So.. full disclosure, many of my good friends have said over the course of the past few months “you HAVE to meet Kaeleigh Testwuide, President of the Diamond Reserve, she’s amazing and has such an interesting story”. Naturally, I was curious! I had so many questions….. What is the Diamond Reserve? What is this interesting story? Is she just dripping in diamonds? Ok, Ok, so…. Let’s get to answering all these questions below. Kaeleigh thank you SO much for speaking with me and shedding some light on an industry that I quite frankly know nothing about.
Initially, when everyone began telling me how much I needed to meet you it went like this. “So….. she basically got her start in the diamond industry through answering an ad on Craigslist.” Can you share your story with us?
Crazy how life happens, but yes through a Craigslist ad! I was looking for a job and the gentleman who previously owned the The Diamond Reserve was hiring someone to manage the brand. I thought the position sounded interesting and, what I believe to be fate, got hired. At the time, The Diamond Reserve was just a marketing company that generated leads, those leads were then sent to a diamond broker, I worked out of the broker's office. That broker was selling EGL certified diamonds. Shortly after working for The Diamond Reserve I realized how much potential the brand had, I wanted to rebrand it and only sell GIA certified diamonds. That is exactly what I did, with a mission to educate each and every client on diamonds, creating an extremely transparent diamond buying experience in a private setting.
Have you always been interested in diamonds and fine jewelry?
I was not always interested, but as soon as I was hired I became extremely interested. I saw that Denver had a demand for an honest diamond buying experience, a private jeweler, and a large selection of GIA certified diamonds… and I wanted to create that! I truly believe diamonds, engagement rings, and jewelry is my calling. I LOVE what I do.
If someone is interested in a diamond for an engagement ring or another piece of jewelry, why should they start the process with the Diamond Reserve instead of going to a typical jewelry store? How do you de-mystify something that can feel so intimidating?
When someone begins the diamond buying process, whether that be for an engagement ring or a piece of jewelry, I do recommend they shop around at the retail stores. They can try things on and get a really good idea of what they are looking for; plus, once they have been to the retail store and then they visit us, there is no going back! They see what a price difference there is and for higher quality in working with us.
Diamonds are very intimidating, there is SO much information on the internet and retail sales associates tell the consumer so many different things! One thing we do have down is de-mystifying that, and how we do that is by being 100% honest and transparent, we always put education first. It is not our mission to just sell any diamond or push our clients into a purchase they are not confident in, our mission is to guide our clients in this process. We work diligently to help each and every client find the diamond that speaks to them!
I have to imagine, based on my very limited experience, that the diamond industry is very male-dominated. How have you managed to gain respect and influence within the industry?
The diamond industry is very male-dominated. I see lots of women in the jewelry and design side, but not so much in the actual diamond side. Gaining respect in this industry is an everyday effort, I think I have done that by moving a lot of diamonds, and by being very particular in my diamond buys. I don't get pushed into buying a diamond for my inventory that does not have a place or is not up to my quality standards, I maintain a certain quality that I believe in for my inventory; that is why my clients work with us, they know we have the most stunning selection! I am not so sure I have much influence in this industry...yet, but I have high hopes that I can continue to grow and have success in the diamond industry, and show women that we too have a place here!
What is your favorite part of being the President of a company that you have built? What is your least favorite part?
My favorite part about it all is educating my clients and feeling like we actually helped them, not just sold them, and through that seeing our growth as a brand and team. My least favorite part of it is the pressure of deadlines, we cannot miss a deadline in this business as we are talking about someone's proposal, so at times there is a lot of stress that comes with trying to hit a tight deadline, as there are so many working parts and people that are involved in every single engagement ring!
How do you see the Diamond Reserve growing as a brand? Are their changes you hope to see in the jewelry industry in general?
I see The Diamond Reserve possibly branching out to other states and continuing to spread awareness and education to consumers about diamonds. There are changes I would like to see in this industry, especially in the engagement ring side. So many of my clients come in and tell me that retailers told them a GIA certificate doesn't matter, or that buying a lab grown diamond is more ethical, and so much more. Buying an engagement ring is typically one of the largest first purchases of someone's life, jewelers need to acknowledge this more, there needs to be more honesty and transparency when it comes this purchase. I am not just a private jeweler, I am an educator, a designer, and someone that is trusted to be part of one of life's most exciting times, my hope is that more jeweler's can honor that they are too and not push sales, but guide them.
Kaeleigh, you are so cool and such an inspiration for making your way into what I have to imagine is a pretty hard industry to “crack” into. Thank you so much for taking time out of your packed schedule to answer my questions! True to form, I’m going to end our interview with my favorite “rapid fire” questions…..
Favorite Food/ Dish to order: Elk Chorizo Burrito made by my husband!
Favorite Podcast: Rapaport Diamond Podcast
Favorite Swear Word: I am a lady and I try not to swear, haha... let’s skip this one? ;)
What advice would you give your 20 year old self? There will always be people who doubt you, try to take away what is yours, and that will push you down. If you continue to believe in not just yourself, but your team, what you believe is right, and you work hard, as hard as you can, you can and will manifest your dreams, and in doing all of that, you will change the world.
To check the Diamond Reserve out, click through to the below links!