WHO WE ARE (OUR TEAM)
Bailey, Mascot & Director of First Impressions: Meet Bailey, a 9 year old ½ Black Labrador and ½ Golden Retriever who flunked out of the service dog program for canine companions, twice, and now holds the dual distinction of being one of the cutest (opinion) and most photographed (fact) dogs in the entire world. Bailey enjoys chasing and catching Frisbees (also chewing them to pieces), wishing for pork chops, carrying around stuffed animals, long scratches on the belly, walks on the beach, walks in the mountains, raising money for Breast Cancer Awareness wearing his famous pink bra, volunteering at rehab centers, and posing for photos with his many admiring fans.
While this charismatic canine is an official member of the gang here at CubicZirconia.com, his responsibilities are pretty small besides the writing of the product description for The Bailey Engagement Ring... and most of those responsibilities he prefers his assistant to take care of these for him so he can pursue fun stuff like acting lessons, taking long naps filled with dreams of being chased by squirrels, drinking Coors Light and traveling first class. Become Bailey’s fan on Facebook here, and see if you can keep up with this crazy canine.
Jewel C., Stone Setting Specialist: Jewel gets the job done when it comes to one of the most important phases of custom jewelry manufacturing: stone setting. We're talking about decades of experience in every which way stones can be hand-set or machine-set into a manufactured piece of jewelry. From precision-setting large stones in a variety of center stone configurations to the meticulous placement of sometimes thousands of tiny melee accent stones in a single shift, Jewel's is a tedious job that requires incredible attention to detail, long periods of intense concentration, and consistent hard work under deadline pressures. She has an astoundingly wide knowledge base about jewelry-making best practices, and we couldn't produce the quality and volume of jewelry we do without Jewel.
Mrs. Cubic Zirconia, President and COO: What can be said about Mrs. Cubic Zirconia that hasn't already been said in one way or another on the many pages of our website? Yes, if you're curious about the inspiration behind many of the product descriptions for engagement rings we make and sell...look no further than this incredible, dynamic woman. An entrepreneur, MBA graduate, and former Fortune 100 marketing veteran, she's a company principal owner and actively involved in this woman- and minority-owned jewelry business. All major CubicZirconia.com projects go through her. All full-time staff hires are her responsibility. Each department in the company reports to her, including customer service, product merchandising, website development, custom jewelry program, marketing and operations. She developed the company's 'Better Every Day' philosophy and makes certain team members treat it as more than just words.
Mr. Cubic Zirconia, CMO: An entrepreneur, sales copywriter, semi-successful real estate investor, marketing and joint ventures consultant, product innovator and inventor, people collector and auto-responder email cash machinist, Mr. CubicZirconia is perhaps best known as the world’s most famous— and once highly paid— disposable lighter repairman. He is company co-owner with his wife Mrs. Cubic Zirconia, and has diverse responsibilities including marketing scale, content writing, jewelry affiliate program, and business development. Mr. Cubic Zirconia is available to conduct interviews with media outlets both nationally within the United States and worldwide who want to know whether Cubic Zirconia is the real deal. A dedicated reader of thriller novels, texas hold ‘em poker aficionado, and green-apple-flavored-candy junkie, he is also a lover of great southern barbecue, playing hoops, and long walks with the Black Labrador Retriever who's his best friend. His wife wants you to know that for someone who considers his job 'professional thinker' he has no common sense, but she loves him anyway.
Sam G., Plant Supervisor I (Center Stones): Sam has but one job for CubicZirconia.com (but it is very important). That job is to oversee the making of all large cubic zirconia loose stones-- both clear and colored-- which will be used in our jewelry-making and jewelry-repair operations. He's our quality control specialist, responsible to make sure each 5A diamond-quality cubic zirconia stone made for our company to use is perfect and flawless, ready for setting in our high-end finished CZ rings, earrings and pendants. Imperfect, flawed cubic zirconia stones that come out of factory mistakes? Get rid of 'em!
Brian G., Product Thinker: Brian G is responsible for two of CubicZirconia.com's best-selling product lines. As a jewelry consultant for new product development, his contribution to company executives' understanding of the gemstone market and the technical aspects of jewelry-making has been invaluable. Brian lives in the Tampa area of Florida with his family, and enjoys making one-of-a-kind musical instrument miniatures and rocking out with a garage band that almost made it big. His brain is probably bigger than your whole head.
Frank H., Product Merchandising Manager: For a number of years, Frank headed up the CubicZirconia.com online product merchandising team: all the text, images, descriptions, measurements and website data that goes into selling a jewelry product online fell under his responsibility and was executed by himself and his team. As of mid-2016, Frank is pursuing other endeavors in the business development space as he attempts to establish a virtual business process outsourcing firm and staff up for business-to-business services. While he is welcome back any time as an employee, we wish him nothing but success and hope his new business can be hired to provide some service to our company as a client.
