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Who to use for custom?

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stepcutgirl

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I''m going to be having a custom ring made in the future. I''ve talked to both wf and Brian Gavin''s new company. I''m very new to all of this and would like to hear your opinions on who you would choose and why. Thanks!
 

neatfreak

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Well whiteflash has a long running reputation as a great company with very nice customer service and products. Brian's company is very new- but at the same time Brian and Leslie were at the top at WF for a long time-so I am sure they know how to run things over there too.

Personally I would probably base it off of who gave me the best price as you are likely to have a good experience with both vendors.

Another person I would consider is Mark at Engagement Rings Direct. Especially if you want a step cut stone (and don't have it already) Mark has a wonderful eye for stones and his benchmen are really great-they do beautiful custom work.
 

Maisie

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I would definitely give Brian Gavin a call. He and Lesley are wonderful knowledgable approachable people. Whiteflash are great too but there are a lot of new staff there and I don't know any of them so I can't recommend anyone to you.
 

Lorelei

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Ditto the ladies above!
 

Allison D.

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Date: 4/1/2009 9:13:09 AM
Author: Maisie
I would definitely give Brian Gavin a call. He and Lesley are wonderful knowledgable approachable people. Whiteflash are great too but there are a lot of new staff there and I don't know any of them so I can't recommend anyone to you.
Maisie, this perception concerns me, so I'd like to put anyone who may be similarly concerned at ease.

You do actually still know most of the staff; they're the same people who've been here for years. Of the 30+ people we have at Whiteflash, there are only two relatively new employees, Bryan Boyne and Liza Horowitz, and both have come to us through our recent acquisition of another company.

While new to Whiteflash, they are not new to the jewelry industry. Bryan, our Vice President, comes to us with over 30 years in the jewelry industry; he is a GIA Graduate Gemologist and a GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional. Liza brings more than 3 years experience to the table as well having joined our sales team.

Our bench staff remains unchanged; Leon has been our production manager for more than 5 years, and most of our bench jewelers have been with us for at least the three years since we moved into our renovated facilities. Bob Hoskins has been with us for nearly 10 years and holds his G.G as well; Vera has been the lead customer service contact for us for more than four years now.
 

strmrdr

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Alj,

Is there a link to more information about Bryan Boyne?
Sort of an introduction page?
 

Maisie

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Date: 4/1/2009 11:51:35 AM
Author: Allison D.

Date: 4/1/2009 9:13:09 AM
Author: Maisie
I would definitely give Brian Gavin a call. He and Lesley are wonderful knowledgable approachable people. Whiteflash are great too but there are a lot of new staff there and I don''t know any of them so I can''t recommend anyone to you.
Maisie, this perception concerns me, so I''d like to put anyone who may be similarly concerned at ease.

You do actually still know most of the staff; they''re the same people who''ve been here for years. Of the 30+ people we have at Whiteflash, there are only two relatively new employees, Bryan Boyne and Liza Horowitz, and both have come to us through our recent acquisition of another company.

While new to Whiteflash, they are not new to the jewelry industry. Bryan, our Vice President, comes to us with over 30 years in the jewelry industry; he is a GIA Graduate Gemologist and a GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional. Liza brings more than 3 years experience to the table as well having joined our sales team.

Our bench staff remains unchanged; Leon has been our production manager for more than 5 years, and most of our bench jewelers have been with us for at least the three years since we moved into our renovated facilities. Bob Hoskins has been with us for nearly 10 years and holds his G.G as well; Vera has been the lead customer service contact for us for more than four years now.
What I meant is that the people I would normally have recommended have gone. I don''t know any of the new sales staff so I can''t say ask for a specific person.
 

stepcutgirl

Brilliant_Rock
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Why does it keep showing on the main screen that someone has responded but when I click on the thread there are no new updates? It''s happened twice where on the main screen it said someone responded but upon coming into the thread that persons response was not here.
 

elle_chris

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Date: 4/1/2009 11:51:35 AM
Author: Allison D.

Date: 4/1/2009 9:13:09 AM
Author: Maisie
I would definitely give Brian Gavin a call. He and Lesley are wonderful knowledgable approachable people. Whiteflash are great too but there are a lot of new staff there and I don''t know any of them so I can''t recommend anyone to you.
Maisie, this perception concerns me, so I''d like to put anyone who may be similarly concerned at ease.

You do actually still know most of the staff; they''re the same people who''ve been here for years. Of the 30+ people we have at Whiteflash, there are only two relatively new employees, Bryan Boyne and Liza Horowitz, and both have come to us through our recent acquisition of another company.

