Ring Premier is a luxury diamond jewelry concierge service based in New York specializing in the creation of hyper curated, high-end pieces and engagement rings.
Manat Kaur is the founder of Ring Premier, the luxury diamond jewelry concierge service based in New York. Growing up in a family who has manufactured fashion for chain stores in America for many generations, Kaur witnessed the behind-the-scenes of the glitz and glam. She inherited their knowledge and expertise in manufacturing, cultivating a deep sense of appreciation and understanding of the overlooked inner workings of the multibillion-dollar industry.
Though initially, she planned to study fashion in the Big Apple in preparation to help her family’s business, Kaur eventually dropped out of fashion school because she felt that the studies and how they were taught were no longer relevant to today’s industry. Instead, she decided to fulfill her childhood dream of working in the fine jewelry industry, kickstarting her own business in the tight-knit and discreet world of diamonds at the tender age of 24. Over the last five years, Kaur actively worked with more than 150 to 200 retail stores across America as well as a few in Europe. Coupled with her background in manufacturing, she thoroughly understands jewelry production and demands at the grassroots level, from manufacturing, and consumer behavior to retail sales.
While Kaur underwent comprehensive diamond training with GIA and gained years of hands-on industry experience to obtain the technical expertise needed to excel in her new domain, she believes that just the technical knowledge is not enough to guarantee complete satisfaction for her customers. Bringing her fashion-oriented perspective bred from years of watching her family operate in the fashion industry, she ensures her customers find their perfect diamond through her modern and hands-on approach.
With an eye for detail and perfection, Kaur’s specialty is in custom jewelry. She works with a carefully-selected team of competent specialists of artisans, designers, setters and more with decades of experience to create exquisite jewelry.
Today, Ring Premier works toward its mission of producing one of a kind physical memories through luxury and affordable jewelry pieces for the everyday, modern woman.
How did you get started in this business?
It started when I was helping my sister shop for an engagement ring and noticed there wasn’t much personalization in this industry. I did a sketch of her dream design and contacted some manufacturers, and one thing led to another until I built my sister a bespoke ring. People were so enamored by it that they wanted my help too.
How do you make money?
I use my design skills and manufacturing network to help clients design their dream engagement rings.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
I started generating steady revenue since the very beginning, as my sister’s ring brought me many referrals. We were only breaking even for the first 18 months, and then we started turning profits.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I think it’s very natural to second-guess yourself when you are still learning. It wasn’t easy to gain confidence in the diamond industry since it is a male dominant space and most businesses were kept “in-the family.” It took a lot of perseverance, faith, conviction and a lot of cheerleading from my dad to get my foot in the door.
How did you get your first customer?
My sister was my first client – I actually consider her my muse. From there on, it was very referral-based. It was her friends, and friends of friends.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Up to this point, we’ve only been using referrals but are in the process of launching social media accounts and a website. I’ve learned how valuable digitalization can be in generating more revenue and am excited about implementing it into my business. I know that it can bring us a lot of exposure and a very diverse client base, which I am really looking forward to.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
It was firing an employee for the first time. This was very rough for me as I spent a lot of time and consideration bringing people on board with me and was rooting for this person. Despite giving them multiple chances, it was necessary for the company to flourish.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
My willingness to learn and work hard. I don’t mind working throughout the night and into the morning because I believe persistence has led to my success, and I’m only getting started.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My first international client didn’t have much of a budget to work with, but I was determined to satisfy their vision as best I could despite the financial restrictions. After their wedding, I received the sweetest note about how much they loved the ring and how impressed their family and friends were. I was overwhelmed with satisfaction. The letter is still posted in my office.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
We are incorporating modern technology and digitalization to make it easier for clients to design their dream engagement rings from the comfort of their homes. I’m also very excited to continue experimenting with ring designs, trendy jewelry and even never-seen-before diamond cuts. We are also putting in place a traceability program to bring more transparency to the diamond supply chain. The vision is for our clients to be able to trace the journey of their diamonds from mine to their jewels. I want my current and prospective clients to know that anything that they can and cannot even imagine- we will work to make it a possibility in the fine jewelry sphere.
What business books have inspired you?
“Rich Dad Poor Dad” was an eye-opening book that explained finances and the human behaviors tied to them.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Think about the bigger picture. As the adage goes, ‘if it’s not going to matter in five years, don’t spend more than five minutes being upset by it.”
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
Yes, absolutely. I will be more than happy to support more women founders, no matter where they are in their entrepreneurial journey.