Black Engagement Ring Designer Overcomes the Odds and Becomes Celebrity Jeweler

September 01 01:45 2023

I sat down with celebrity jeweler Jasmine Carter to find out about the amount of support her luxury brand Balacia receives from the Black community.

What percentage of your clients are Black?

“In 2022 we serviced almost 300 clients and less than 5% were Black. I LOVE my incredible clients and it means the world to me to have the support I’ve gotten! Being able to work full-time as a jewelry designer and spend time with my babies is truly a dream; it’s just after a while you start to wonder why there’s such an extreme racial diversity gap.”

Do Black people usually inquire about your jewelry?

“Oftentimes Black women find me on social media and I talk to them about their dream ring design, then they say they’ll pass along my information to their boyfriend. A few months later the woman contacts me again saying her now-fiance went to a major retailer to buy her ring but she still wants me to make her wedding band. It really sucks when I see beautiful Black queens wearing low quality, retail-grade rings, especially knowing that I would’ve made them something much nicer for the same price. I can’t tell you how many times women have contacted me disappointed in their ring yet excited and grateful that he proposed. I don’t understand why some men don’t contact me and at least ask for a quote before going to a corporate retailer. I don’t want nor expect anyone to buy from me just because of my race. I want people to talk to me, feel comfortable, and choose me to make their rings because they see my passion and know I’ll do a better job at it than anyone else.” 

Who typically buys from your business and what products do you offer?

“I have clients of all ages- from teenage high school sweethearts to 70 year olds doing 50 year ring upgrades; and I work with clients from every state so they’re very diverse in location- yet when it comes to ethnicity, I find it strange how few Black clients I get, especially with the Buy Black movement. I offer natural earth mined diamonds, lab grown diamonds, moissanite, and gemstone engagement rings, wedding bands, etc- pretty much anything and everything custom!”

Why do you think you have such a lack of ethnic diversity in your clientele? 

“I honestly have no idea but I would like to know. I made a post in a buying Black Facebook group a year ago to ask people why they thought I had such a lack of diversity with my clients and one lady commented saying I didn’t have enough Black people on my Instagram. My Instagram is very diverse and features models who are Black, White, Asian, Indian, etc. She proceeded to tell me the light-skinned Black models on my page “didn’t count” as Black. I’m light-skinned so most of the content on my page is me since it’s my brand and I film a lot of my own content. Being light-skinned doesn’t make me any less of a Black woman. Her comments bothered me at first but I like diversity and I’m not going to let someone tell me I’m not Black enough to represent my brand on social media.” 

How are your prices compared to other brands?

“I usually see my prices fall below the average, which might sound strange since my quality is so much higher. There’s a big difference between retail-grade quality and designer-quality. Some designers sell their settings alone for $5,000. Part of the price is branding- yes- but the other part is that a master jeweler costs more than an amateur. Every piece that I bring to life is designer-quality, without a retail markup. I can make an entire ring for what other designers charge for a setting. Some people think I’m expensive and some people think I’m cheap- it varies a lot. I will never be the cheapest because the cheapest will be the lowest quality with yellow tinted stones, low gold weight, hollow shanks, rings made overseas, etc. I also don’t need to price my jewelry with a crazy markup. My prices are more than fair for the quality you get for a piece of jewelry that will last a lifetime when it’s properly taken care of.”

What are you hoping for in 2024?

“My dream is to continue my success as a jewelry designer, with my work showcased at stores in every state! I want to be so well-known that Drake mentions me in a song lol! This year I hope and pray to land a deal with a major retailer to sell my designs so people nationwide can see them and be blown away. People always ask me if I have a store but having a store has never been my goal- I want to go national and global, not be tied to a single location.”

How do you prefer to be contacted about creating a custom jewelry piece?

“I’m totally flexible! People can DM me on Facebook or Instagram (I’m verified so I should be easy to find under my full name: Jasmine Wallace Carter) or email, phone, video chat, etc. I love sending voice messages so DMs are my first choice :)”

Media Contact
Company Name: Balacia
Contact Person: Jasmine Wallace Carter
Email: Send Email
City: Dallas
State: Texas
Country: United States