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#199 - How to Create an Ethical, Sustainable, & Inclusive Wedding Ring Brand with Carrie Adams & Andrew Lim of Holden

December 07, 2021

#199 - How to Create an Ethical, Sustainable, & Inclusive Wedding Ring Brand with Carrie Adams & Andrew Lim of Holden
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The exchange of wedding rings is a centuries-old tradition, and most wedding ring makers have remained stuck in the past, utilizing environmentally-unfriendly materials, and leaving a whole cohort of modern-couple ‘typographies’ out of their...

The exchange of wedding rings is a centuries-old tradition, and most wedding ring makers have remained stuck in the past, utilizing environmentally-unfriendly materials, and leaving a whole cohort of modern-couple ‘typographies’ out of their branding scope. But not Holden!

Holden is a custom wedding ring company built on the principles of sustainability, transparency, and inclusivity.

In today’s episode, host Cory Ames is joined by Holden’s cofounder, Andrew Lim, and its content marketing lead and first full-time employee, Carrie Adams. Tuning in to this conversation, you’ll hear the ins and outs of Holden's origin story, how the company differentiates itself in an all-around positive way, and the exciting plans they have for the future.

Cory's wedding band is from Holden, so from personal experience, he can vouch for the way they put into practice everything that they stand for!  

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Choose a wedding ring through Holden using this link here, and Grow Ensemble receives a small commission at no extra cost to you. Those commissions help support the production of The Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Podcast!  


  • Andrew and Carrie explain what Holden’s mission is. 
  • Where the idea for Holden originated, and the company that preceded it.
  • Growth that Holden has experienced since Carrie joined the company 2 years ago. 
  • How Holden gives back. 
  • Cory's personal experience with Holden. 
  • The transparent process of customizing a Holden ring. 
  • Customer service that Holden provides. 
  • How Holden puts its commitment to sustainability into practice.
  • Accessibility of Holden products.
  • Holden’s exciting plans for the future.
  • Book recommendations from Carrie and Andrew. 
  • Brands that Andrew and Carrie are inspired by.
  • Valuable advice from Carrie and Andrew around being an entrepreneur.

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📄 Full Show Notes - Links, Transcript, & More





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Carrie Adams  0:00  
Suddenly you need to know about carrot versus carrot and what the differences between a kakera and a see carrot, and so we have the resources available for you if you need them. So next to everything, there's a little question mark. So we'll walk you through what a matte finished ring will look like versus amuro finished ring or we'll have a whole blog post on a lab grown diamond or what 14 karat will mean versus 18 karat.

Cory Ames  0:27  
Hey, y'all, it's Cory here with the social entrepreneurship and innovation podcasts. so grateful to have you here today. I have some special guests, I'm welcoming Kerry Adams and Andrew Lim, from Holden. Holden is a custom wedding ring company for all couples, they launched in 2018, to change the way that couples shop for wedding rings. And this is in large part why we're having this conversation today. I am a very happy and pleased to share that that's when Annie and I got engaged and we're looking for a wedding band from me holding is who we ended up deciding to purchase my ring for. And of course, as we do things at grow ensemble, if we find a company whose ethos we really resonate with, and we make a purchase from something as significant as well as this, we absolutely have to get into contact with them and reach out to them. And so now knowing these holding folks for some time I as well I wrote a comprehensive review of my experience Annie and I's experience of finding my band, you can find that review I'm sure we'll have it linked up in the attached show post as well as the episode description. But now here we are having this conversation today about how Holden is redefining how to choose a wedding or engagement ring. And as I mentioned, I'm joined by Andrew Lim, one of the cofounders of Holden and Kerry Adams who's the content marketing lead for Holden and Holden's first full time employee. So excited to dive into this chat get a little bit of insight as to how Annie and I made our own decision to go with Holden for our ring. But even if you're not in the market for a wedding ring, I know you'll enjoy this episode as they're taking quite a unique take and stance in this industry that perhaps has been quite exclusive and a source of much stress and pain for what would typically be a really exceptional moment to celebrate right couples coming together. So we'll dive into this chat in just a second. But before we do, if you haven't yet, I want to invite you to sign up for our better world weekly newsletter. This is a newsletter that I write, curate and publish myself send out every single Monday to now over 3000 changemakers innovators from all sectors all over the globe go to grow ensemble.com backslash newsletter to sign up for that get the next one in your inbox. that's growing sample.com backslash newsletter. All right, Joe. Here's the folks from Holden.

