If diamonds are forever, then we’ll be hearing about Edan Twena, HBA’12, for a long time.
“I always had an infatuation with diamonds,” the Ivey Business School alumnus said.
During his time at Western, Twena became a credited gemologist by the Graduate Diamonds Program at the Gemological Institute of America. After graduation, he joined the family business, JPK Group, which wholesales lower-cost jewelry for big box retailers, like Walmart.
While there, he started to get his first taste of success with his own designs. Among his early successes, he created an eco-friendly line for one of Canada’s largest privately owned retailers. Hard work, combined with constant networking, paid off as he soon created his first engagement ring – a 5-carat cushion diamond for an NHL star.
He then started showing the pieces to the world via an Instagram account.
“I immediately started promoting this, along with some of my first designs. Slowly, friends started calling and reaching out for rings,” Twena said. “Through word of mouth and happy customers, more calls came in. It got to the point where I was spending more time outside of the office than in it. The family business rolled on its own and so I made the leap to venture out and follow my passion.”
The 30-year-old Toronto resident now finds himself circling the globe in search of some of the world’s most flawless diamonds. It’s not often the designer also sources their diamonds – but it has become his signature.
“I let my work speak for itself. My work brings me work,” said Twena, who has made everything from a diamond pizza necklace for Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell to an Air Jordan necklace for Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman. “There are so many steps and details that are crucial in the process of creating a ring; they are often overlooked elsewhere.”
If Ivey taught Twena anything, it is that trust is key in business.
“Doing good business brings more business. Providing the utmost level of customer service and satisfaction is a key success factor that I always stand by,” he said
There is a mix of excitement and pressure in handling requests ranging up to six-digits. Twena has created a 50-inch Cuban link monopoly board pendant with diamonds throughout, and just completed making a diamond-headed rose gold Buddha head.
“I always get excited to design and create new pieces. The passion never leaves. The beauty with custom jewelry is there is always something new to create,” said Twena, who uses a 3D-printer in order to bring rings to life for clients before he moves onto creating the real deal.
“In this business, it’s very important to control your emotions throughout the entire process and focus on the mission, which is delivering the most beautiful ring,” he added. “The most rewarding part is seeing your clients go through so many emotions and, especially, at the end being ecstatic. Whether it’s a proposal or a custom piece, their reaction is my intrinsic reward as it truly makes them happy.”