Sunday, August 23, 2009

Diamond Nexus Labs: Making History with 2009 Miss Universe

Today's guest is Brianne Smith, representing Diamond Nexus Labs in Franklin, Wisconsin.

Let’s talk about the crowns. Diamond Nexus Labs created the crowns for Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and now Miss Universe.

Yes we did. Miss USA and Miss Teen USA have already passed, but we did make the crowns for those two pageants. And we’re very excited about the Miss Universe pageant.

Can you start in the beginning and tell us how you got involved with that?

We are based in Franklin (WI) and started around 5 or 6 years ago. We are the world leader in lab created precious gemstones, so pretty much you are getting the same look as a mined diamond. You’re just not getting a blood diamond, and you’re not hurting the environment. We’re trying to save the environment and we’re going green and eco-friendly. There are a lot of good benefits to what we do. We also save (the consumer) a ton of money, which is always good.

Mikimoto, a huge name in jewelry, had designed the previous crowns.

Mikimoto, even Tiffany, has done the crown. One of our customers is part of the Donald Trump organization. He has bought our products before, he loves our products and what we stand for, and he took it to Donald Trump himself. Donald Trump said, “You know? Why not.” So he actually chose us, and we are the first eco-friendly company in history to design the crown for the Miss Universe organization. It is a huge honor for us, especially being from small town Wisconsin.

You did something unique for the Miss Universe crown. You allowed people from all over the world to vote on three different designs. How did that decision come about.

It’s called Choose the Crown, ( and you can vote for your favorite design. The crown will be revealed Sunday.

So all three models have been completed and the winning crown will be revealed with the winner of the pageant. Will anyone from Diamond Nexus be on location?

The CEO is there, and our Director of Marketing. The Miss Universe pageant is in the Bahamas and they’ll be on location representing Diamond Nexus Labs.

You have a video on your site that shows the progression of the designs. How did your designers feel working on this project?

Well it’s a huge honor for them. They were a little overwhelmed with the Miss USA crown, and then to do the Miss Universe crown, which reaches the entire world - it is a huge, huge honor just to have designed one crown.

Do you have future plans to expand product line or future stores?

Sure, we do plan to expand next year and will be popping up around the country.

Let’s talk about styles that are really popular now. We’re easing into fall. How do styles change, what are you focusing on now?

Part of what we do is engagement rings and bridal sets. That’s still number one in the store. A lot of people are now moving on to the lab created, based on the ethical reasons behind it, going green, saving the environment. Now with the economy, saving money is huge. We have a lot of couples coming in and buying the sets. Right now I would say the vintage/antique style is very popular, which we have a large collection in the store.

In terms of settings, and do you also do the antique cuts like Cushion cut?

Sure, we have all cuts. The Asher cut is also very popular with the vintage style. It brings back that classic look, that antique look, and that’s very popular.

What’s one of your favorite pieces?

I actually wear a ring called the Athala, and it is part of that antique/vintage style. That’s personally one of my favorites, that’s why I wear it.

Can you tell me a little bit about your experience getting into Diamond Nexus Labs? Were you in jewelry before?

I worked for a natural-mined jewelry store before I moved over to Diamond Nexus. I managed a store and Diamond Nexus started to branch out into the retail world. I believe whole-heartedly in what they do and stand behind what they do, and thought it would be a good move for me. I manage the retail store, and the store has been open almost a year now. I have been with the company for a year and managing ever since.

It’s been an exciting time for you.

Yes it has, it has been a very exciting year. Very exciting.
We should mention the store is located in Mayfair Mall.

Yes, down from Panera (in the main, center entrance). Or you can shop online. And we are renovating the site and our store, going for a more green, eco friendly look.

Congratulations to Diamond Nexus Labs for the winning Peace design, and to Miss Universe 2009, Stefania Fernandez.

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