Andrew Lim  3:13  
Yeah, my name is Andrew. I'm one of the cofounders of Holden, and we are a custom jewelry company. And we focus and specialized on custom wedding rings. And we just want to make the experience as easy and enjoyable and inclusive as possible for couples to be able to design a custom ring.

Cory Ames  3:37  
Excellent thing, Carrie.

Carrie Adams  3:39  
Yeah, I mean, I think Andrew summed it up pretty well, I think inclusivity is I mean, it's really important for us, I would add that our entire collection is gender neutral. So kind of resets the idea of traditional wedding expectations and what it means and what your range would look like based on your gender. So that is a really important thing for us as well.

Cory Ames  4:00  
Lovely. And much of the reason why we're having this conversation here is because of Annie and I coming across y'all when we were looking for my wedding band, so doing some digging and researching, really glad that we came across Holden. For folks watching this on video, there's a little shot of the ring that I have. I've likewise written a pretty comprehensive review on our experience and seeking that out and as well, many things that y'all do differently, which I know we'll dive into here, that you've briefed us on quite quickly there. But I'd love to start as to understand a bit more of the origin of holding and Andrew maybe this is best serve from you first and foremost. Why does Holden exists? And what was the reason that you founded this business in the first place?

Andrew Lim  4:46  
Yeah, absolutely. I guess you know, we can kind of start with you know, I met my co founder in college, and we ended up interning together one summer became really good friends and that after we graduated My co founder Simon, he actually really wanted to, like, create kind of like a meaningful product. And so he first started out by designing these bracelets that assess friends all kind of thought were really cool. And it was kind of like him kind of getting started at like kind of creating a brand and kind of story around products that he thought were really meaningful to him. And I sort of just, I was working another job, but just started kind of helping him out on nights and weekends, eventually, we came out with a full collection of jewelry, the brand was called mucho. And what we would do is we would kind of go around on Saturday mornings all around New York City and kind of set up our booth that flea markets, and it was just a really good chance for us to get to talk to a lot of customers, and just kind of, you know, make a lot of mistakes, but also just kind of like figure out how to create products and make really high quality products that customers really liked. And what ended up happening while we were doing that is we had a lot of customers, and especially a lot of couples come up to us and say like, Hey, we really like these rings that you have, but can we customize them a little bit? You know, can we get them in gold? Can we get them a little bit wider? Can we actually get like a little bit of a different design. And, you know, in the beginning, we said yes to all the requests and kind of, we're figuring it out as we went along. But while that was happening, you know, while we were getting a lot of these custom requests, we also just heard from a lot of couples, just a lot of horror stories that they had while shopping for jewelry, especially with wedding rings. Traditionally, if you go into a store, it can be sort of this overwhelming, almost intimidating experience where you know, there could be a salesperson, you know, they kind of throw a lot of jargon at you. And before you know it, you're like kind of staring at this expensive invoice and you're not even really sure if you like the ring. And then if you go online, on a lot of other websites, it's just overwhelming how many options there are, there's not a lot of transparency. And for a lot of couples, like really painfully everything is sort of branded and presented in very normative ways. So you really kind of only see like, you know, kind of one type of couple, or like one type of you know, person represented. And so we were just like, this doesn't make any sense to us. We know how to make great jewelry, let's create an experience that's you know, actually enjoyable, it makes it really easy for you to design exactly what you want in your wedding ring, be really transparent and accessible about everything. And then also just create that experience that's really inclusive. So we made it one of our philosophies from the start to just be as inclusive as possible and be welcoming and celebrate all couples,

