LA Business Journal: Diamonds Are Forever; How They’re Chosen Isn’t

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By Eli Horowitz (original post via Los Angeles Buisness Journal)

People looking to propose face a conundrum: surprise your future fiancé and risk disappointment with your ring choice, or involve them in the process at the expense of the surprise.

Hollywood-based Sparkly believes it has solved the problem.

The company, which calls itself the Pinterest of engagement rings, allows users to browse rings based on the “four C’s”: carat, cut, clarity and color. Users can then filter photos to see their preferred rings on hands with similar dimensions to theirs.

Sparkly founder Steve Simon said the company’s website allows users to get a lot more detail compared with some other social media platforms or custom sites. The extra details can be used to curate a registry-like portfolio of their three preferred rings.

“You can browse photos of rings on Instagram, but you don’t really know what you like about them,” said Simon, a former Apple Inc. employee who founded Sparkly after going through the process of picking an engagement ring.

He said 70 percent of women are involved in the process of buying an engagement ring, so he wanted to “celebrate” that but preserve the element of surprise. Once the user is done creating their registry, they provide an email address of the one person who can access it. However, that person – typically a significant other – doesn’t know the registry exists.

“It’s sitting in the cloud waiting to be discovered.”

The discovery would come when a significant other begins to consider shopping for an engagement. Sparkly hopes the process will lead to its website, where visitors can enter their email address. Anyone whose would-be fiancé or fiancée has established a registry will hopefully discover it at that point.

The visitor can then unlock the registry by entering their name or email.

Simon said the goal is for Sparkly to be the go-to place for engagement rings, so buyers would likely check Sparkly to see if their significant other has created a registry. That hope would likely get a boost from the customers who create the registries – and might direct their significant others to Sparkly.

Simon and two partners have financed the company personally so far.

Simon said Sparkly has great potential as a lead generation tool for jewelers. But for now, Simon said the site is focused on gaining users, though the company would not provide any data.

“The foundation of the platform is the ability to filter and go look at photos,” he said. “We’re trying to disrupt this space and make it a fun and enjoyable process. It’s a celebration.”

By Eli Horowitz (original post via Los Angeles Buisness Journal)

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