Rey I., Custom Jewelry Concierge: Every day we receive requests from prospective customers for a price quote on a ring they want made. Sometimes it's based on a picture, a drawing or just a memory. It could be a ring similar to one they saw at the mall, on Pinterest or on the hand of someone they know. It could be a ring from their imagination, or a replica copy for a ring they lost...or one they still own but hope to wear the replica we make while traveling as they keep the original ring safely stored as insurance. They submit images and descriptions of their desired piece to us. Our ultimate goal is to help them create this piece through CAD and the manufacture in the metal of their choice. Before we can do that, we first need to provide the price quote for the design-- and there are a LOT of variables that go into pricing for custom cubic zirconia jewelry (e.g. expected precious metal weight and stone count). Rey's job is to take the information from the customer, and help us come up with a binding price we can give the requester, along with the confidence that it's a binding estimate for 90 days provided no major changes are needed.
Tekla L., The Content Goddess: Yes that title is capitalized, singular and deified. Tekla's written lots of great stuff for our business-- including product descriptions, blog posts, newsletter articles, and press releases-- filled with lots of really good words! We appreciate that she's the kind of writer that thinks if something is worth doing it is worth doing right...even if that means seven years of high school before going on to attain a masters degree. If this high-spirited, honest and loyal gal were to ever get married again, the ring she would want is probably one she already has from the company...or another. "Not that I'll ever get married again," says The Content Goddess, "but if I'm ever insane enough to let another man into my life, I suppose I could put up with a little number from CubicZirconia.com.". Tekla is available for freelance writing at www.WireBirdWrites.com. Contact her for your writing, blog, SEO, article, or other content needs. And if you ask her out, be sure to listen to her jokes, use multi-syllabic utterances to tell her about your day and be ready to answer about a million rapid-fire questions.
Emma L., Plant Supervisor II (Melee Stones): Emma oversees the making of millions of small, accent, "melee" cubic zirconia stones-- both clear and colored-- which will be used in Cubic Zirconia jewelry-making and jewelry-repair operations. As a quality control specialist, Emma is responsible to make sure each small stone marked our "5A" (AAAAA) is the best possible, and actually our highest-grade product possible. Imperfect, flawed cubic zirconia stones that come out of factory mistakes are set aside for sale cheap in bulk at wholesale prices as "3A" (AAA) graded stones to business customers in the developing world who don't need perfection in the inexpensive jewelry they manufacture. Only the best stones are set aside by Emma for use in our own in-house CubicZirconia.com jewelry made and sold to retail customers.
Trevor M., Customer Success Hero: Trevor was the company's first full-time staff customer service representative. So he's been around long enough to know a thing or two about a thing or two. Trevor takes pride in having created many of the documentation and training manuals to be used in the CubicZirconia.com customer service department. We don't know if Trevor wears a cape or mask on his days off, but it's obvious he does have a secret identity. He and his family currently reside in the Philippines.
Turk M., Director of Digital Product Data: Turk handles putting products online for the first time from our old print catalog collections. The role is responsible for new product categorization with a goal of making our jewelry products easily found by customers browsing our website according to certain qualitative jewelry criteria. It's a job for someone with an eye for detail, and a thankless job since really most of the time the rest of the team doesn't notice anything but the times Turk makes a mistake. But if you're looking for a 3-stone engagement ring style with twin oval cut accent stones plus a halo enhancement...it's Turk's job to make sure you find The Carissa, The Dulce, and The Nettie on our website. Did you buy one of those styles? Go Turk! Now back to work, because we still have 33,252 products from our non-published print catalog collection to merchandise on the website.
Aarti B., Official Web Tweaker: We put all kinds of issues and updates with our website on Aarti's plate and ask her to "get 'er done". Since we don't have enough work to need to employ her services full-time, she does the job in thirty to sixty minute chunks in between whatever else she does. If we had to guess, we'd say tweaking websites for other businesses? She's not too much of a talker, and frankly we don't know a lot about her other than the fact that she only communicates via email and codes websites for fun and profit. If we had to guess, we'd say she dreams in HTML.
Susan R., Custom Jewelry Shop Manager: Susan is the glue that holds together our custom jewelry program. With a focus on the made-from-scratch orders that require special care, she has her hands in on just about every complicated order that ships from our facility. This job role needs extreme attention to detail and a sense of urgency at all times. Susan is the liaison among the various teams and individuals needed to complete each custom jewelry order: a) our service team who communicates with customers; b) the 360 degree CAD image designers; c) our expert jewelry casting and manufacturing team; d) stone setters; e) quality assurance and final polish specialist; and f) product shipping department. Chaos managed.
