I’m always interested in uncovered niches in this industry. We’ve talked about the mangagement ring; now let me introduce you to the Ah ring, billed as the first, and most likely only, diamond ring made expressly for single women—and a product that once again demonstrates the power of jewelry to signify something meaningful.
The Ah ring, manufactured by divinediamonds.com
Ruta Fox was a freelance copywriter during the dot-com boom. After a doctor warned her that staring at a screen for hours was not that good for her, she sat on her couch thinking about what to do with her life.
Fox owned a self-designed diamond pinky ring, and many of her girlfriends had asked where they could get one. Then she had her inspiration.
“I put on my copywriting hat and asked, What is the common denominator?” she says. “It kind of bonked me on the head. There are engagement and wedding rings, but there is nothing on the market specifically for single women.”
So she set up a website, DivineDiamonds.com, and started making what she called the Ah ring. The Ah stands for available and happy, and is inscribed on each ring.
A friend got her a hearing at Oprah magazine. Then the ring also made it to Oprah herself. The talk-show diva liked the concept so much she put the ring on that year’s “O list.” From there, everything took off.
“I did $1 million worth of business that first year,” she says.
Fox had gotten quite lucky. But the reason she did well, she maintains, is because she tapped into something.
“You have a lot of women 29, 30 years old, who are starting their careers, and they have never bought real jewelry,” she says. “Women have broken that barrier of waiting around for a man to buy them diamonds. That just seems like an old-fashioned way to think about things.”
“Women are buying condos for themselves,” she continues. “They are buying cars for themselves. So why don’t they buy diamonds for themselves? You don’t go out and buy yourself a Tiffany solitaire, that’s ridiculous. But this is something that’s fun and affordable. It only costs $350; that’s a couple of paychecks.”
The message also resonated.
“The ring has a special meaning to a lot of women,” she says. “It’s all about, if you’re single, you can be happy, joyful, and confident.”
Some women, she adds, have put their own stamp on the inscription.
“One wrote me that she survived cancer and bought the ring and to her it means I’m ‘alive’ and ‘happy,’” she says. “I have a lot of customer emails about what the ring meant to them after their divorce.”
The ring’s message has become so important, Fox says, that when she accidently created a few without the inscription, buyers complained.
(We should note that the idea has some similarities to De Beers’ right-hand ring campaign, which featured a more generalized female empowerment message, though Fox’s idea appears to have come first.)
As for the future, Fox notes that the “single women” demographic is growing.
“The marriage rates keep going down,” she says. “Single women are the fastest growing group of home buyers. Being single is a top trend going forward.”
And that may be the biggest lesson here: Fox and her little website has done almost $2 million in business by appealing to a demographic the industry has traditionally neglected.
“There are 55 million single women in the United States alone,” she notes. “Globally, there are even more. I feel I haven’t even scratched the surface.”