Moissanite founder story

  • Meg Strachan inherited her love of jewelry from her grandmother, who wore unique costume pieces
  • Strachan founded Dorsey because she didn't see high-quality, affordable jewelry on the shelves
  • She overcame a lot of resistance and brought the company to seven-figure sales today

or a few months ago, Meg Strachan, founder and CEO of lab-made jewelry company , bought Dorsey  , in a department store in New York and wore one of the diamond bracelets from her line.

There she met two older women in the shoe department; One of them was wearing a strikingly similar bracelet and reminded Strachan of her grandmother Dorsey, the namesake of her company. The trio started talking and it didn't take long before the topic of jewelry turned to  .

"That's a very expensive bracelet you're wearing," one of the women said, and when Strachan told her it was lab-grown, she remarked, "Well, mine is real," and remembered her friend remembering that she had just insured it 75.000$.

A back-and-forth about the merits of lab-grown jewelry ensued, and in the end the woman admitted that Strachan's pieces were the type her granddaughter would buy today - and in fact had probably already bought .

That's exactly what Strachan was counting on when she founded Dorsey at the end of 2019.

“The diamond mining industry is not happy with what the lab-grown diamond industry has done,” Strachan tells Entrepreneur .

Related: This jewelry founder turned her side hustle into millions

“I saw a vacancy in a market that many would argue is saturated.“

When Strachan founded Dorsey, she was working full-time as VP of Growth at Girlfriend Collective and raising her young daughter. She had been there since she was 20. He worked in the fashion industry  and had a lot of experience with direct-to-consumer companies. She joked that she has worked at “every kind of startup.”

On a personal level, however, it was deeply familiar. Strachan's grandmother Dorsey was a "jewelry connoisseur" and although she had the means to purchase fine jewelry, she rarely wore it, preferring instead less expensive - but still eye-catching - pieces.

"All her life she wore beautiful costume jewelry that she collected in the '50s and '60s," says Strachan. “And she gave it to her granddaughters. So every August she would clean out her jewelry drawers and we would go through them and wear her pieces. And she was the reason I fell in love with jewelry.“ "

Strachan's business acumen and his love of jewelry revealed a great opportunity: manufacturing of high quality jewelry at an affordable price.

“When I decided to start Dorsey, I saw a vacancy in a market that many people would argue was saturated,” says Strachan. “The price, product quality and brand perspective were not what I wanted as a consumer.“

“Lab grown gives women access to beautiful stones that are much more affordable.“

A century ago, the same designers and factories produced both fine and costume jewelry  her, explains Strachan – which meant it was much harder to tell the difference between, say, an expensive diamond bracelet and a cubic zirconia bracelet.

Back then (and in some contexts even today) it was not uncommon for someone to lean forward and ask whether the stones on a piece were real or fake, which Strachan described as "very personal" and " “somewhat invasive” question.

"It's about what you can afford or what the person who gave it to you can afford," says Strachan. “There’s a lot in it. And depending on who you talk to, the person who asked the question might actually change their answer. So maybe you're with someone who you want to tell them it's a more expensive piece, or maybe you want to too.“downplaying how expensive it is.

Over the last 100 years, however, the boundaries between fine jewelry and costume jewelry factories have become stricter - generally, each factory only produces pieces that fall into one category, says Strachan. Add different designers too, and “you can really touch and feel the difference.“

But Dorsey strives to blur that distinction again.

Consider this: Dorsey's lab-grown, round-cut white sapphire Riviere necklace, which Strachan describes as a "polarizing" piece of jewelry historically only seen on wealthy people or royalty would have seen that were “full of diamonds”. It retails for just $360 – far less than the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars that its diamond counterparts cost.

“There are so many other gemstones,” says Strachan, “and lab-grown gemstones give women access to beautiful stones that are much more affordable. Why hasn't someone developed a jewelry line that looks and feels great, but isn't just that?" for someone who has an incredible amount of money to spend on fine jewelry that most of us don't have?"

For Strachan, the opportunity was completely clear - but not for everyone else .

