelers studios for a design consultation, educational conversation, or a good ole game of darts.

A Manly Recap

  Heather has a page in her Wanderlust notebook that is labeled   “Wes’s Harebrained Ideas” that she uses to collect some of the quick, sometimes off-the-wall, sometimes ridiculous things that spew from Wes’s mouth. Every time he gives a disclaimer that it should go on the page, but this last time the idea wasn’t so harebrained after all.

. . .

The idea: To have a night built for dudes to hang out and talk about dude things. 

A Manly Night

But how did this even relate to jewelry and why did he bring it up in our Monday meeting? Our topic of conversation and our seemingly biggest challenge in the bridal world is how we get in front of the guy who is ready to propose, but not sure where to start. If you go by the media’s suggestion, then everyone will end up at Kay’s or Jared’s which isn’t conducive to helping our small business flourish. Even pairing up with companies like Wedding Wire and The Knot are mostly only helping those looking for wedding bands as their engagement rings have already been purchased and bestowed upon their future spouse.
 
 
So we decided to test this man-evening idea and approach The Wine Spot in Cleveland Heights to see what they thought about hosting an event that could cater to the XY chromosomal-type for the night. They loved the concept, and we quickly started contacting businesses that could offer up something fabulous and educational for the event.
 
 
 
 
On June 8th, 2015 we had our first A Manly Night where we were able to launch our bridal collection and showcase some pretty stunning custom work. In order to create a visually appealing display with a manly edge, we used wine crates, cigar boxes and cigars to showcase the work. Our goal was to not only debunk all the typical engagement ring myths to men, but to let everyone know that we’re here, we’re local, and we want to be your jeweler. Women were obviously welcome (and were handed a mustache on a stick at the door), so we had the honor of speaking to a wide range of awesome future Wanderlust Jewelers customers all night. 
 

 

Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa set up a pop-up shop with a shoe shine station, massage chair, a barber chair for beard and neck clean ups, and a straight razor shaving presentation which drew almost the entire audience to the front of the store. Not only was it a chance for them to expand their customer base, but also educate men on the reemergence of the old school techniques used by our grandfathers. Also located in Cleveland Heights, their full amenities barber and spa service caters to men and women alike.

 
 
 
Brigade also set up a pop-up shop with an assortment of dapper menswear and accessories. Strong yet neutral blazers hung with simple and structured shirts, while a perfectly paired array of oxfords, dress socks and leather wallets made it an easy one-stop-shop for any guy. With many years under their belt (pun intended) in the fashion industry, they were able to educate men on various cuts and colors to best represent every guy’s individual style. Brigade is located in Beachwood Mall right next to Sak’s.  

46 and 2 Brewing was introducing attendees to the coolest thing to happen to coffee. Combing the skills of a brewer, a chemist, a master roaster, and a local retailer, this company is currently campaigning to bring their cold brew coffee concoction to the masses. Imagine a glass filled from a beer tap with what looks to be a dark stout, but when you take a sip you’re hit with the flavor of cold coffee and the aroma of hops. Stocked full of caffeine and not a single drop of alcohol, this frothy and smooth drink left people slightly perplexed and craving more. 

The Wine Spot hosted the event in their large and stunning retail space. Not only are they a wine and craft beer store, but they have a full liquor license so you can enjoy a beer from the tap, or the one you just purchased from the cooler. Bourbon drink specials were flowing all night as they discussed their expansion into the wedding market. With the flux of DIY weddings, The Wine Spot offers you a personally curated selection of beer and wine to pair with your menu. 
 
Sandwiched between Game 2 and 3 of the NBA playoffs, we were very excited to see everyone that turned up for the casual Monday night event. Swag bags full of amazing goodies were handed out, cards were exchanged, and new friends were made. The plans for a bigger and better second addition are already underway for the fall, so ladies grab your men and men, grab your dudes and meet us at the next A Manly Night for some booze, brews, barbers & bling!
 

