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Lashbrook men’s bands.

feature story

Photos courtesy of Robbins Brothers.

With This Ring …

Valley jeweler explores wedding band and ring trends among Arizona’s same-sex couples By Anthony Costello

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word of mouth, they’re not sure up front whether they’re going to be treated with the respect they deserve. We help them the same way we do with heterosexual couples that come in.

study from the Williams Institute, released June 23, reports 547,000 same-sex couples have gotten married since the Supreme Court’s landmark marriage equality in June 2015. Collected data shows samesex couples have spent $1.3 billion on their weddings, including ceremonies, wedding apparel and wedding rings. Despite economic benefits, some religious businesses continue to turn same-sex couples away. Conversely, Robbins Brothers, The Engagement Ring Store, has made a commitment to helping same-sex couples complete their big day with the most visible symbol of their love – wedding rings specifically tailored to same-sex couples.

Robbins Brothers general sales manager Sharon Lehew (pictured) shared some of the latest wedding ring and band trends and reflected on the impact the legalization of samesex marriage has had on Arizona businesses. Echo: A recent study showed that same-sex couples have spent $1.3 billion on weddings since June 2015; have you noticed any specific trends since then? Lehew: We’ve always had same-sex couples coming in and buying from us. We make our customers feel welcome regardless of orientation. The LGBT[Q] community is a tight network and when they feel comfortable they share the word with their friends and family. 32

AUGUST 2017

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EchoMag.com

Echo: What can a couple expect when they come in to shop for rings? Lehew: We ask them if they have a Pinterest and found something they liked on there, what they’re looking or if they have something on their phone they want to show us … basically we ask what looks good to them and help them from there.

Robbins Brothers general sales manager Sharon Lehew.

They share their experience and want to make sure their friends have the same comfortable experience when they shop for their wedding rings. Echo: How has your business and/ or clientele changed in the past two years? Lehew: We have more couples excited about getting married. They don’t feel uncomfortable anymore. Echo: When same-sex couples enter your store, do you take a unique approach to helping them select their rings? Lehew: We have nervous couples with everyone. If they haven’t come to us by

What we do is work off of our tablets or computers, sit them down and ask them first off what they’re looking for, but we get them comfortable with the store. We ask them what they want to accomplish on their visit. Once we find that out, we discern what shape or styles of diamonds they want to look at. Most prefer to look at the style first – whether it’s classic, modern or vintage – because they want to find their own unique style. Echo: What do you find that same-sex couples are most often looking for in engagement rings? Lehew: Often it’s a karat or larger in many different shapes; emerald, princess, oval and rounds. Pear shaped has become very sought after as a center shape stone. Echo: What hot trends are you noticing among male same-sex couples buying engagement rings and wedding bands? feature story

Echo Magazine August 2017  

Echo Magazine – Arizona's leading media outlet dedicated to serving the LGBTQ community in news, views and entertainment. August 2017 Issue....

Echo Magazine August 2017  

Echo Magazine – Arizona's leading media outlet dedicated to serving the LGBTQ community in news, views and entertainment. August 2017 Issue....