“Industry doesn’t decide what consumers want – consumers decide what consumers want.“

When Strachan started telling people about her idea, she quickly realized that the jewelry business was "married" to the way it had operated for the last five or six decades - and that It is an “industry run primarily by men” where decisions are made “very quickly” and much behind closed doors.

“I would argue that the marketing that the jewelry industry has used has not evolved much and the consumer has evolved  ,” explains Strachan. “The way we consume and discover products, and the types of products we want to buy and wear, has changed.“

Manufacturers often told Strachan that she was wrong - that there simply wasn't demand for the kind of lab-grown jewelry she envisioned. After they received “heaps of Rejection  After receiving emails from investors, she decided to bootstrap - and founded her company with just 1.000 US dollars (a lot of money for her at the time, as she notes).

Their first orders only included two to three pieces, and in addition to the pandemic Challenges she had to balance her responsibilities as a full-time vice president and mother. “There was no balance,” she recalls, joking that she wouldn’t be one of those people who would share her morning routine since she was neither Avocado  toast still contains hot lemon water.

“I packed everything in my garage and then woke my daughter from a nap so we could go to the USPS for the second time that day. I took bags full of orders, packed them back in my Jeep Grand Cherokee and drove to the USPS. Strachan says: “And then I cried at the end of the day because I was so exhausted.“

Strachan continued to personally ship and pack each order until Dorsey reached $1 million in sales.

“It was really interesting for me to learn that it is not the industry that decides what the consumers  want – consumers decide what consumers want,” she says.

Related: 5 Strategies to Generate Consumer Demand | Entrepreneurs

“It's a mentality that people have to break away from - and the consumer is breaking away from it.“

Dorsey had to be profitable from the start, “otherwise there would have been no business,” says Strachan. Luckily it was: since then it has developed a cult following and counting Justin Bieber to his many fans;  recorded a growth of 600% in 2022 compared to the previous year; and has a double-digit EBITDA.

In addition, investors suddenly turned to Strachan and asked if they could help finance the venture, and Dorsey first raised money in September 2021. Last year, the company sold more than a million lab-grown stones ​​– and 25.000 people have registered on the waiting list.

Over the years, it has been rewarding to see how the people who sit at the table and make decisions in the jewelry industry have become more receptive and willing to be involved with to experiment with new ideas, says Strachan.

“The lab-grown industry didn't exist 80 years ago,” says Strachan, “and lab-grown products allow women to create beautiful jewelry at a much cheaper price with the same look and feel to have the same feel, and from a molecular point of view it is exactly that." The same thing. So it's a mentality that people need to break away from - and the consumer is breaking away from it.“

If there's one thing Strachan has confirmed with Dorsey's trip, it's that people are more than ready to experience a new era of high-quality, accessible jewelry - and for many, like the granddaughter of the woman in the department store, she is already there.

What is grown in the lab?

Dorsey gemstones are created in a laboratory designed to mimic the conditions in which the stones develop naturally beneath the Earth's crust.So they have the same physical and chemical properties as mined stones,  but do not cause any harm to the environment   or those who mine them.Lab-grown gemstones are  cheaper  than mined gemstones, but the Quality, the shine  and   the timelessness  remain the same.This is the future of beautiful jewelry.

Lab-grown diamond expressed in total carat weight (CTW).CTW of lab-grown sapphires and emeralds expressed in diamond equivalent weight.

We go on the journey with you.

The Moissanite Company was launched by Makayla in 2020, later followed by Cultured Clarity. Both are based on the principles of tailoring, ethics and affordability.

After almost a decade of experience at the forefront of the jewelery industry in Australia, The Moissanite Company was founded based on Makayla's own experiences creating her own dream ring.

Now known as “The Luise Ring”, named after Makayla’s great-grandmother.

Makayla and her now husband Tom worked with a master jeweler she met years ago and were fully involved in the design and manufacturing process from start to finish. One thing led to another and Makayla was so inspired to share what they created.

The inevitable next step was to transform her long-standing passion for jewelry into a conscious business that offered couples the deeply personal experience, customization and affordability she once sought.

