A year and a half ago I proposed to the man of my dreams and from that proposal, came my marriage, my company and my Hoyz ring collection, pretty sweet deal if you ask me. Let me explain how my jewellery collection and brand came out of my engagement story, as for me, it’s so perfect and makes so much sense.
After I proposed to my husband, and he evidently said ‘yes!’ (actually it was “Is this for real? oh my god, yes!) we started talking about rings, of course. Being observant Jews with a love of antiques and old things, he reminded me of the incredibly beautiful and special antique Jewish wedding rings of Europe. The amazing story of these almost lost treasures is outlined in this previous post, but I’ll briefly explain. These wedding rings were truly works of art, demonstrating exquisite craftsmanship. They all feature charming, miniature palaces, castles and temples that represented the ancient Temple in Jerusalem as well as marital home of the new couple. Popular between the 14-18th centuries, a number of spectacular examples of these rings have survived, although the tradition was almost lost and few Jews know of these rings today.
Both my husband and I had been enchanted by this wonderful tradition and connected with it in a number of ways. The house is a very important symbol in Judaism, as the home and family is truly the focus, the heart and of utmost importance in Jewish life. Now I need to explain that my husband is literally the most generous and thoughtful person ever, knowing how much I liked these rings he tracked down an auction selling them and asked if I wanted one!
However, although breathtakingly beautiful, the original house rings are not a practical engagement ring as they are large and were not designed to be worn after the wedding ceremony (at least not on the finger, but possibly on a chain around the neck). With a solid background as a designer and maker, my initial and most authentic reaction was that I would make our engagement rings, inspired by the original house rings.
We both felt that these rings perfectly represented the life we wanted to build together, as as a designer- maker, creating our own house rings felt so right. As well as expressing our love of antiques and Jewish tradition, in making our rings I could express another vitally important aspect of my life as a designer.
As I began work, making while contemplating the meaning and historical significance behind the house ring and what it meant to us, I also began talking about them to people. As friends and acquaintances asked to see my ring and I explained what I was making, I was surprised to realise that almost everyone was hearing about these rings for the first time! Most people knew nothing about them, but were fascinated by the story. I felt that these rings were far too special to be forgotten and I decided then to not just design our engagement rings, but to design a collection of rings to share the story of the tradition. And so, I began work on three different house ring designs, in four different but equally gorgeous finishes, that would comprise the Hoyz ring collection, ‘hoyz’ meaning house in yiddish. The collection has been designed not just for engagements and not just for Jews, but as a universal symbol of love, harmony and holiness, repurposed for all occasions, a reinvention of this marvelous house ring tradition.