While new to Whiteflash, they are not new to the jewelry industry. Bryan, our Vice President, comes to us with over 30 years in the jewelry industry; he is a GIA Graduate Gemologist and a GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional. Liza brings more than 3 years experience to the table as well having joined our sales team.

Our bench staff remains unchanged; Leon has been our production manager for more than 5 years, and most of our bench jewelers have been with us for at least the three years since we moved into our renovated facilities. Bob Hoskins has been with us for nearly 10 years and holds his G.G as well; Vera has been the lead customer service contact for us for more than four years now.
I think Vera is one of the nicest people (if not the nicest,) I''ve ever spoken with. But Allison, I got the impression she doesn''t normally work with customers looking for stones?
 

zoebartlett

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12,450
I''ve worked with WF (Bob Hoskins, specifically), and it was a wonderful experience. We''d definitely work with WF again in the future. I''ve only heard positive things about Lesley and Brian, and it will be exciting to learn more about their new company. I don''t think you could go wrong either way.
 

Allison D.

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Date: 4/1/2009 5:15:34 PM
Author: elle_chris
I think Vera is one of the nicest people (if not the nicest,) I''ve ever spoken with. But Allison, I got the impression she doesn''t normally work with customers looking for stones?
Elle, you''re correct that Vera''s role isn''t in sales; however, she does have a great deal of contact with most customers at some point during their order process.

I just wanted to be sure that people don''t get the wrong impression from the comment "a lot" of new staff. There really aren''t; there is only one new sales person (Liza) and one new non-sales person. All the others are the same people many of you have been dealing with for years on your orders.
 

Allison D.

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Date: 4/1/2009 12:04:18 PM
Author: strmrdr
Alj,

Is there a link to more information about Bryan Boyne?
Sort of an introduction page?
Hey Storm,

There isn''t yet on our page, but you can see his LinkedIn Profile here: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/bryan/boyne

Bryan''s been in the jewelry industry for more than 30 years and is well versed with experience in both the wholesale and retail side of the business. He has a wide breadth of experience in both the wholesale and retail sides of the business; he helped to build and run Ashford.com''s diamond division. He most recently operated Gemdiamond.com in the same building that houses our production facilities. He is a GIA Graduate Gemologist and a GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional.

On a cool note for sports fans, he also played professional baseball for a few years out of college.
 

strmrdr

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kewl thanks
 

EricaR

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Hey Allison,

I don''t mean to hijack this thread, but have a few people left (other than Brian and Lesley) recently? I had been corresponding with one of your sales staff about a potential purchase and suddenly the emails stopped coming. I was waiting for a quote on a semi-custom piece and so I sent a few follow-up emails but never got a response? Maybe other posters have the perception that there is a "bunch of new staff" because some of their old favorites are no longer with the company.

Just my two cents!
 

Maisie

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I was defintely under the impression that a few people have left WF. I know that Celina and Lyndsey left as well as Lesley and Brian. I am sure there were others too.
 

Allison D.

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I don't mean to hijack, either, but I want to be responsive to the questions some of you have asked. It's really nice that so many people have such a keen interest in the comings and goings of our staff; it really says a lot for them that they've been able to develop such personal relationships with so many of you.

Some of the people being discussed (Celina, Lindsay, etc) left months and months ago....goodness, Celina left a year ago! In ANY business, people come and go; look at how many of our own posters here have changed jobs or careers just in the past year. People change jobs every day for a multitude of reasons.....most often because it's the single biggest way to increase one's earning power. There's also other factors....shorter commutes, more flexible/conducive work hours (especially for those with young families). People also leave jobs for personal reasons...going back to school, moving out of the area with a spouse, taking an extended maternity leave, etc.

When a company's been in business for a long time as we have, normal additional and attrition is inevitable as people focus on their life goals. It was time for Brian and Lesley to do that, too, and we wish them the best in their new endeavors.

Erica, I've asked Sheerah to touch in with you to make sure you have what you need on your semi-custom project; you should be hearing from her shortly. To answer your question: other than Brian and Lesley, the only two people who've left in the last six months are Jamie and Katie. Jamie left the jewelry industry completely to embark on a new career (which I presume meant a much better opportunity) and Katie took a leave of absence. Both Jamie and Katie were known to many of you because they were in consumer facing positions as salespeople.


I know it's disappointing when someone you've formed a good relationship with moves on, but please also keep in mind that there are plenty of familiar faces still here (Bob, Traci, Chris, James, Shandel, Juli, etc.).