Cory Ames  7:54  
and carry When did you come into the form

Carrie Adams  7:57  
I started about two years ago, in November of 2019, I was the first full time employee, which was really, really fun and came on in a marketing role and sort of expanded since then. And it's been great. It's been really fun, because it's such a small company to feel like real collaborator, and Andrew and Simon are super open to any ideas. And we've grown so much since I started we now have, I think seven full time employees. Yes, yeah. So it's been really exciting to sort of be part of that beginning team, with Andrew and Simon.

Cory Ames  8:29  
And so what's that feel like? For both? Yeah, this sense that the team is growing that as well. I guess the message in how you've positioned yourselves is really resonating with a community of people. What's that experience been like?

Carrie Adams  8:45  
Yeah, it's been fantastic. I think one of my favorite parts of my job is getting an Instagram dm from somebody who said that they'd never seen a couple that looked like them before from any other jewelry company. And they felt like they were being truly represented. And one thing that we started doing within the last couple years as well sort of to contribute to our representation or commitment representation was that we now donate 1% of all sales to the Trevor Project, which is the largest suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ plus youth. And so that's really important to us. And we're talking about a different a bunch of different organizations. But we really love Trevor, because it's very clear where donations go. And we also really love the idea of supporting LGBTQ plus youth and giving them the love and support that we're seeing our couples celebrate at their weddings. So sort of knowing that there's somebody there with you from the beginning, because it's obviously coming out in such a difficult process for some people. And so being able to sort of support a younger generation while we're seeing the celebration and joy of the generations that we're working with.

Cory Ames  9:45  
Andrew, anything to add.

Andrew Lim  9:47  
Yeah, you know, what is really cool about the Trevor Project is, especially during the pandemic, you know, there's been an uptick in a lot of just kind of like difficulties Especially LGBTQ youth have been going through a lot of the resources that they might have had at school, or while they were kind of out doing activities, a lot of those have gone away. And so I think Trevor has just been able to touch, like so many more youth over the last, you know, like year and a half. And so just kind of knowing that, like, we're able to directly contribute to that effort. Like for the whole team, it just has been like, super fulfilling, knowing that like we're donating to like a cause that has like a tangible effect. And it's not just going into, you know, some black hole that we're not really sure of what they're actually doing.

Carrie Adams  10:38  
Yeah, there's, I think, a statistic that if there's one supportive adult in your life, then LGBTQ plus youth are 40% less likely to attempt suicide. So whatever project is the hotline, resources, among other things, so it's a way for if you're you don't feel anybody in your own community, you can really connect with somebody else who is there to support you. And so it's really been super meaningful for us to support that organization.

Cory Ames  11:01  
And how did you get connected with that partnership in the first place? Like why them specifically and how did their name come across your search?

Andrew Lim  11:09  
That was one of your first big projects.

Carrie Adams  11:11  
Yeah, I remember talking about it in my interview with you and wanting to find an organization that we can support to sort of continue the support of LGBTQ plus couples. And it really started with just doing research in different organizations, there are so many fantastic ones out there. So at the end of the day, we had to pick one, and we do support other organizations throughout the year. But I think, Trevor, again, it's very clear what's happening with them. And you can see the impact that you're having. And I think being able to support a younger generation is something that is really exciting to us, because our couples have found that love and support. And so we want to kind of let younger LGBTQ plus youth know that that love and support is to come and that there is a community out there for them. And so it's something that no marriage is a celebration of that community and of that love. And so really giving people that support at an earlier age, so that they can then find that later on in life is something that's really important to us. That's excellent.