Marie Angeli S., Jewelry Merchandiser: There are some people who find joy in organizing and categorizing things. Angeli is one of these rare and industrious persons (unconfirmed reports claim her putting-things-in-their-correct-place obsession may have begun as a toddler). She uses her superpower to assist customers finding our products via “product tagging” and website catalog collections that drive our industry-leading “filter menu” (How to Filter Products on CubicZirconia.com).
Too serious at work, one might assume she’s completely ruled by her left brain. Nothing could be farther from the truth as she loves to design and is fascinated with the creativity of everything that exists. Our team is grateful to have her help and expects we’ll continue to find new responsibilities to give such a multifaceted person whose personality, skill sets and interests sparkle every-which-way-- like the radiant play of light on a diamond-quality 5A cubic zirconia.
Terri S., Postmistress: Terri is the keeper of the loose cubic zirconia stones inventory for our jewelry company. That means she keeps track of what we have and what we need in order to fulfill customer demand for loose stones and to use in repair operations, plus the stones needed to manufacture our own finished jewelry. She's also the company shipping manager for every wholesale and retail order of non-finished jewelry loose stones. We're talking about the kind of organization that requires reams of flat rate shipping boxes, bubblewrap and shipping labels galore. Because she does such a great job consistently fulfilling our onsite promise to ship loose stones orders out within 48 hours, on time, every time, we can say that doing what we do would just be plumb impossible without this busy-but-happy Queen bee. If you order one of our Clearance cubic zirconia jewelry items, chances are it will also pass through her hands to get boxed up and shipped quickly to you.
Nicole S., Customer Service Manager: Nicole loves creating magical "wow" moments for our customers. Each "Customer Success Hero" on our team reports to her daily, and she rolls up her sleeves and steps in to help with tricky orders whenever needed. As a contract manufacturer who makes each piece of jewelry AFTER purchase-- rather than keeping inventory on a shelf-- our time from order to shipment is highly important at CubicZirconia.com. The customer service manager keeps an eye on whether we are on track with promised shipment dates-- and allocates team members and resources as needed. That may be why Nicole always takes a long vacation after the hectic Christmas holiday shopping rush! Nicole was instrumental in creating the company's custom CZ "design your own ring" program from the ground up. In that capacity, she's been involved in creating hundreds of one-of-a-kind rings for our customers. She has a real flair for helping prospects talk through what they are wanting to get made...before they are ever asked to spend a single dollar.
Andrew S., API Master: When current company principals Mr. and Mrs. Cubic Zirconia first took over management of CubicZirconia.com, they had never heard about API programming. What a shame, too, because if they had then the company's move into becoming a dominant player in the alternative diamond jewelry space would have been greatly accelerated. Andrew is a red-headed Kiwi from New Zealand, who enjoys hopping about warmer climates where the sun shines bright, working remotely and never wearing shoes or socks. An important part of the product merchandising team for the business, he created and maintains the systems we use to categorize products on our website. It's also his responsibility to maintain daily pricing updates across the company's entire product catalog (to parallel the fluctuating wholesale metal markets costs we have to make our jewelry).
Brian S., Senior 3D CAD imaging specialist: For every custom jewelry piece we manufacture, there are 5 phases of manufacturing. The first and most important part of this-- and the most time consuming, honestly-- is the CAD/digital image rendering. This is where our computer jewelry design team of Brian or Deepak takes the images or sketches a custom jewelry customer provides, as well as his/her specific verbal instructions relayed by the Custom Program Manager, and creates a 360 degree digital design of the ring or other jewelry piece to be custom made. Every job Brian or Deepak completes gives our customers confidence in their purchase of from-scratch jewelry ordered over the Internet. That's because he provides different image angles as well as technical weight, length, width, and stone diameter measurements to make sure the finished piece will come out exactly like the customer wants it. Since we don't begin manufacturing until a custom jewelry buyer is completely satisfied and approves the CAD, sometimes that means Brian or Deepak has to do a few revisions. Don't worry...that's what these awesome guys are paid for!
Deepak S., Junior 3D CAD imaging specialist: For every custom jewelry piece we manufacture, there are 5 phases of manufacturing. The first and most important part of this-- and the most time consuming, honestly-- is the CAD/digital image rendering. This is where our computer jewelry design team of Deepak or Brian takes the images or sketches a custom jewelry customer provides, as well as his/her specific verbal instructions relayed by the Custom Program Manager, and creates a 360 degree digital design of the ring or other jewelry piece to be custom made. Every job Deepak or Brian completes gives our customers confidence in their purchase of from-scratch jewelry ordered over the Internet. That's because he provides different image angles as well as technical weight, length, width, and stone diameter measurements to make sure the finished piece will come out exactly like the customer wants it. Since we don't begin manufacturing until a custom jewelry buyer is completely satisfied and approves the CAD, sometimes that means Deepak or Brian has to do a few revisions. Don't worry...that's what these awesome guys are paid for!
