1-of-a-kind business 
Customers create jewelry of their dreams with MF Diamonds’ help


Sept. 30, 2015

Matt Fehring displays a model of a cushion-cut diamond at MF Diamonds on Friday afternoon in downtown West Bend.
Photos by John Ehlke

WEST BEND - Some customers come to MF Diamonds and know exactly what they’re looking for. Others have no idea. That’s where owner Matt Fehring comes in.

The 22-year-old designs custom jewelry and, through a computer program, can master nearly any design imaginable.

“We are able to create basically what you are looking for without having to search all over,” Fehring said.

Along with the ease of getting what they want, customers pay prices that are in line with most stores. He doesn’t have a lot of overhead costs because he is not buying the gems and jewelry.

As someone who is allergic to nickel, which is in most gold and sterling silver, it’s ironic that Fehring decided on the jewelry profession. He was an 18-year-old University of Wisconsin-Platteville student when he got excited about the profession.

“I watched a documentary about buying and selling emeralds and was intrigued,” Fehring said. “I went online and bought some emeralds and sold them to a jewelry store and kept going with it until I got to where I’m at.”

Fehring sits at his desk with a custom-made ring on his computer screen. The rings are computer-designed.
Photos by John Ehlke

He works with all gems and styles. An example of how his business works: a couple comes into the 239 N. Main St. store looking for an engagement ring. He shows them a case with prototypes as a starting point. Once the two pick that, they sit down with Fehring and create their piece looking at a computer screen.

The couple picks the shank (the portion that goes on the finger), the metal, the gems and overall look. They rearrange these, all the while looking at a computer-generated image, until — bingo — they see exactly what they’re looking for.

People can bring in a gem for the ring or they can start from scratch and purchase the gem through Fehring’s distributor.

Fehring also has a program that shows the gem the person will purchase — it’s size, clarity and if there are imperfections. An independent consultant rates the gem, which is laser inscribed with a number to ensure the customer gets the piece they pay for.

Rings on display in the front window at MF Diamonds in downtown West Bend Friday afternoon.
Photos by John Ehlke

Once the customer is happy with the look, they get the cost. The customer can rearrange the size and elements to fit their budget (or dream big and put a random $500,000 diamond in their creation just to see what it would look like).

Final step — the couple is happy with what they have created and Fehring puts in the order. In eight to 10 days their made-from-scratch ring is ready. He hasn’t had a dissatisfied customer.

“They help design it themselves so they always love it,” Fehring said.

Jewelry Works Cedarburg owner Mike Eubank has been a goldsmith for more than 45 years and has been at his Cedarburg store for 26. He has worked with Fehring on custom designs because of Fehring’s computer capabilities.

“He’s young but he’s done a lot of research,” Eubank said. “He’s very up on things and trends in jewelry are changing. The younger ones are the ones you need to appeal to — the older people already have jewelry.”

Fehring also uses a program that determines a person’s style if they don’t have an idea of what they want. The program begins with a series of non-jewelry photos. The customer goes through the program clicking on the photos they like. These include pictures of a half-dozen intricate doors, chairs and other random objects. Once they go through the “test” the computer brings up photos of rings it determines they would like.

Fehring shares the store with Laurel’s Camera & Gifts, which his father Patrick and mother Laurel own.

“Dad and son work together very well,” Patrick said, adding along with jewelry, Matt is very knowledgeable about the camera store and helps with customer service when he is gone.

Design is the mainstay of Matt’s business. However, he also sells consignment jewelry and offers cleaning and inspection services.

Matt attended UW schools for three years and studied online at Gemological Institute of America.

He had a soft opening Dec. 15 with a different store name, Edward’s Fine Diamonds. On Sept. 1, it officially became MF Diamonds.

“It (Edward’s) was a more classic jewelry store and I’m more modern and I wanted the name and website to reflect that,” he said.

Visit www.mfdiamonds.com and http://d-zdiamonds.com or call 262-343-5043 for information.

Store hours are 2-8 p.m. Mondays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Fridays. Clients can meet him after hours by appointment. He also offers mobile service and will meet clients within 100 miles.

Fehring supports The campaign for Ethical Jewelry, which aims to eliminate unethical activity and human rights violations in the jewelry trade supply chain.

Reach editor Jennifer McBride at jmcbride@conleynet.com