Cory Ames  12:06  
And I think this very component of something that y'all focus on at Holden, really kind of adds to this whole conversation of, you know, more of what is the core to the business at Holden, which is providing people with these very important in meaningful rings, and bands and symbols of, you know, an important bond and experience in their lives. It's something that I noticed, as Annie and I got engaged, and we started to think, you know, what sort of band ring would be appropriate for me, she was taken care of there was a family heirloom in the conversation. So it was just really a consideration for me, and what would actually be meaningful, and what would be valuable, and it's quite the significant purchase, not necessarily in the sense of just dollar value, it can be that but that's not necessarily what has to equal meaningful, I suppose. And that was probably kind of the highest metric, which is one that's, you know, subjective to who is the purchaser, the beholder, you know, as to what is actually meaningful. And so, I know listeners of this show, especially when it comes to something that is, you know, such as significant, meaningful purchase something that you know, you're going to be looking at every single day, and something that's going to represent something for you far more than just, you know what it is, I'm curious to hear, if we could walk through a little bit as to what Holden's philosophy is, as we would approach the process, someone who's considering a choosing a wedding band, or choosing a wedding ring, because what I love about my own experience and ionise experience in choosing a ring from y'all is that it seemed like it changed really what that experience would be kind of redefined it and set a new standard for it. Because exactly as you're saying, I think Andrew, you mentioned, the traditional experience of it might be going into a jeweler, you know, your Wayne, if that sales rep will have your kind of best interests in mind. You know, if they do in fact, you know, it's I'm sure there are good sales reps at jewelers, but it's hard to tell just because you know that what is their incentive? You know, are they there to put pressure on you? Or, you know, are they there to really kind of walk you through finding something that's going to fit nicely. So I'd love to start a little bit from the beginning, if someone is to stumble upon holding, how does this look different in the experience of starting to choose and seek out the right ring for them? And perhaps contrast that with what maybe the experience might be traditionally, and I'm not sure whichever one of y'all might be the best app to kick it off. Yeah,

Andrew Lim  14:39  
I think sort of talk about kind of what the experience is like, you know, from start to finish, kind of when you first find out about us, you know, I think if I had to sum up like how we're different like one quick sentence, it's sort of like we kind of want to do everything we can to give the power back to the couple and the customer that can mean a couple Things I think first from just kind of like the shopping and the product perspective, when you first come onto our site, and then you kind of want to shop through our different options, it seems like at first that there aren't that many options. And we kind of do that intentionally because just from like doing research and just kind of hearing anecdotally, and also, just like personally, now the last thing I ever want to do is go on a site and just be hit with a wall of product. And like, you see pages, one 230. And it's like, you don't even know where to begin, you can try to sort it, but it still really confusing. So we always have started by kind of making that first choice, you're just kind of like picking the base design, and it's kind of like a blank canvas. And then once you do kind of click into one of the designs that you like, then from there, we try our best to make it just a very straightforward step by step, you can pick kind of the width you want metal that you want. And then every time you click on something and change something, you know, design, the rain, the rendering will evolve right in front of you, the pricing will also adjust so you can super transparently understand exactly how your choices affect the price, you know, there's no like hidden formula. And then all of a sudden, at the end, when you're about to checkout, you don't get to see the price until then we want to just make it super step by step. And then when it comes to actually kind of picking the different options, we don't want to give 50 options for like the width or like 50 options. For like the type of metals, we want to keep it really simple, you know, give customers enough choice so that they have the power to really design the room that they want, but not make it a super overwhelming experience either. And then finally, you know if there is something that customer wants, but it's not like standard on the site, they can always just reach out to like our awesome customer experience team. And you know, we pretty much bend over backwards to try to make like the request happened, if it's something that we can do, like we'll do everything we can to make it happen. And we just try to be really accessible. At no point will we ever put any pressure on anyone to like design something, we'll never try to upsell you, we just want you and your partner to feel like you're designing exactly what you want, you're getting a really fair value for it, and you feel like you're really welcomed during the whole experience.