The Journey: Pencil & Paper to Gold & Diamonds​

Telling the story of one of our amazing couple’s experience with us is one thing, but having them share in their own words brings a whole new meaning. 
 
We always wanted to share Anna & Matthew’s story with you, as it truly encompasses everything we offer in the design process. Not only did they design her engagement ring together, but they came back to the studio to hand fabricate each other’s wedding bands. The collaboration between client and designer was a true thing of beauty as the excitement and gratitude was greeted with many hugs, laughs, and clinking of whiskey glasses.
 
Lucky for us, Anna felt compelled to write this delightful story showcasing her experience with using her own perspective and emotion to capture the true essence of the process…

Anna & Matthew

On October 23rd, 2016, my sweetheart parked the truck, fed a quarter to a Cleveland Heights meter, and asked me to design a ring, “Because you’ll be wearing for the rest of your life.” As I stopped dead in my tracks, our journey began.  
 
The excitement hadn’t worn off yet as we, hand in hand (mine still a little shaky), ascended the now infamous and familiar stairs towards Wanderlust. We were greeted by Wes and Jaeda in their charming jewelry studio, which encompasses craftsmanship and intimacy at its finest. We were also greeted by a much appreciated glass of champagne and celebratory shots of whiskey, which became a tradition with every visit thereafter.

The process of designing and crafting our rings was broken down into several visits which spanned from October to March. The initial visit, after the congratulatory buzz and cheers subsided, was dedicated to rough sketching a concept for both the engagement and wedding bands. For a girl who has troubling picking out a pair of jeans, the idea of picking out the perfect diamond and the perfect setting was a bit, overwhelming… at first.
 
 I was first introduced to Wes’s unique and outright gorgeous pieces, as sample diamond and precious gemstone rings handcrafted in Byzantine fashion and traditional styles, were laid out before me. Clustered or solitaire stones set in prongs and bezel setting, emerald cut diamonds, oval cut diamonds, marquise, princess and cushion cut diamonds were all used to help inspire a ring of my own… now this was getting easy.
 
My fiancé Matthew and I decided on an asymmetrical design, with two bezel set diamonds wrapped in 22 karat gold. It is representative of Wes’s style, but with symbolic undertones of our own. We left Wanderlust that day, but not without me snapping a shot of the original sketch. I would have worn that picture around my finger if I could have.
The following months brought exchanges of emails regarding adjustments and tweaking the final product that would one day be my engagement ring. With every correspondence, the excitement of the initial proposal was relived. The prolonged anticipation made it feel as though it was my wedding day, every day.  
 
 
Towards the end of winter, we got the email that my engagement ring was finished.  The unveiling of it was treated as yet another special gathering at the Wanderlust Studio. With whiskey, wine, and a little black box set out on the table, the most memorable moment of my life was about to happen. Matthew had formally asked me to marry him, as Wes and Jaeda were there to witness it. The ring far exceeded what I had imagined it to be; it was a tangible and materialized symbol of devoted love and promise. From paper and pencil to gold and diamonds, being able to witness the entire process made the ring more… genuine.  
 
 

The engagement ring became even more meaningful later that week when Matthew snapped a shot of us on the Abbey Bridge while sitting on a particularly special bench. Our hooded heads held closely together resembled the layout of the diamonds completely; the larger diamond leaning up against the smaller one. The similarity was unmistakable and made me believe that this ring was designed with divine knowledge of this moment beforehand.

 
Our story took on another layer of depth when Wes invited us back to the studio to make our wedding bands. I imagined the scenario to be one in which my fiancé I swung the hammer a couple of times on pre-molded bands, as Wes would redo, fix, and pound out all of our mistakes as soon as we left. But this was not the case. Wes invited us back to the studio to MAKE our wedding bands, and he wasn’t kidding. Though patience, gentile guidance, and specific instruction, Wes had the trust to allow us to put our untrained hands on precious materials, torches, and his collector’s items. Each twist of gold and pounded imprint of vintage hammer was scripted by our own hands. I made Matthew’s band, as he made mine. We would each be wearing the work of each other, forever.   
After the final sizing, we left Wanderlust that day without taking off our wedding bands because… why not? Though we are not married yet, Matthew and I felt the rings are too beautiful and life is too short to not experience these bands for as long as we possibly can.
 
