By Kendra Thompson
Amidst the celebration of their fifth anniversary, Toronto-based ethical jewellery brand ATTIC is making moves into the future of engagement ring and fine jewellery shopping in a virtual world.
The brand is no stranger to online retail; they offer their full Made to Order collection online, and in the fall of 2019 launched their Ready to Ship core collection of solid gold essentials that ships within 2-3 business days. Their latest endeavour is a new web platform, designed to virtually recreate the experience of shopping in-studio for more intricate custom rings, like engagement rings. Create your ATTIC Ring is an online studio where clients can design their own ATTIC ring from the comfort of their home.
Founders Melissa Gobeil and Susan Shaw wanted to give autonomy and education to customers shopping for engagement rings and other fine jewellery at a distance. “The idea to virtually recreate the experience of coming to the studio was conceptualized even before the pandemic began,” says Gobeil. “In our increasingly digital world, this was the logical next step for us to offer our services to a wider range of customers across the country and world.”
Shoppers can browse a curated collection of conflict-free Unique Diamonds (from Misfit Diamonds), including salt and pepper, grey, icy, champagne, and rosecuts. Next, they can pair the gem directly with the ATTIC Ring Setting of their choice, in addition to further customizations, like gold karat and colour, and side diamonds.
The move has proven to be quite timely, given how COVID-19 is changing the shopping behaviours and retail experience of people across the globe. “Over these last few months, we’ve been amazed at how many people have been excited to work with us remotely to design their engagement rings,” says Shaw. “We never want health and safety concerns, distance, or uncertainty around the process to be barriers in finding the perfect custom piece of jewellery to celebrate yourself or your loved one.”
Another aspect of ATTIC’s new web platform is Jewel School; a series of educational posts around common fine jewellery terminology and FAQs designed to recreate the experience of sitting down with a designer at a jewellery studio.
“Lots of information about materials and processes gets shared when you visit ATTIC in person,” says Shaw. “Jewel School was created to guide clients and support them in making informed decisions.”
The page covers a variety of topics from the four Cs of diamond grading, to rose-cut vs brilliant-cut diamonds, to the anatomy of a ring, and many more.
“Jewel School is also meant to ignite a sense of wonder and play,” says Gobeil. “Fine jewellery is notoriously mysterious, and we wanted to pull back that curtain a bit and invite people in to explore and learn."
Over their five years in business, ATTIC has paired unique designs with innovative tactics, never sacrificing the ethics and sustainability built into their foundational ethos. ATTIC’s jewellery is locally made—from solid gold for longevity and beautiful wear—in-house and in collaboration with some of the city’s best craftspeople. They use 100% recycled gold wherever possible, their diamonds are conflict-free, and they work to bring greater transparency and traceability to supply chains and provenance of gemstones. Additionally, the brand recently became a member of 1% for the Planet, committing to donate 1% of annual revenue to environmental non-profits.
ATTIC’s downtown Toronto showroom and studio is now open again by appointment for those who can and want to view the jewellery collections in person. However anyone unable to shop in-store will certainly enjoy the ease and autonomy that comes from ATTIC’s new virtual custom design experience.