Carrie Adams  17:29  
Yeah, I think to add to that, it's the first time that you most likely have bought a wedding ring. So we don't make any assumptions that you know anything about it. Because I think that can be very intimidating if you're not a jewelry person. And suddenly you need to know about carrot versus carrot and what the differences between a cake carrot and a sea carrot. And so we have the resources available for you if you need them. So next to everything, there's a little question mark. So we'll walk you through what a matte finished ring will look like versus a mirror finished ring. Or we'll have a whole blog post on a lab grown diamond or what 14 karat will mean versus 18 karat. And oh, you don't know your ring size, we'll send you a free ring size kit, you can't decide you need a little bit of extra help, we'll do a virtual appointment with you over the internet or do an in person appointment with you. So we're accessible to you whenever you need us. I have super long dm conversation back and forth of people sending photos of rings on my hand, different stacks, different carats things like that. And so we're there for you every step of the way. But we're not putting any pressure on you. So we're there for you as much as you need us. But we're never going to be breathing down your neck as you're making the decision, which I think is kind of sets us apart but also makes it we're not intimidating, I hope.

Cory Ames  18:40  
No, you don't come off that way at all.

Andrew Lim  18:45  
And I think just like Finally, we try to be like really thoughtful with our entire, you know, manufacturing production and fulfillment process, we believe really strongly in local manufacturing. So all of our rings are produced in New York City, our office is right on the corner of the diamond district. For those of you who haven't been to kind of Midtown Manhattan before, there's this kind of, you know, one block where there's just such a high concentration of jewelry manufacturers, they produce a lot of volume and some of the highest quality since there's such a high amount of talent right there. And so you know, we make everything locally. And you know, we try to be as sustainable as possible with our entire process. Carrie, do you want to talk about some of the things cuz I know that you have really helped us implement a lot of the sustainability initiatives? Yeah,

Carrie Adams  19:41  
sure. So I think sustainability is really important to us. I think it's a hot topic right now and just was really part of why the brand was formed and sort of how we started talking to you and Annie actually was about sustainability. So I think you were saying that we make everything locally. Another thing that I think is really important We make every single room custom to order. So we don't have any back stock every ring that you order you want a 14 karat, three millimeter wide eternity band, we will make that ring exactly for you, we will engrave what you want in that ring. And so we don't have a bunch of those and every single size. So that means that we don't really have any waste. And we'll resize your ring for free for you for the rest of your life. So you never have to replace the ring. We also if you do end up returning the ring will melt down all returns to become new rings, we actually make all of our rings from recycled precious metal. We are 100% recycled gold right now. And we are working very hard towards becoming 100% recycled Platinum within the next couple years. So that's something that's really exciting. And we're continuing to try and grow there. We also use lab grown diamonds, which are really exciting for us because they're 100% traceable, because it has a lot of controversy about the diamond industry and mined diamonds sometimes being blood diamonds are not ethically sourced. And there's a lot of environmental impact with that. And so that's really important to us is to use lab grown diamonds. On top of that this is actually from you as well. This was a recommendation from Annie, we became Climate Neutral after talking to Annie for the first time, yes, which is really exciting. And so we measure an offset 100% of our carbon emissions every year, which is great. And that's something that we just started and was a new initiative in 2021. So I think there's 300 brands that became certified this year, and we're one of them. So we're really excited to thank you for the recommendation. And you know, we're trying to be conscious that our packaging, we're actually going through a rebrand right now. And we're figuring out sort of creative ways to do either more recycled packaging, or being able to reuse the ring box. That's something that's exciting as well. But yeah, I think that environmentalism is really, really important to us and sort of a core tenet of our brand.

