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Rock Solid

Anh-Minh Le | July 24, 2017 | Style & Beauty Story Style National

In 2014, Vanessa Stofenmacher disrupted the online retail space with Vrai & Oro—providing a direct-to-consumer model for buying jewelry, minus “the unnecessary middlemen and crazy high markups,” as she puts it. Now, the company is relying on technology once again to take its forward-thinking approach a step further: All of the gems used in its diamond designs—from everyday styles to fine jewelry—will come from Diamond Foundry, the San Carlos-based firm that cultivates its own sparklers and recently acquired Vrai & Oro. “We had too many unanswered question marks surrounding the sources of traditional mined diamonds, so we were never able to stand behind them with full transparency,” says Stofenmacher, adding that now those question marks in the process are no more.

For Diamond Foundry CEO Martin Roscheisen, the acquisition allows his startup—whose backers range from local entrepreneur Alison Pincus to actor Leonardo DiCaprio—to focus on what it does best (the tech engineering that yields the diamonds) while taking advantage of the successful e-commerce platform that Stofenmacher has built (which includes a home try-on service). While the two companies have already launched VOW, a line of engagement rings, two more joint collections bow in July: Vrai & Oro Black, comprising eight 18K gold necklaces, earrings and rings, each with a diamond that weighs .5 to 1 carat; and Limited Essentials, which is an evolving series centered around unique Diamond Foundry cuts.

Originally published in the July/August issue of
Silicon Valley

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