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Source: Nikki Ryan Photography

Exclusive: Michelle Demaree Is 'Proud' of How Far She's Come in Her Career and Starting Miss Diamond Ring: 'This Chapter Is Surreal'

Mar. 28 2024, Published 4:25 p.m. ET

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Michelle Demaree may be known as Miss Diamond Ring now, but it wasn't always like that!

"I tripped and fell into the diamond industry when I moved to Chicago for a relationship and was working in luxury sales at Bentley Gold Coast. I met the Director of Van Cleef & Arpels at an event at the Peninsula Hotel, offered her a ride in my borrowed Bentley back to her store in the snow, and a few weeks later, I was hired at Van Cleef & Arpels. My first experience in jewelry sales was at the top of the retail ladder, selling million dollar jewels at the Parisian Atelier. Several years later, I moved back to Los Angeles and worked at Tiffany & Co. and Harry Winston on Rodeo Drive. I was knee deep in the most beautiful jewels in the world," the entrepreneur exclusively tells Morning Honey.

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Source: Nikki Ryan Photography

The entrepreneur wasn't always interested in jewelry.

After leaving Harry Winston, Demaree, whose daughter Charlotte was 1 years old at the time, decided she didn't want to go back to long retail hours.

"I was invited by a close friend and entrepreneur Rebecca Cafiero to Lori Harder’s Bliss Project Entrepreneurial Retreat. This weekend inspired me so much that I decided I was going to take all of my industry experience in jewelry retail and start Miss Diamond Ring. Starting this business was an essential step in my personal evolution on many levels. I wanted to offer a beautiful experience for clients, I wanted to grow and challenge myself and I needed to support myself as I started to rebuild a new life," the founder, who admits she was not always interested in jewelry, recalls.

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Source: Nikki Ryan Photography

Michelle Demaree is now engaged after going through a divorce.

Though there a lot of jewelry businesses out there, the blonde beauty "wanted to change" the experience for customers and not have them feel intimidated when they would walk into stores she used to work at like Harry Winston and Tiffany & Co.

"Miss Diamond Ring celebrates the love story first, then seeks to create a meaningful bespoke work of art that embodies the love they have found in one another. On top of the feel good fuzzies, I’m tapped into the elite diamond networks (natural and lab) and am known for sourcing the best options globally in the 4-10 carat range. Lately, inventory has been an issue in retail stores — so if a client is looking for a 5 carat oval, they will be hard pressed to find more than one stone that size in only a handful of stores. When these clients find me, I have four 5 carat options in hand for them to choose from. To take it a step further, I’m not a Brick & Mortar, so my prices are better and my ring customization knows no limits," she notes of her process.

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Part of Demaree's job is working with couples to shop for the perfect engagement ring.

"I always start my appointments by asking how my couple met. I ravish those little details as it informs and inspires the design of their ring and makes the entire experience deeper and more connected. In general, the more we know about people, the more connected we feel, the more connected we feel, the more invested we are, the more invested we are, the better job we do," she shares.

"I also manage the dance of working together to choose something she loves, while leaving a little mystery and fun for her to enjoy at the proposal. In the end, she gets her absolute dream ring, and some meaningful touches from her fiancé. While I am making the ring, I set up my fiancé’s with The Yes Girls, my proposal planning partners, to help create a bespoke proposal for the couple!" she adds.

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Source: Nikki Ryan Photography

Michelle Demaree loves love.

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All while starting her own business, Demaree, who left her marriage and was a single woman for a while, never gave up on finding her soulmate.

"My journey to love was the seed planted when I started this business. It stemmed from a belief in myself and in the life I wanted to create for Charlotte and I. Every couple I worked with was the water and sun that helped my little seed grow. As I grew more and more inspired by the love I saw in my couples, and as I worked on rebuilding my sense of self-love post-divorce, I started to believe it was possible for me. The love within me kept multiplying, so I kept giving it away and it kept growing, and eventually I found myself in the middle of a dream business founded on love, engaged to the love of my life, right smack dab in the middle of a dream life I had envisioned just five years earlier," she notes.