Cory Ames  21:45  
I mean, it's those components as well that kind of add into the overall conversation of what makes the product itself these rings more meaningful. Now, that was a big consideration for me and I in the process is that, you know, while not again, as you mentioned, Carrie, you know, we were by no means jewelry experts, and have no intention of becoming that it was nice to find folks like y'all who are very transparent, you know, in as you mentioned, there's extensive documentation and being a resource on the blog, or, you know, what you show and display about the step by step of your process, it was very helpful, actually, those little question marks, you know, with the widths, the carrot, the finish all that kind of stuff, are

Andrew Lim  22:27  
you actually click them?

Cory Ames  22:30  
Absolutely, because it's that level of ignorance that Annie's a little bit more kind of assertive than I am. And so if we were to go into a jeweler, as an example, I would probably just pretend like I knew something just kind of like, yep, no problem, you know, and then I'd like go research it later. But she would probably ask the question more straight out, so is useful for me, I love that sort of thing to kind of have the additional supplementary information. So it was nice to know. And it seems like it's that kind of pace in which you would want to make something that's such as significant decision, it's at your comfort, it's something that you probably look at and look at, again, you know, over the course of time, as opposed to the experience of perhaps going into a jeweler, and the pressure may be on to feel like you need to make a decision that moment, you know, while you're there in the shop, you know, I don't know how many times people would go back in and out, you know, to do their own due diligence, but there is some pressure in there, because you imagine that the folks running the business might want to, you know, make the sale that day. However, it's nice to have that experience of taking your own time, you know, browsing options, as well, as you know, prices, I think that was something that really stood out to y'all as an option is that there's quite the scale to and you're pretty transparent as to how you're able to obtain those prices, you know, in contrast to maybe more of a traditional kind of retail markup, you know, because that's not always what is really going to be a difference maker for people as far as you know, what represents what's meaningful, and what's valuable. You know, you want to know that something is quality, of course, but it's also nice to not feel like you know, you're being taken in some sort of way, I suppose. And I'd be curious to hear at least for if you could expound for the listeners bit like How are y'all able to get the pricing structure that you have, as opposed to maybe more traditional options?

Andrew Lim  24:20  
Yeah, absolutely. So you know, it's a couple of components. The first one is, you know, we produce everything directly, and we only sell you know, directly to the customer. So we don't have to bake in wholesale margins, which is, you know, very common and kind of the fashion and the jewelry industry, you know, by selling everything direct, it's a much fairer price. And then also since everything is custom made to order, we don't need to build in like an additional margin for shrinkage and waste that inevitably happens when you do hold inventory. You know, we also never need to have like some kind of like massive sale at the end of every season. To get rid of things that didn't sell. So you know, we believe strongly in kind of offering a fair price all year round, and you know, selling it kind of direct to the customer.

Cory Ames  25:11  
That's excellent. That is really something that is reassuring to know that it's not just a matter of like what time of year, you're deciding to make a purchase, or perhaps you know, what store you went to at what moment you know, to where you got a good deal or not like that doesn't feel good for something that is supposed to be such a meaningful purchase to where that's probably the last thing that you want to think about on an ongoing basis.

Andrew Lim  25:35  
Yeah, and, you know, kind of going along with one of our main tenants of being accessible, we do have a wide range of options and prices. Yeah, so we want to make sure that, you know, we can cater to someone who is looking to get something maybe with like a lot of diamonds and like a lot of material, but also someone who kind of wants something simpler, you know, it doesn't want to break the bank and pay an arm and a leg for a fully custom ring. So we just kind of want to be able to provide enough options for everyone to feel like, you know, they're getting a really great value and also getting exactly what they want, which usually it's a compromise, but we try our very best to give you the best of both worlds. Yeah, one

