On the front lines
He may not be a household name yet, but when it comes to the Canadian jewellery industry, most people know the name “Noam Carver.”
by Irina Lytchak
Jewellery designers are not hard to come by these days but aside from his innovative designs, Carver stands apart from the rest for the simple fact that everyone knows who he is.
“I’m not just a designer-for-hire,” he says. “This whole business is about relationships and developing them is how you build your brand, especially when you’re just starting out.”
Since we first had the pleasure of featuring Carver in our magazine back in 2008, countless industry members have had nothing but praise to say whenever the name “Noam Carver” would come up in conversation at any jewellery industry event or trade show.
This comes as no surprise since Carver truly understands and honours the importance of his relationships within the industry.
“It’s your retailers that will build your name,” he says. “These are the people that build your credibility. These are the people that go to your collection when a customer comes into a store.”
Making the switch
Prior to joining CrownRing as the principal designer for his namesake brand, Carver was gaining recognition for some of his boundary-pushing men’s jewellery designs.
“When I came up with the men’s line, I was a bit younger and I wanted to create something that had never been done before,” he explains. “I pushed the limits to the farthest degree, and it was good, and it was also bad. The whole collection was ahead of its time.”
Since moving on from men’s jewellery, the designer has solely focused on creating exquisite bridal and engagement rings, noting that his passion for this particular industry was there all along.
“I have always done bridal on the side,” he says. “Out of all of the collections I’ve worked on and the things I’ve ever jumped on, bridal has always been the underlying, consistent product I’ve always come back to.”
When asked how his approach has changed to designing for such a competitive market, Carver says that it’s not him but the industry that has changed.
“When I design collections within bridal, I identify who will be wearing it, what is the client like and what she would feel like.”
From start to finish
Carver’s drive to be involved in every aspect of the process – from designing a piece to placing it on a woman’s finger – is truly unique to the industry. In most cases, consumers don’t ever get to see the face of the person that created their piece.
“Designing is like building a brand: you have to see it through every single step – from the materials, to the production, to the finishing,” he says. “When I design a piece, I ask myself, ‘How can it be assembled logically? Am I able to play with the design? How will it be displayed? How will it be marketed?’ All of these elements have to be taken into account. The more you see the whole picture, the better the project has a chance of succeeding.”
Whoever has ever stopped by the CrownRing booth during a tradeshow, knows that there is a very good chance of getting to see the man behind the masterpieces. Today, Carver is one of the few designers out there that’s not only in attendance at every major show but also takes the time to visit every one of his retail clients across the country.
“This brand is my baby, and I want to see it through and through,” he says. “I want to make sure that every element and angle is complete. It’s important to me that every single ring ships on time, and every customer is happy with their experience.”
The perfect partnership
Carver joined the CrownRing team back in 2010 and he attributes today’s solid and sound partnership with the jewellery house to perfect timing, adding that, “It was almost like love at first sight.”
“My partners are young and cool, and we share the experience of building a foundation,” says Carver. “We were ready to handle each other, we were able to compliment each other, and that shared dream and passion for the jewellery industry is what linked us together.”
When it comes to his success, Carver doesn’t take all of the responsibility – he recognizes that teaming up with CrownRing gave him a leg up above the competition.
“You’re only as strong as the people you surround yourself with. And being able to start off a jewellery line with CrownRing as your clout gave me a huge head start.”
It turned out to be a perfect union. By 2010, CrownRing needed a push in its engagement ring category and what better person to do the job than Carver?
“Men’s jewellery is a hard market and a tough sell,” he explains. “So we shifted gears with the CrownRing and Noam Carver brands and we wanted to put all of our efforts into bridal. That’s why today, they complete the whole circle of CrownRing being a bridal house.”
Founded in 1999 by longtime friends Thierry Bellisha and Haimy Mann, CrownRing has gained a reputation for creating exquisite bridal and engagement rings. In addition to carrying Noam Carver’s pieces, CrownRing also manufactures Carlex — a luxurious collection of architectural wedding bands created using cutting-edge technology. Today, CrownRing works with a wide number of retailers across the country and continues to pursue new accounts south of the border.
“We have a great base of representation all across Canada and we’re working with great retailers who I am more than happy with,” says Carver.
“It’s about the foundation you have around you and CrownRing has built an incredible business in North America based on customer service. Through that, we’ve seen rapid growth, and it’s given us an opportunity to market our company on a greater scale.”
Canada’s shining star
As it stands, Carver’s path shines brighter than the diamonds he uses to set his rings and his talent lies in his ability to transform mainstream designs by adding his own unique touch to them.
“It took me 15 years to get to this point, and I haven’t stopped since I started,” he says. “I was born into this industry, and it’s as much a part of my DNA as anything else.”
And although he is a part of a much larger and prestigious team today as opposed to working on his own, Carver continues to stay true to his art and never loses his distinctive creativity. Having a team that supports and celebrates him as an artist is just the icing on the cake.
“I’m in this position, where I have the right team, the right partners and the right vehicle to dream and do big,” he says. “I guess it’s the marriage of these two elements – the designer and foundation – that make it a possibility.” CJ