Makayla led the creation process of her own ring and knew exactly how to support other couples on this very intimate and unforgettable journey.

Makayla now runs The Moissanite Company and Cultured Clarity alongside her husband and co-founder Tom and their small, dedicated team. Makayla and Tom are new parents to a precious one-year-old daughter and love balancing the passion they have for their business with the incredible joys of parenthood.

Bring dream rings to life

At The Moissanite Company, we value your love story. We go on the journey with you. We focus on using the highest quality cultured gemstones, coupled with impeccable craftsmanship and traceability, to create special pieces that are bespoke, ethical, affordable and designed to last beyond Be loved for generations.

Our vision

To bring about positive change in the jewelry industry, removing the stigma surrounding cultured gemstones and offering couples the luxury of creating their dream ring ethically.

Our task

We create bespoke, ethical and affordable ceremony jewelry for the modern couple.

Our Why

We do what we enjoy – making, creating and connecting dream rings. We have a deep passion and love for what we do and it is an honor and privilege to walk this journey with couples.

Sustainability

Sustainable decisions are at the heart of our decision-making. From the materials used to furnish our Brisbane showroom, to our selected gemstones and precious metals, to our headquarters policies and beyond.

As a company, we recognize that we are always striving to get better and advance on our sustainability journey.

Family

Our business is based on family. Nurture relationships and create an environment that is supportive, inclusive and welcoming. The Moissanite Company was founded by husband and wife team Makayla and Tom and their dedicated team has become an extension of their family. The Moissanite Company “family” shares the same values ​​and passion for bespoke, ethical and affordable jewelry.

Creativity

Creativity is at the heart of everything we do. A thousand-year-old craft brought to life with modern technologies and sustainable practices so we can create truly unique pieces. We know how important it is to be part of your creative journey during the design process of your dream ring and that is something we enjoy.

At the very beginning,

 Zen Moissanite sold only loose moissanite stones to customers and jewelers and quickly grew into a jewelry company when we found bench jewelers whose work met our standards.What started as a side project while I was still working full-time at my government job quickly took on a life of its own.

 

From the beginning of offering ring designs, our followers have appreciated the craftsmanship and attention to detail we bring to each design.Each ring is created with the idea that we would personally wear it for the rest of our lives.We are also committed to breaking the mold created by the diamond industry and consistently offering the best price on our items all year round.We don't believe in overselling our products just so we can have a sale every two years.Our customers know they can purchase our products at any time without fear of missing out on an upcoming scam sale.

 

As I have welcomed two human babies into my little family since 2018, my metaphorical baby has grown into something I never imagined possible.The love and support we receive is always so overwhelming and humbling.After my first maternity leave in May 2020, I just knew that I had to work full time and get rid of the golden handcuffs (goodbye, pension and benefits)!

SUSTAINABLE LUXURY FOR EVERYONE

We are a team of lifelong creatives who have had a passion for thoughtful design since time immemorial. The concept for Noor & Leila came about after one of our founders proposed to the love of his life. Knowing that moissanite was an option, he set out to find a dream ring, but was disappointed by the lack of moissanite options, quality and affordability at the time. So he began his own journey and designed his own moissanite engagement ring for his forever. His commitment to finding a unique, high-quality moissanite ring was our inspiration to create unique, sustainable and accessible rings for everyone. Our goal is to offer modern, environmentally conscious couples inclusive luxury experiences without luxury markups. With a shared passion to protect our environment, We discovered that the purpose of Noor & Leila was to act as a platform to support the fight against climate change. Purchasing a Noor & Leila ring not only puts funds into the hands of organizations finding solutions to global warming, but it also allows us to drive positive climate change. Together we can keep global warming below 2.4°C and be proud of the planet we pass on to future generations.

UNIQUE AND FOREVER

We want to create legacy products with high quality materials and craftsmanship. Longevity of course depends not only on the materials used, but also on timeless design.

Things are thrown away because people don't love them anymore. Great design is more important to the environment than many people realize.

MADE WITH LOVE

Handcrafted rings made from ethically sourced moissanite, sustainable materials and carbon offsetting.