Carrie Adams  26:14  
thing that I find really exciting is we do a blog series where we interview holding couples and ask them about their wedding and how they got engaged. And I also would like to know how you and Annie got engaged, Cory, because some of my favorite questions, but we'll get back to that. But one question that we always ask is why you chose Holden, and what mattered to you while you were buying a ring. And what is really exciting to me is that the answers are different every time it's not the same thing. So sometimes it's an LGBTQ plus couple that says, you know, you really spoke to me and my community and I felt included by you and represented and wanted to support the Trevor Project. And another person said, it's really important to me that a brand cares about sustainability in the environment, I wanted a ring with lab grown diamonds, and another person says, You know, I was looking for something that wasn't going to break the bank. And so I think, you know, accessibility in that way financially is really important. And to make sure that we are able to access all of those couples who might have different price ranges that they're looking in. And at the end of the day, it's your ring symbolizes so much and will become an heirloom no matter what. And I think that's really exciting because I know you were saying Annie has an heirloom but your ring one day will become one as well. And that's so cool that these rings kind of will live on and just contain so much.

Cory Ames  27:23  
Exactly. And I do love that there are a lot of different access points, I guess, you know, as you mentioned, they're curious as to what maybe drove someone to make the final decision but each one in their own right does kind of add to the overall experience of you know, someone coming in from a sustainability component first and foremost, may find out about everything else that y'all do. And that adds to their experience you know, as adding another layer on to like, Oh, this is an even better reason to make this decision this way and a significant purchase for ourselves. So I'd be interested to know what are some things that Holden isn't doing right now that y'all are most excited about adding in to your operation or adding into your your goals, objectives and initiatives moving forward? Yeah, one

Carrie Adams  28:09  
thing that is really exciting Well, we have two really exciting things coming up. One is that we are opening up a storefront which is going to be really exciting in New York because I think you know, it's so great that people all over the country and all over the world can purchase our rings, but some people do want to be able to have that personal experience see the rings themselves and so now we're offering that option for people which is very exciting to have and then the other thing is that we are going to be launching a line of engagement rings which is something that I'm super excited about this was something that I've been wanting to do and I'm really excited about it and so that's within the context of Holden like the entire collection is going to be gender neutral as well and so that's something that's really important to us and we actually do have a lot of couples already purchased our bands as engagement rings and so we just want to kind of continue to expand that and make that something that is accessible for all of our couples so those are sort of two big things I don't know if you want to expand on them I kind of spoiled both of them.

Andrew Lim  29:06  
That's great and you know in terms of the store to start it's going to be a showroom space where you know couples can come in try on all the rings and also just kind of get like that you know start to kind of feel that holding energy you know I kind of like internally like to say you know it's gonna be like the anti jewelry store jewelry store we're not going to have this like fluorescent lighting with just like hundreds of glass cases and everything's just kind of you know, you can't touch it and you can't like really like feel comfortable in there. So you know, it's just gonna be like kind of really open. There's going to be some comfortable appointment tables and we just kind of want to have like friendly conversations with people while we'll showing them the rings and not make it this you know, negotiation appointment type of thing.

Cory Ames  29:57  
That was going to be my next question as to how you would Make the storefront unlike other jewelry storefronts, so it's good to know that that'll be well thought out and considered. Hey folks it's Cory here just hopping in for one quick seconds if you are liking what you're hearing from the folks at Holden and you or someone you know is perhaps in the market for a custom wedding or engagement ring, I want to recommend that you check out our friends at Holden at grow ensemble.com back slash Holden that's grow ensemble.com backslash Holden so these folks as you're hearing now they're a new kind of wedding ring company. They won't allow you to say goodbye to trips to the mall pushy sales people in designer markups. So these rings are sustainably made, just for you handcrafted, each ring made to order in New York City using recycled precious metals and ethical traceable, lab grown diamonds. And as you heard Kerry mentioned, they've partnered with Climate Neutral to offset 100% of their carbon emissions. So again, that's grow ensemble.com backslash Holden and of course, if you do follow that link and end up choosing a ring from our friends at Holden, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you, Commission's like that help support the production of the social entrepreneurship and innovation podcasts. So once more that scroll ensemble comm backslash Holden h o l, d, e n. All right, y'all. Let's get back to the chat with Carrie and Andrew. And so Gary and Andrew, I want to be respectful of your time here. Thank you so much for taking the time. But before we wrap up here, can I ask y'all a few rapid fire questions? Yeah. All right. So this first one will go to Kerry Andrew, you'll be answering the same one right after but Carrie, starting with you what's perhaps a book, a film or some sort of resource, something that you always come back to, or something that maybe he's impacted you recently that you'd like to recommend to our listeners,

