Last summer, Tyler and Kellie Sholdt, owners of T. Anthony Jewelers, moved their custom engagement ring and fine fashion jewelry design studio to Kirkland’s Carillon Point. The pair had opened their first space in 2008, building off of the fourth-generation family business Tyler was born into. With his great-grandfather entering the jewelry industry in 1935 in the heart of downtown Seattle, Tyler grew up watching his family make beautiful pieces inside various creative spaces.
Building upon this legacy, Tyler and Kellie decided to work directly with clients throughout the entire one-on-one creative process. They found themselves in a unique position, with Tyler (now the principal designer) having inherited an eye for artistry and discovering a passion for transforming clients’ dream pieces into reality. Also, the couple already had great industry contacts.
“Tyler learned really young what quality looks like, the architecture of how to create design, and what can stand the test of time,” Kellie said.
The Sholdts’ business is unique in that they’re not simply trying to sell clients inventory that already exists; instead, they find options that fall within a client’s budget and wish list. Some clients select from pre-existing engagement rings (the couple is excited about a new line of 20 rings in their cases), while others might use those as a base from which to create their own design featuring a different stone or another color of metal. Many clients prefer to start entirely from scratch.
The couple encounters folks in the midst of a monumental decision, and both Tyler and Kellie feel honored to play a role.
“It’s so special to get to meet so many wonderful people and see how they care for each other,” Kellie said. She loves learning the inside scoop and hearing clients’ personal tales during such a joyous period. This also proves a vulnerable time for couples who are making a huge investment, she said — in the ring, and in one another. “It feels honoring to be trusted to be part of such a special moment. It’s a sweet thing to be a part of.”
The company builds rings specifically for the selected stone, which Kellie explains is very different than merely bending a prong to make something fit. The process begins with a complimentary, 60-minute appointment, during which everyone establishes a budget and a vision. For appointments involving gemstones, Tyler prepares by curating gemstones from their trusted vendors ahead of time.
After making final diamond or gemstone selections, a CAD (computer-aided design) rendering gives the client a chance to make additional tweaks. The Sholdts then take the approved design to their bench jewelers (all located within the U.S.), who cast the piece in a metal of choice, set the gemstones, and complete polishing and finishing touches.
Though it can take longer, the process of creating a custom piece typically takes two to four weeks. And although much of the design work can be done over email or Zoom, many prefer to come in and collaborate in person. “This is a niche for people who still value personal connection,” Kellie said.
In their new Kirkland showroom, the couple savors water views and more space in which to spotlight their offerings. Although they’re primarily known for bridal jewelry, they’re appreciating being able to offer more everyday wear now, too. An added bonus? In non-pandemic times, across-the-way neighbor Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa proves a popular spot for weddings.
After they’ve found someone they can trust, many clients return to the Sholdts for future major life events — from births to milestone anniversaries. The couple plans to “keep on celebrating” with their loyal customers, Kellie said. “We feel really privileged to get to know the community better.”