RISK FREE GUARANTEE

The perfect ring should fit just right. That's why we offer free shipping and free 30-day exchanges.

DIRECT PRICES FOR YOU

Traditional jewelry markups are often 8 to 10 times the production cost. We offer handmade rings at a fraction of the price.

Today at BS Jewelry- Arsenal a team of 3D designers led by Violet who create truly elegant jewelry models to wear every day or to shine on special occasions.When making jewelry to order, 3D modeling allows our customer to see the exact image of the future piece of jewelry before starting manufacturing and make some adjustments if necessary.

To ensure high quality products, BS Jewelry uses state-of-the-art equipment.

To make wax molds we use 3D printers – 3D Digital Wax (Italy) and Rapidshape (Germany). We use the casting machines ITALIMPIANT (Italy) and INDUTHERM (Germany) to cast jewelry of different alloys and contents.

When making our jewelry we only use pure granulated precious metals, we do not buy or use scrap.

In order to make a piece of jewelry as reliable and durable as possible, we do not skimp on metal, do not make our jewelry thin or hollow and use laser stations from SISMA (Italy) in our production.

To ensure that all stones are held securely and do not fall out when being fixed, we always use microscopes.

MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to fight against the dominance of low-quality diamonds in the market. We are sure that we can make each of them a little happier by teaching our customers to make conscious jewelry choices based on the properties and properties of the stone. Our decision to use lab-grown stones is also driven by ethical and environmental concerns. A significant proportion of diamonds are still mined in African countries under unbearable working conditions, while in other countries huge amounts of rock are processed for the development of kimberlite pipes.

When lab-grown stones are almost identical to natural ones, we think the choice is obvious!

ADVANTAGES OF BS JEWELRY MOISSANITE

  • First about the hardness of diamond
  • Unmatched fire and brilliance
  • Perfect round brilliant cut from H&A
  • Excellent color and clarity
  • GRA certified
  • Lifetime Guarantee
  • Impressive stone size at a reasonable price

Cullen Jewelry was founded in 2018 by Jordan Cullen. While searching for an engagement ring for his now wife, he was shocked to discover the exorbitant prices and questionable origins of the mined diamonds.

After struggling to find a suitable alternative in Melbourne's commercial jewelry stores, he turned to the internet. When he chanced upon moissanite and lab-grown diamonds, Jordan purchased his first moissanite gemstone from an overseas retailer and developed a relationship with a Melbourne jeweler who customized his stone into one version.

Armed with his first sparkling custom ring and a very happy fiancée, Jordan soon realized that many other couples could benefit from this same process...

and so Cullen Jewelery was born!

Specializes in lab-grown stones

At Cullen Jewelry we only work with moissanite and lab-grown diamonds. They offer our customers a beautiful and ethical stone at a cheaper price than mined diamonds. We specialize in offering the highest quality Radiant Beauty™ Moissanite and IGI Certified Lab Grown Diamonds.

We want our customers to not compromise on quality or conscience, and lab-grown gemstones give them the best of both worlds.

Custom-made engagement rings are our passion. We work closely with our customers to create the ring of their dreams.

Letter from the founder

I founded Cullen Jewelry in 2018 with the goal of providing the consumer with accessible information and transparency; So they can better understand all of the options available when purchasing an engagement ring.

In 2022, Cullen Jewelery is one of the leading engagement ring retailers in Australia.

A success that, in my opinion, is largely due to our honest and informative approach to the often mysterious and exclusive jewelry industry. We care about our customers and pride ourselves on embracing progress and change by taking a modern approach to making jewelry while remaining true to traditional methods and quality.

At Cullen Jewelry, we believe that respect for craftsmanship and ethical production go hand in hand - and we strive to maintain a superior product that is rooted in tradition while living up to the advancement of our core values becomes.

We hope your experience at Cullen Jewelry is inspiring and that you can see firsthand the value we place on craftsmanship, artistry and service. Ultimately, you as a customer are at the center of everything we do, and we will never take your trust for granted.

I look forward to being part of your joyful moments and offering you new ways to experience our jewelry.