 

strmrdr

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To answer the question that started this thread.
It depends.
It isn''t clear yet what is going to happen at WF and how Brian is going to structure his company.
As anyone who has been here a while knows I don''t deal with sales people.
If Lesley and Brian structure their company so they are on the front line them it would be a very huge plus to me and would make me pick them over WF.
If they put sales people out front then I dunno its more even.
So the deciding factor for me would be my very strong aversion to dealing with sales people even if they are nice people.
 

shelleydog

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
136
I met Bryan while I was a Whiteflash recently to have a horseshoe sizer put in my ring. He spent lots of time showing me different possibliities for another ring and was very knowledgeable.
 

Gypsy

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Messages
40,198
Byran or Brian??? I'm getting confused. Can we call the new guy at WF... um... BryanB? Brian from WF always be Brian Gavin (Brian the cutter). It's the the whole DF thing, all over again!

ETA: Thanks for Editing that Shelly.
 

stepcutgirl

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I''d like to get more personal opinions on this if I could. I''ve gotten all my quotes from each vendor and there is a $500 cost difference between the two on one of the designs I showed them, the other one I showed them there was only a $25.00 difference! This is a huge cost difference.
 

Maisie

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I have decided to go to Brian Gavin's company for my wedding band. I want Brian to pick out my diamonds for me. I will always associate him with the Whiteflash A Cut Above diamonds. They were his baby I believe. I have a lot of confidence in his abilities to choose wonderful diamonds.

I also love talking to Lesley. She is a lovely lady and the fact that they have a direct line from the UK which only costs a local call rate for me makes it even easier to spend an hour on the phone with her!!
 

neatfreak

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Date: 4/3/2009 5:55:50 PM
Author: stepcutgirl
I''d like to get more personal opinions on this if I could. I''ve gotten all my quotes from each vendor and there is a $500 cost difference between the two on one of the designs I showed them, the other one I showed them there was only a $25.00 difference! This is a huge cost difference.
Honestly, both vendors are likely to give you a good product. Go based on price or whichever vendor YOU feel most comfortable with. I recently got some new ACA diamonds from WF and let me assure you that they are still stunning even without Brian there. I worked with Traci A who is fabulous.

But I have no doubt that Brian G.''s company would do right by you too.
 

Gypsy

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I'm working with Brian for a custom pendant and have been thrilled. I have not worked with WF on anything custom, so I can't comment there But, this is my second custom process (first was with Ocean) and my general advice follows neatfreaks. Work with whoever you feel most comfortable with, and have the best communication with... in terms of custom, talk to the person who will actually be designing for you (not just a sales person) and make sure you are on the same page. That's the most important thing.
 

kcoursolle

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Date: 4/1/2009 9:11:09 AM
Author: neatfreak
Well whiteflash has a long running reputation as a great company with very nice customer service and products. Brian''s company is very new- but at the same time Brian and Leslie were at the top at WF for a long time-so I am sure they know how to run things over there too.

Personally I would probably base it off of who gave me the best price as you are likely to have a good experience with both vendors.

Another person I would consider is Mark at Engagement Rings Direct. Especially if you want a step cut stone (and don''t have it already) Mark has a wonderful eye for stones and his benchmen are really great-they do beautiful custom work.
Ditto everything here!
 

coda72

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1,637
In this situation, I would probably use whoever gives you the better price. Both are good companies. I recently had WF do a custom project for me and it turned out very well. When I had a minor issue with it, they were very responsive and fixed the problem quickly. I am currently working on a non custom project with Brian Gavin''s company, and Lesley has been her usual more than efficient self responding extremely quickly for price quote requests. So, I don''t think you can go wrong using either company.
 

Maisie

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Date: 4/4/2009 2:04:14 PM
Author: coda72
In this situation, I would probably use whoever gives you the better price. Both are good companies. I recently had WF do a custom project for me and it turned out very well. When I had a minor issue with it, they were very responsive and fixed the problem quickly. I am currently working on a non custom project with Brian Gavin''s company, and Lesley has been her usual more than efficient self responding extremely quickly for price quote requests. So, I don''t think you can go wrong using either company.
Ooooh what are you getting?
 

Maisie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 4/4/2009 2:54:16 PM
Author: coda72
I am getting a band similar to this:

http://www.whiteflash.com/Wedding_Bands/-Danielle--3-4-Eternity-Bezel-Diamond-and-Sapphire-Wedding-Band_1387.htm

I am getting pink sapphires instead of blue and a full eternity band. Lesley gave me a very good price quote, so I am going to have them start on it soon!
Very nice!!! I love pink sapphires! I can''t wait to see it when its finished! I will be getting my new 5 stone diamond band from them soon too!
 
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