Rick Schwartz, Lifetime Chairman Emeritus: This internet pioneer is famous around the world as "The Domain King". Like many of our team, he gave himself his work title. Then he went the extra mile and enforced that with 5000 related websites and a registered trademark in multiple countries. Rick founded TargetedTraffic, the most exclusive trade show in the domain name business. CubicZirconia.com first started almost 20 years ago because of his foresight. Today, Rick is a technically retired from active work. Recognizing his integral role and importance as a passive investor in the business, however, Rick was named Lifetime Chairman Emeritus of CubicZircomia.com (with no responsibilities). He also holds a stake in many other online ventures such as Candy.com, Property.com, Teem.com, and Punchbowl.com.
Marvin T., Minister for Operations and Marketing Magic: Marvin is known in the company somewhat tongue-in-cheekly with a Harry Potter-esque title because he's a little bit goofy and so tirelessly positive that his work colleagues believe he must be taking some sort of magical happiness elixir. Formerly a training manager, college instructor and call center supervisor, Marvin has been engaged in online entrepreneurship since 2008. He began work with our company in 2012 and is the current longest-tenured employee of CubicZirconia.com, with current focus on customer service training and email newsletter management. This motorcycle-riding, karaoke star is the executive team's go-to guy for complex project management to bring jobs with many moving parts to a satisfactory conclusion. His writing skills are excellent, with key wins for the company in blogging, email marketing, e-book and educational content creation, as well as customer service documentation. Marvin is married and has four children. You can read his personal cubic zirconia story here: "It's not being cheap, it's being practical". He and his family currently reside in the Philippines.
Carlos T., Picture Guru: Since 2016 Carlos has been a product merchandising and jewelry picture guru for the company, with responsibility for photography and onsite image optimization. He started as an intern and now works part-time with the company to help pay the bills during the completion of his dual degree in hydraulics and electrical engineering, and plans to continue to do so during the post-grad unpaid apprenticeship with a related company he must complete before receiving his final certification to open his own business in his chosen field. Carlos was born in and lives in the Chicxulub town of Yucatan area of Mexico, a location from which he completes projects virtually for CubicZirconia.com. He has a somewhat crazy obsession with the Simpsons, and cannot drink beer without becoming more emotional than a crying Irishman.
Todd W., Official Keeper of The Customer FAQ: Todd strives to provide great customer service and gets his kicks answering the phone and responding to customer emails. However, his primary gig is as writer and organizer of "the CubicZirconia FAQ" for frequently asked customer questions. The "Official Keeper of The FAQ" sounds important, but to be honest he doesn't get paid more than any other customer service team member. He just volunteered for that extra job so he can learn enough jewelry knowledge in hopes that the more-knowledgeable (and invariably female) co-workers won't continually get mad at him-- at least once a month-- for telling a customer we can do something that's not physically possible with precious metals or artificial gems.
Teresa W., #1 Customer Success Hero: Teresa's got serious empathy skills when a customer has a question or problem. Believe it or not, she actually listens and tries to read/understand everything before opening her mouth or sending off a form-response email. And she's so thorough 'thorough' really ought to be her middle name (but somewhat disappointingly it is not). Despite a growing staff of other customer service reps who wish they could be more like Teresa, her name is actually in approximately 25.83% of all positive reviews and testimonials CubicZirconia.com receives on an annual basis. As you can guess, she is also very analytical (where do you think that percentage stat came from?). In addition, she's our de facto Spanish language ambassador "al mundo de los hablantes de español" (entonces, si necesita hablar de nuestra productos en español...debe preguntar para Teresa en linea o por telefono).
Ross W., Strategic Advisor & Jewelry Repair Maestro: Having come from a multi-generational family legacy in the industry-- and made his own mark-- Ross lives and breathes jewelry-making. Ross drew on his family heritage and wisdom to help us develop the manufacturing protocols used in our custom cubic zirconia rings program. He also provides our best wholesale source for quality, fairly-priced precious metals purchasing of the gold, silver, palladium and platinum used in much of the jewelry we make. His expertise is invaluable to the CubicZirconia.com team, providing much-needed help with product development and strategic marketplace positioning. Ross also manages an expert jewelry repair team that handles all needed warranty and non-warranty repairs to our manufactured jewelry.
CubicZirconia.com first started because of the foresight of internet pioneer Rick Schwartz. Today, Rick is a Chairman Emeritus and passive investor in the business, which is managed independently by a married couple known affectionately as Mr. and Mrs. Cubic Zirconia. The company has been under current management since June of 2012. Thousands of happy customers can speak to the quality and value of our products, manufactured with precision in Kentucky, Louisiana, and New York.