Patrick & Timarie
We can’t stop staring at this ring...every time it catches the light or I use my left hand, we immediately find ourselves looking down at it, then up to each other’s eyes, huge grins plastered on our faces. It’s been 3 months, and we still find ourselves absolutely smitten with this exquisite piece of art. In this symbol of platinum and diamonds, we see our entire seven year story, as well as the memories yet to come - and it’s all due to the masterful brilliance of An Nguyen.
I met An six years ago through his three beautiful children. I was a student at UNC, and began nannying several days a week. What I thought was going to be the average babysitting gig evolved into some of the most beautiful and meaningful friendships in my life. I soon found myself being invited to celebrate occasions with them, being trusted to watch their kids for weekend getaways, and staying hours after they returned for stimulating conversation. They kept in touch after I graduated and moved to the UK, then Colombia, and even took me into their home for seven months while I was in limbo before moving back to the UK. They celebrated my big and small wins, and always offered sage advice for any hurdles life threw at me. Both An and Elizabeth have demonstrated to me the pillars of a strong marriage, happy, healthy children, and profound friendship.
They have met Patrick multiple times since the beginning of our relationship my first year of college - inviting him over for home cooked meals, inquiring about all of our travels, celebrating my graduation alongside our families, messaging him congratulations upon receiving a prestigious scholarship to Cambridge, and then, unbeknownst to me, concocting plans for a certain surprise...
I divert my tellings here, as Patrick is much better suited to tell the next part.
I had heard Timarie rave about An’s beautiful jewelry before and, ever the careful listener, I took note and filed it away for the future.
One of Timarie’s defining qualities is her love of the outdoors and nature, and when it came time to propose, I knew I wanted a ring that reflected this. I also wanted to surprise Timarie with the ring, but I was really worried that if I picked something out from any old jewelry store, it wouldn’t capture the essence I was hoping for. I enlisted the help of two of Timarie’s best friends to brainstorm ideas around band shapes, colors, and other qualities. We all agreed that it needed to be elegant and simple, with a subtle natural motif.
I jumped onto a Skype call with An. Despite being thousands of miles and many time zones away (in England!), his excitement to design the ring, and for our big moment as a couple, was so contagious. Over the coming weeks, An produced a brilliant design featuring twisting vines leading to a beautiful diamond. During the design phase, An assured me that he would find the highest quality diamond he possibly could to serve as the centerpiece, and he truly delivered.
Thinking back on this experience, I could not imagine doing it any other way. An’s promise on the website, ‘We believe that fine jewelry is created not simply with a craftsman’s tools, but in the relationship established between client and designer,’ could not be more accurate.
A few minutes after proposing along the River Cam, as we began calling our family and friends, I began to Facetime the Nguyen’s, when Patrick told me that An had made my ring. Fresh tears came as I stared down at this beautiful ring, which somehow took on even more meaning than before. Knowing that he had created this ring with me and Patrick and our story in mind, made it beyond priceless. I was so thrilled that a family that meant so much to me already was now permanently entwined in our journey.
Returning to Chapel Hill and hearing the experience from An’s point of view (of course, paired with a glass of great wine), was such a special memory. He has gone over and above any expectations that we had of working with a jeweler, and after coming to know him so well, I know that this is how he treats every client that walks through Atelier N’s doors. The second you meet him, you are overwhelmed with his genuine desire to get to know you. He is personally committed to creating the perfect manifestation of whatever story or emotion you want represented in a single piece of jewelry. If you’re seeking jewelry as unique as your loved one, artistry such that you will find at Atelier N is unparalleled.
It goes without saying that Patrick and I are beyond excited to begin creating our wedding rings with An’s care, creativity and expertise.