Jordan

OUR CRAFT

LOUISE JEAN is committed to the highest standards of jewelry production.

We work closely with our master stone setters and trusted jewelers to bring our expertly crafted pieces to life. We are designed to last a lifetime and value quality. We work closely with our family owned Australian cast and gold supplier who has over 55 years experience in metal and jewelery manufacturing.

OUR MATERIALS

LOUISE JEAN's pieces are made from ethically sourced, conflict-free diamonds, stones and precious metals.

Traceability and responsibility are an integral part of our brand and these values ​​form the backbone of our social and environmental standards when sourcing our stones. We work with recognized diamond suppliers who comply with the requirements of the guarantee system, from mining to cutting to marketing. Our sapphires and gemstones are sourced from trusted suppliers who work directly with family-run miners, with the purchase of the materials directly benefiting the communities from which they come. We have built relationships with our suppliers over many years and we are proud to support their activities and passions.

OUR IMPACT

We believe that ethics and sustainability go much deeper than how we source our products and what materials we work with. LOUISE JEAN is about transparency, progress and intention in everything we do.

We believe that fine jewelry is inherently the opposite of fast fashion; Precious heirlooms can be passed down from generation to generation with the same emotional and inherent value that they had when they were created had.

Our approach to the materials we work with is constantly evolving and we believe it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. From natural gemstones like mined diamonds and sapphires to lab-grown stones like cultured diamonds and moissanites, we make it a priority to educate our customers so they can choose the stone that's right for them best suits your personal preferences and budget.

At LOUISE JEAN we understand that it's about progress, not perfection. We pride ourselves on having full control of our supply chain and creating next to no waste. Our goal is to reduce our impact as a small, growing company.

We are proud to work with shipping service providers who offer the opportunity to make the packages we send to our customers climate neutral. You can read more about this initiative here   . LOUISE JEAN are also active contributors and partners of the Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund, a not-for-profit charity that offsets carbon emissions by planting native trees and shrubs across Australia.

Who we are?

Ode to the magic of nature

At Rock Faery we are inspired by the beauty and magic of nature - its opulent colors, brilliant lights and seemingly random but effortlessly perfect shapes.

Fairies – our namesake – are the spirits of nature. In many folk tales, fairies use gems and other gifts of nature to bring their magic to life, leaving behind whimsical gifts that inspire joy. We design each piece of jewelry with this in mind and hope that you feel powerful, radiant and magical when you wear one of our pieces.

Made from the heart

Combining meticulous craftsmanship and refreshing design with ethically sourced materials, our team of artists, craftsmen and dreamers strive to create a range of unique, heirloom-quality jewelry that will make you shine from within.

Sustainably grown gemstones

We strive to preserve the magic of nature that inspires us by using cultured gemstones that are sustainably grown in state-of-the-art laboratories. Our stunning cultured gemstones rival their mined counterparts not only for their beauty but also for their wearable durability. Each gemstone is hand selected for characteristics such as eye-catching sparkle, brilliant color or unique cut. As an ethical and affordable alternative to earth-mined gemstones, our cultured gemstones reflect the beauty of nature without harming it.

Diverse love, unique you

Every life and love story is remarkable in its own way and our jewelry reflects your unique passion and spirit. We are proud to celebrate all forms of love, as beautiful and diverse as the forms in nature.

While it would be an honor for us to be part of your celebration, we also believe that you are a miracle in your own right. You don't need a person or a reason to shine other than simply being your beautiful, authentic self.

Our values

Love

Celebrating love is the essence of what we create. A love for yourself, a love for the people you love, and a love for the earth - every product we make is made with intention and with that love in mind.

Trust

It's important to explain why we make mined rather than mined jewelry, but we strive to earn your trust by also revealing how. The transparency of our processes and our commitment to ethical sourcing of materials will always be at the heart of our appreciation.

Consciousness

We are not just a company - we are a team of unique individuals with a responsibility to create fine jewelry in a way that respects the environment and the planet. We understand the collective impact the jewelry industry has on Mother Earth and we are passionate about doing our part to reduce it.