GBA Lifestyle News
City Living Section
By Gayatri Bhaumik | December 18th, 2020

An elevator convo with Sally Ryder of Hong Kong diamond jewelry studio Ryder Diamonds

See here for more from our Next Up series.

The Loop HK Exclusive: Our readers can now enjoy HK$500 off their purchase with Ryder Diamonds. Simply quote “RYDERLOOP” to access the discount. The code is valid until Chinese New Year 2021 (before February 12, 2021).

What do you do?

I’m the founder of RYDER Diamonds, but I like to think that my role encompasses many facets, much like the diamonds we work with. I’m not only a gemologist certified by the GAA, but I’m also a specialist in designing handcrafted, bespoke fine diamond jewelry.

How does your business work?

RYDER Diamonds was founded to celebrate the traditions of jewelry-making and as part of this mission, education is an integral part of the RYDER experience. In creating each bespoke piece, our highly experienced in-house team works closely with clients throughout the process. I often say no two diamonds are the same, and a client’s masterpiece should be just as unique.

From start to finish, we ensure each client is walked through each stage of the creative process. Unlike other jewelers, we start with the design of the piece as these details are far more important than the diamond itself. The design gives the piece its essence and a unique personality that can’t be replicated or purchased off a shelf. A poorly made or designed setting will make even the most expensive and beautiful diamond look unappealing. On the other hand, you can make an average diamond look amazing in a gorgeous design. The creative process can be rather mysterious for the uninitiated, so clients who are curious about what goes into making a bespoke piece can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the RYDER workshop.

We also have a stunning ready-to-wear RYDER Signature Collection, too. We’ve specifically designed this for those who want beautiful diamond jewelry but don’t necessarily have the time to create a bespoke piece.

How did your business get started?

Getting into this industry was a little bit of a mistake and a little bit of fate. It came about when I was at university in Melbourne and looking for a part-time job. I applied for a sales job and with no actual background in sales, found myself selling diamonds.

I later came to Hong Kong with a banking job in the early 2000s, but my heart was set on founding a jewelry brand. Having already had my foot in the industry, my passion for diamonds never died. I even got a certification in Gemology after graduating from university and always had an ambition to get back into the diamond industry.

I founded RYDER Diamonds in 2005 from the desire to revive the dying art of jewelry craftsmanship and create an unparalleled client experience that informs and inspired. I wanted to create a place that was the “Lexus” of diamonds, in between the two ends of the spectrum in Hong Kong with high-end luxury brand stores on one side and low-end mass-manufactured jewelry on the other. I found a niche in the market which I wanted to fill, creating luxurious handcrafted diamond jewelry at a more affordable price.

Who are your customers?

The kind of customer that really enjoys working with us at RYDER Diamonds is someone that has an appreciation of quality craftsmanship and a bespoke, personalized experience focused on storytelling.

What’s a day in your working life like?

Like the bespoke nature of our handcrafted pieces, our days are very different. They’re usually a mix of client consultations, sourcing diamonds from our trusted, ethical suppliers and – our favorite – designing spectacular jewelry!

Alongside this, I personally focus on connecting with our clients throughour social media, developing the online shopping experience, and working alongside our in-house master artisans to study each piece during the crafting process.

Where do you see your business in the future?

I look forward to continuing our efforts to connect with our clientele via social media. During the pandemic, we learned that our audience enjoys conversing and transacting with us via social media and we want to ensure that we’re always improving the experience we offer them.

I also host a monthly complimentary Masterclass (both online and in the showroom) that educates and empowers individuals and clients about the diamond-buying process. I hope to continue and grow this Masterclass in the future.

We also have a collaboration coming up in the new year. I can’t announce it just yet but I’m very excited about it and hope to share more soon!