I find myself staring at my rings, way more than I’m willing to admit or count. The diamonds cast unbelievable reflections when the sun hits them the right way, just as Wes said they would. I am in awe every time. To me the experience and the rings are synonymous, they go hand in hand. It is a piece of jewelry wrapped not only in gold, but memories. What more could a girl ask for?

Something White & Something Engaging!

On January 17th, we had the pleasure of participating in the fifth annual Something White Boutique Bridal Bazaar (say that three times fast). This beautifully curated group of wedding vendors set up mini shops in the Hyatt Arcade for a high energy and beautifully lit event. It was our first year, and it did not disappoint!

Ben & Julia

Hundreds of people braved the bitter Cleveland weather to check out possible vendors for their upcoming weddings. A walk down this aisle hit your nose with sweet scents of flowers and sugary confections, your ears with dance-worthy beats, and your eyes with whimsical and unique place settings.
 
Wanderlust was the only jewelry vendor there, and our booth boasted bright and shiny objects which drew almost every single attendee in to take a peek. We showcased our bridal collection, and hung photos of some of our most recent custom work.
 
This event was not only important for us to get our name out there into the community as a wedding ring jeweler, but we were also part of a much bigger plan that went down right at our booth.
 
Suddenly, up walks Ben and Julia. We knew who they were, Ben knew who we were, but Julia had no idea. They were gazing around our display and we were pitching them our typical spiel. Wes inquired “So when is the date?” to which Julia replied “Well, I don’t really have a ring YET.” Most times this may have been awkward, but little did she know it would be only a matter of 60 seconds before she got her ring. 
 
Ben asked us if we had any examples of custom pieces we had done in the past, and Wes told him that he actually had a ring on him that a man was coming to pick up later that day. Ben opened the box and he and Julia gazed at the ring together.
 
 
It’s beautiful,” she says. 
 
Ben asks “What size is it?” and ironically it was Julia’s size. He said “You should try it on… because it’s yours,” as he slid it on her finger.
 
He drops to one knee, and Julia drops her coat with a gasp of sheer shock and excitement.
 
 
Coordinating prior to the event, we had the show photographer on site to capture this beautiful and emotional moment. A small crowd gathered, and cheers could be heard throughout the Arcade as she said “yes,” and they embraced one another. Wes popped the champagne, and it was nothing but clinking glasses, hugs, and “congratulations” from then on out.
 
We’re so honored that Ben chose us to create this unique vintage-inspired ring, and even more so that we got to witness such an important moment. 
 
 
Congratulations Ben and Julia! We can’t wait to see your plans for those wedding bands!

The Wanderlust Couple

WANDERLUST CREATIONS | white gold wedding bands with yellow gold linings

WEDDING | May 30th, 2015

THEME | casual & natural. Single blooms in apothecary jars, garden lights in the outdoor tent, navy blue matchbooks & cookie bags.

HONEYMOON | “across the pond”

FUN FACT ABOUT HER | cries whenever she sings above a certain register.

FUN FACT ABOUT HIM | has an extreme green thumb that is slowly turning their home into a jungle.

Andy & Caitlin

Omnia vincit amor, et nos cedamus amori” is Latin for “Love conquers all things; let us yield to love.”

Young Andy and young Caitlin were learning this phrase in their middle school Latin class when they first met. Little did they know that this would become a very meaningful phrase for the two of them later in life.

Remaining friends throughout and after high school, they found themselves following similar paths. They each moved far away for college – Andy to Colorado and Caitlin to North Carolina. They each worked for a couple years after college, with Andy staying out West and Caitlin spending time in Texas and Italy.