Demaree met her man for coffee at Blue Bottle in Brentwood, Calif., and the rest is history. "I also knew I brought a lot to the table so I held out for a man who I felt was grounded, kind and whole. I immediately knew I had met someone very special," she gushes.

She adds, "I found love twice at 40. I found it within myself, and then I found it in Paul. I feel liberated and like I’m living my most authentic life and it feels like this is how life always should have been. To be with your best friend, to be supported and loved unconditionally, to have an incredible man that treats my child as if she is his own ... its the dream. I’m happy and grateful that the journey lead to this life. It was all worth it!"

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Source: Nikki Ryan Photography

Michelle Demaree is 'so happy' with her business right now.

Demaree is "so happy" with her business right now, but she still has big dreams. "I have a seven-figure annual revenue and have clients in over half of the states in the U.S. and also clients in Canada, Australia, U.K., Mexico, Sweden and growing. I work with incredible couples around the world who value the white glove process and the elite craftsmanship behind my rings. I just want to continue working one-on-one with these beautiful humans, and I want to keep the special, boutique concierge element of my business so scaling too big is not on my radar. I like to think of myself as the San Ysidro Ranch of jewelers who will stay small to keep the experience special. I also value balance in my personal life and my soon-to-be husband and daughter Charlotte will always be my priority," she says.

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"I have been through all of the entrepreneur phases. Right now Miss Diamond Ring is everything I wanted it to be, absolutely fulfilling personally, professionally, spiritually and financially … but it didn’t start out that way. When I started the company, I was scared it wouldn’t work. I was worried about putting myself out there. I didn't have any clients or any money, and I was nervous talking to clients about who I was and what I was doing. I literally used my engagement ring as the ring to promote my new business since I didn’t have any inventory. But I had to do it, so I did. I kept putting one foot in front of the other and eventually I gained traction. Every year of the business I grew more, learned more, got more wins under my belt and every season bore new exciting fruit and my confidence and brand grew. Ten years later, I feel proud of this company founded on love, elite craftsmanship/stone sourcing and authenticity.

Demaree is also trying to balance being a successful businesswoman in addition to a present mother. "I do a lot of work from home so in the past it was all too easy to blur the lines. I start work early after I drop her off at school and have very productive days. I think the hardest part for me is managing my Instagram page and constantly being on it to answer DM’s and respond to comments. That bleeds into family time, and I am working on only having windows of time to pick up my phone and respond," she says. "Also learning to delegate and ask for help is key! Paul my fiancé is so helpful that now I have more time and energy! No more single mommy days."

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Source: Nikki Ryan Photography

Michelle Demaree is thrilled with this chapter of life.

Demaree hopes her story inspires others — no matter what phase of life they're in. "For every woman out there who has had a relationship that didn’t end in a happy marriage, you know the feeling of being stuck or trapped. And if you’ve had children, you know how hard it is to make that decision ... wanting something beautiful for your children. Though I am not promoting divorce, if you get to a place where you have lost yourself, have lost your love for life and there is no progress or possibility for repair in your marriage ... I want women to know there is a beautiful life on the other side if you do the work on yourself and work on your life. I am living proof, and if any woman out there doesn’t have belief, she can borrow mine until she builds her own," she says.

"Lucky me, this is the chapter where the girl got everything she wanted and her happily ever after came true. I say that with gratitude and a deep exhale. This chapter is pinch-me surreal on so many levels and after climbing my personal mountain, I’m taking in the view, the fresh air and the easy path back down the mountain. Everything I visualized and envisioned in my meditations, my hypnosis and had in my journal and vision board — I am smack in the middle of. I think the coolest thing about it all is realizing that all I had to do was write the script I wanted, direct it accordingly, assume the lead role and take action ... and in a few years my life became real version of the movie in my mind. Mind you, about eight years ago I was in the middle of my darkest time. So happy to be past that chapter and can look on the lessons and challenges as my greatest teachers," she adds. "I have always been a 'go-getter,' and in hindsight, yes an entrepreneur at heart. If people went right, I would go left with an idea of how it could work better. I generally was very social and loved people (more than I loved studying) so it all makes sense when I put it together. I love running my own business, and am grateful I have had the chance to build something so true to my soul."

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