Sparkly wants to be the Pinterest of engagement rings.
When Steve Simon was searching for his wife’s engagement ring, he was having trouble finding information about carat sizes, stone shapes, prices and realistic product imagery. He eventually asked his fiancée to get involved and created an extensive Excel sheet to compare and contrast the rings she liked.
“When I thought about my engagement, I thought I would buy the ring and surprise my fiancée and she wouldn’t know what hit her and we would live happily ever after,” Simon said. “I got so frustrated from the shopping experience and I eventually asked her to get involved. Nearly 70 percent of women now are involved in the engagement ring selection in some way. It really comes down to the guy wanting to get his future fiancée something that she’s going to love for the rest of her life.”
His solution for streamlining the process is Sparkly, a start-up that aims to help both brides and grooms. The site is populated with engagement ring selfies — shots of engagement rings on real hands — and each selfie includes the ring size, the number of carats, the diamond cut and the band type. Users can filter the findings to match their own preferences, save images they like to their account and share with friends and family.
“A lot of the online shopping photos are just photos of the ring or they are glamour shots. They don’t provide any context and it doesn’t show you how it will look with your ring size,” Simon said.
Sparkly doesn’t have a click-to-buy function, but jewelers are beginning to upload images of their product on the site. And by using the site, they are able to ascertain trends happening within engagement ring.
According to Simon, they are seeing a shift toward women searching for three-stone rings that look similar to Meghan Markle’s engagement ring. And now some women are opting for a gemstone over a diamond.
In order to maintain an element of surprise, Simon has created a secret wedding registry feature where women are able to maintain an account of rings they like and give permission to one person to access the registry at some point. The account holder isn’t notified when that person logs into the registry.
Simon said right now the goal is to get as many users as possible, but they are considering doing a revenue share with jewelers or working with online jewelers to provide front of house services.
“We haven’t nailed down the exact direction for revenue generation yet, but in the next six months we will have a firm direction to direct the site and monetize it.”