Eventually, they each independently decided to go to law school at the same time but in different states – Andy came back to Cleveland to go to Case and Caitlin moved to New York to go to NYU. They stayed in touch during their time in law school, occasionally reaching out to each other for advice, and they graduated the same year. When they learned that they had both registered to take the Ohio bar exam on the same time, they reunited in Cleveland as old friends to share the car ride to the exam together, the nervousness together, and the relief together once it was over. Several months later, they learned that they had both passed, and Caitlin and Andy came together once again to celebrate.  They stayed in touch and shared stories through the fall and winter as they each embarked on their careers.

By the next spring, the two were inseparable.

For the next four years, the pair began to get to know each other on a much more intimate level, and began enjoying a new mix of activities. They traveled together, cooked together, and even made up songs together (we’re still waiting for them to share one with us). After long and stressful days at work, their unwinding ritual consisted of simply walking around the neighborhood together or just relaxing on their porch with a good glass of whiskey.

Side note: We later learned one of Andy’s quirky habits that undoubtedly assured Caitlin that he was the one, was his talent of “cat whispering”. Every time they would head out for a walk, Andy would stop and have a conversation with at least one neighborhood cat, making it a staple part of their day. Who doesn’t love a man who can talk to animals?!

 

Andy and Caitlin appreciate the simple things in life and the mutual love for them in each other.  Their sense of humor is infectious and completely endearing. Maybe it was her ability to get them out of awkward situations by speaking in Italian and pretending not to know English, or maybe it was the Cat Whisperer thing that he had going on, but these two knew that they found their better half in each other.

Then came a busy working Saturday when Andy decided it was time to ask Caitlin to marry him. He didn’t have a ring, as he had done some shopping around at jewelry conglomerates and couldn’t find anything that he was confident she would love, but that didn’t stop him. In the most un-romantic cadence, he made several references to the Ohio Revised Code and tax-filing status, hinting at the benefit of filing together.

Catching his drift, but not fully satisfied with the way it played out, Caitlin pleaded, “You have to say the real words.” 

Andy finally did, and she said “yes.”

 

Another side note: Andy had not yet learned of Wanderlust Jewelers before he proposed. We felt the need to disclaim that little fact as OBVIOUSLY if he had, there would have been no issue in finding the perfect ring for her. Just saying…

Wasting no time, these two planned their entire wedding in SIX WEEKS! Six weeks? Most people can’t even choose bedroom furniture in six weeks. And contrary to the popular topic amongst their wedding guests, no, there is no imminent progeny. Through their friend and owner of Juma Gallery (where Wes’s wife Heather works), Caitlin and Andy learned about Wanderlust Jewelers and quickly made an appointment to discuss design options. Coming to the meeting with absolutely no idea was absolutely no problem. 

Through casual conversation, Wes got to know these two enough to dream up some stunning bands.

 

“We wanted something personal and custom, but we also have very simple tastes,” says Andy. In keeping with a classic theme, Wes created matching white gold wedding bands with yellow “heart of gold” linings. “Ultimately, through Wes’s artistry, we ended up with stunning, unique pieces that feel like they’re a part of each and both of us.”

 

When Andy and Caitlin came back to the studio to pick up the bands a couple days before the wedding, they celebrated with Wes by clinking glasses of Templeton Rye and devouring giant cookies from Presti’s Bakery.  The introduction to this particular brand of rye made enough of an impact that they decided to serve it at the wedding, bringing a little bit of the Wanderlust culture to their special day.

The casual and natural wedding included beautiful floral arrangements from Branch & Bloom that incorporated fresh flowers with mint leaves. Spice of Life catered the delicious hors d’oeuvres, dinner, and bar with an attractive presentation. The wedding cake was a homemade white coconut cake made by Caitlin’s mom, the dessert spread included a variety of scrumptious cakes, cookies, and pies made by family and friends, and Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell were prominent fixtures in the aesthetic.

 

We are so honored to have made these distinguished bands for such a beautiful and down-to-earth couple. We wish them years of happiness, and can’t wait to see how we can continue to be apart of their many memories to come.