After hearing Slisha speak at a WeWork networking event for female entrepreneurs, we were curious to know more about her business and brand. Based in New York City’s diamond district, Fourmine allows customers to try on three different 3D printed engagement rings in their home, office or personal space. They also have an array of other diamond jewelry pieces such as earrings, necklaces, and other ring styles.
LOOK: How did the company come about?
SK: My co-founder is my husband. We have been working on Fourmine for the last four years. My husband is a third generation jeweler. We wanted to do something different in the jewelry space, something that would disrupt it in a interesting way. When my husband and I were getting engaged, we went to jewelry stores and realized how uncomfortable it was, for us and our friends, to try on rings and make a decision on the spot. We looked on line for engagement rings and realized there had to be a better way to try on engagement rings. You could not touch or hold the rings seen online, lack of variety and there were a 30-40% markup on the rings. We wanted to bridge the best of online and offline experience with shopping for engagement rings, where you can try on the rings at your convenience. Give people a more personalized experience when shopping for engagement rings.
LOOK: Is it difficult in working with your husband?
SK: Some days it is and other days it’s amazing. We both have the same vision for the business and the same goals for making this experience the best it can be. We are both so committed and have the same mind set for this business.
LOOK: Fourmine is breaking with the traditional experience of shopping for an engagement ring, where the ring would be a surprise-purchased by one partner, instead of shopping together for a ring.
SK: Yes, 60% of women are helping with the shopping of the engagement rings, with the size of the stone, the metals, style. These women are letting their partners know what they want or what they are looking for. Some men are secretly shopping with the at home or office service to preview rings for their partners as a surprise to their partners. Women love trying on rings, sparkly things. The at home service is a great way for women to try on rings, at home, that would want in an engagement ring.
LOOK: What were some of the biggest obstacles when you and your husband started this company?
SK: We didn’t know the whole ins and outs of the e-commerce business in every sense. How complex it is, the marketing and the technology side of an ecommerce company. We are a venture backed company so we have to keep our investors happy and excited about our business. One of our challenges is to keep our results at a high level, not just for ourselves but for our investors also.
LOOK: Your website is very informative about the company history and history of diamonds.
SK: We love to educate our customers on diamonds and to let our customers know about us. We want to make them feel comfortable in working with us.
LOOK: Your customers are a wide range of women and men?
SK: Yes. Our customer base comes from small towns across the US, in addition to more dense populated towns and cities. In small towns, people may not have a wide variety of jewelry stores to choose from so our online store really gives them another choice for engagement rings or jewelry. California, Texas, Virginia and the whole east coast are our predominant client base. We love bringing our premium service to all of our customers.
LOOK: Your engagement rings are the only 3D replica rings right now?
SK: Yes. Engagement rings are the most emotional purchase one can make. It’s something you want to take your time to make this important purchase. We will in time move into expanding the 3D replica process to other jewelry.
LOOK: What trends are you seeing, for engagement ring styles?
SK: Classic styles are always in. They want something that will last forever. Halo styles are very popular right now. THe make the center diamond look larger-add more sparkle to a ring. Solitaire is the most classic style. More younger people are going for vintage styles. Something with personality, like they have. Rose gold is also a popular look these days. 70% of people prefer a round diamond and white gold for an engagement ring. We can make jewelry to someone’s specifications since we custom make every piece.
LOOK: Let’s talk about the rings. The 3D replica rings. Where are they made?
SK: The 3D replica rings are made in overseas with a company that specializes in 3D printing and jewelry. The rings are made of with a metallic aloette that is silver based, mixed with other metals so that it does not tarnish. The materials mimic white gold or platinum. The diamonds are lazer set with diamond simulants that are the highest quality available to simulate a real diamond rings sparkle. When you slip it onto your finger, you get to feel and see what a real diamond ring would be like on your finger.
LOOK: and the other jewelry, are they made in New York?
SK: Yes. Everything is made in house, in a two block radius of the diamond district. We want to inspect every piece that goes out, maintain quality control and make sure everything is done perfectly for someone.
LOOK: What other types of jewelry to you make?
SK: We work with all sorts of gemstones, ranging from rubies, sapphires and emeralds. We make beautiful pendants, earrings, necklaces and other rings. Since we can offer this 3D printing of jewelry and customize on the fly, we can make this jewelry very personal.
LOOK: What is do you see as to the next phase for Fourmine?
SK: We realized this home preview shopping concept for engagement rings is stress free. We want to keep expanding this shop at home experience for other types of jewelry, in addition to engagement rings. We want people to feel comfortable in shopping for jewelry, not matter what the price point or occasion, online. We want to be the one stop shop for jewelry online.
We are also expanding our at home preview to include a diamond see kit of different shapes and sizes of diamonds. With this kit, you will be able to see how a certain diamonds may work for you and the ring shape you choose.
LOOK: What would be your advice to other women to get their start-up off the ground?
SK: It’s really important to be confident and comfortable in your own skin. Do not to be afraid to take your voice and experiences into your business. Your story is one of your strongest selling points. Be confident and believe you can do it all.