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VM Love Stories: Meet Josh & Emily

January 31, 2022 4 min read

VM Love Stories: Meet Josh & Emily

Josh and Emily have been together for over three years, and engaged since September 2021. They custom-designed not one, but two rings for their dual engagement. Their warm energy and enthusiasm were such a joy to work with so we wanted to hear more of their story and share their custom experience with you. 

Let’s meet the charming couple; Josh is a Partner Marketing Manager at a tech company, and Emily is a pharmacist who works in a long-term care facility. Unconventionally, they met through the plant community on Instagram where Emily slid into Josh’s DMs to chat about plants. They immediately hit it off and, since they lived two hours away from each other at the time, began a long-distance relationship that just felt meant to be. 

Last spring, Instagram played another pivotal role in the evolution of their relationship. Their friends, Sarah and Rachel, had chatted about getting their engagement rings from VM, and thanks to the all-knowing Instagram algorithm, Valerie Madison Jewelry began showing up on their feeds. Similar to the early stages of their budding romance, Josh and Emily felt that stumbling across Valerie Madison Jewelry was meant to be because VM matched up with their values. We interviewed Josh and Emily to get a closer glimpse at their #lovestoryingold.

Why Valerie Madison?

Emily: VM checked all the boxes I had in my head of what I was looking for in a ring that I could look forward to wearing for the rest of my life. It was important to me that the ring come from a small business, owned by a WOC, and with sustainability at the core of the business. I wanted to feel as good as possible about the environmental impact of a ring I would be looking at for the rest of my life. 

Tell us about your VM journey.

Emily: We visited in May during the store's Grand Re-Opening, even though we had an official appointment for a few weeks later I felt it would be a nice, casual opportunity to check out the store ahead of time. I got sized for the first time and was able to organize my thoughts about ring shopping better after seeing everything in person. The minute we walked in, it was very inviting. 

Josh: The space was so welcoming and I felt comfortable shopping because the sales staff really lets the customer do their own thing. I didn’t feel pressured to buy something upon stepping over the threshold and loved the community-oriented entrance with merchandise from small and local businesses displayed on the wall closest to the door.

What led you to the custom route vs buying something already ready to ship in the store?

Josh: I have a unique flair to my personal style so it was never so much a question ofnot going custom for my engagement ring, but rather what the details of the ring would look like.

Emily: As a couple, we knew that we wanted to go through the custom design process together because we know each other so well and knew that we would be the best partner to have alongside each other.

Josh: Plus, we looked at it as an experience for our relationship and one where we could both personally experience the joys of hand-selecting a stone for our forever-rings.  

Emily: My favorite part of the design process was being able to sit down and see the stone loose in-person and being able to imagine it set at the end of the process. It was so special to be able to see the stone before it was in the ring and know that was the one for me when I held it. 

We’re starting to see more men interested in getting a “mangagement” ring vs only sporting a wedding ring. Josh, what led you to choose a custom ring?

Josh: Once I was with Emily during the consultation for her engagement ring, I thought, “I kind of want one, too!” I’d always planned on getting a gemstone ring for a wedding ring, but after seeing the joy behind the design process for Emily’s ring, all I could think was , “Why not?” 

Emily: He says the ring feels like an extension of his body and like an organic encapsulation of his personality, and all of our friends agree this ring is so “Josh”.

Josh: I was surprised to have such a strong reaction, especially for someone who has never worn jewelry before. It was also meaningful to us to have our rings designed by the same person, like a partnership of two people coming together, signifying both our union as well as the relationship we’ve both built with the team at VM along the way. We also have our eyes on similarly designed bands to symbolize our partnership along with our unique custom rings signifying our own distinct personalities.

Why gemstones? 

Emily: We’re not super flashy people, and a diamond ring felt like we were not encapsulating our personalities. It felt more like the ring was wearing us and not that we were wearing the ring. With meeting in the Pacific Northwest, the unique shades of teal in our sapphires felt like more of an organic fit. We can now carry a piece of the PNW with us at all times.  


Click here to learn more about the specifics of the custom design process at Valerie Madison Jewelry and how to get started on your own dream ring. 

Feature photo courtesy of couple and taken by Ian Young. In-article photos taken by Kim Ilinon.