Former Smyth Jewelers chief operating officer Mark Motes (pictured) is now CEO of Bare Diamond, a lab-grown diamond company.
Joining him as chief operating officer is Nick Pirie, the vice president and founder of SCVNGR. He also served as East Coast account executive for Scott Kay.
The company markets diamonds from what it calls the largest producer of synthetic diamonds, which it won’t name (though it is not Type IIa/Pure Grown.)
Bare Diamond hopes to make itself stand out by offering branded lab-created stones.
“It is hard to shop around a name brand,” Motes says.
The company chose the name Bare Diamond because “this is a fresh clean product,” says Pirie (pictured, below) “Bare seemed to be the right idea for the generation we are targeting.”
Motes says that many retailers have yet to embrace lab-grown diamonds.
“Some are dipping their toes in the water,” Motes says. “I think most retailers are still on the fence.”
And for a while, he admits, he was one of them.
“I was probably the most outspoken person against it,“ he says. “Now I see it as the future. It has two positive things. One is that it’s green. Young people love that. But the key, too, is you can get more diamond for the same money. To the average consumer, this is no different than any other engagement ring. The average 30-year-old doesn’t care.”
Still, many jewelers are nervous that the price of stone will drop, and that will disappoint consumers if they ever try for trade-ins.
“I don’t think it’s true the price is going to just drop, drop, drop,” he says. “It takes money to create the factories to grow them.”
Motes is not the only retail executive to climb aboard the man-made bandwagon. Former Reeds executive Scott Sedlacek recently joined ALTR Created Diamonds.
(Images courtesy of Bare Diamond)