Michael and Raquel are high school sweethearts. They met during the dance portion of Spanish class, so you could say it was love at first dance.
They are one of FTJCo’s first international customers. Michael found FTJCo while looking for ethical engagement rings online and was surprised to learn that FTJCo is the only fair trade, ethical jeweller of its kind in North America. After some emails back and forth with the studio he decided to come and pick out Raquel’s engagement ring in person so he and his buddies made a road trip out and drove from Johnson City, Tennessee.
For Michael, it was important that Raquel’s engagement ring was a symbol of love and free from environmental exploitation and human rights abuses. FTJCo’s multiple certifications - B Corporation certified, Fairtrade and Fairmined - and knowing that we source directly from government certified Canadian diamond mines, coupled with our affiliation with the Responsible Jewelry Council and American Gem Society, gave Michael the assurance he needed to feel confident about where the materials used to make Raquel’s engagement ring had come from.
After touring our shop and on-site atelier to see exactly how each piece is designed and made Michael chose our Celtic Solitaire design in 18 carat gold. And then Michael, his buddies, and Raquel’s ring drove the 1, 171 kilometers back home excited for the next part of their love story to begin.
Michael’s proposal plans were foiled by American customs. The ring finally arrived, with a day to spare before Raquel was leaving to visit her family back home in Seattle. After a late night of packing Michael suggested a moonlit walk around the block. He waited for the right moment but when they arrived back at her front door he got down on one knee and asked, “"Raquel Andreina Velasco, te casarias conmigo?" and she answered, in Spanish, "Claro que si!" her voice trembling as she started to cry. They let it all sink in, cuddled together, in a hammock under the stars, until the wee hours of the morning dreaming about the adventures ahead for the Ecuadorian lady and the Tennessee gentleman.