Carrie Adams  32:20  
I think it's something that I reference all the time is let my people go surfing by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, I think he really talks a lot about sustainability and creating a brand and how those two go hand in hand and in some ways conflict with one another. And every Patagonia piece is intended to be worn forever, they have a program where they'll help fix things. And so I think we are very similar to them in a lot of ways in terms of a lifetime investment and a piece and I think he's brilliant, and we're both remain, so I feel very connected to him. I think that's my recommendation.

Cory Ames  32:54  
I was just gonna say there's definitely a product design whole section there that you could just absolutely swipe and steal that was so gold that section I absolutely loved it. But sorry, had your dinner

Carrie Adams  33:06  
up. Yeah, and he's a big climber too. So I just I feel very connected.

Andrew Lim  33:10  
I remember I went to the bookstore one day and just like picked it up and like started reading it and like ended up staying there like standing at the counter and just like reading it for like a couple hours. But I think another book that I also really liked a lot and I introduced it to you to the shoe dog. I mean, it's kind of like the classic. You know, for a lot of like entrepreneurs, I think it's something I recommend, in that it does a good job of like, showing you like the struggle, I think it's very easy to glorify entrepreneurship, but if you feel compelled that this is something that you need to do, I wouldn't recommend it unless you feel like you can't not do it. And then if that's your path, definitely read this book because it will kind of show you like, and it's really real and raw, all the struggles, all the mistakes that you know, like Phil made on his way and he's transparent about a lot of the mistakes that he's made and just kind of a lot of things that are in the path that are gonna be really difficult but it's like a really good luck into sort of early stage how to kind of get something off the ground. There's a lot of inspiring moments in the book too so not to sound too down but I definitely recommend that to anyone

Carrie Adams  34:24  
Yeah, Andrew headed that book to me on my first day actually no, I didn't know so much about Nike until then. So it's it was really interesting story.

Cory Ames  34:31  
There's a some good recommendations and I second that Andrew entrepreneurship, it seems to be much about persistence. And you know how much he can kind of just hang around and keep figuring things out and problem solving because it's it's certainly not easy, but if it's something that you feel very committed and driven to and something that you're very passionate about is like that, for me that feels like why I just couldn't work on a business that the end result was something that was just a you know, a profitable, successful business. It's like the overlap in your very like purpose driven impact driven entrepreneurship is that there is so much more meaning wrapped into that to me to where I can't not continue on, despite all the challenges that come up. So I think that's, that's a good bit that Yeah, added on to that next one for y'all. What's a daily habit or morning routine that you feel like you absolutely have to stick to and carry will start with you again.

Carrie Adams  35:26  
And you're actually talking about this recently, looking at sort of founders morning routines, and I wake up and I do my hour of yoga, and then I have my green juice, and then I go to the beach, etc. And I was telling that my morning routine is sort of waking up in a frenzy and getting to the train and doing all these things and sort of just being arriving in the office always with some story of something crazy that happened on the El train. But I think, for me, one thing that is sort of within all of that chaos is that I love to read my book on the train, I think that is something that is really important for me to be able to kind of sit down with a novel, and it's too loud to really like effectively listen to podcasts on the train. And so I just love being able to just kind of dive into a book for half an hour before work, and then be able to dive into a book for a half hour after work. So I think I think reading in the morning is really, really important for me, for me,

Andrew Lim  36:15  
it's my cup of coffee, I know it's not the most exciting answer, but it's sort of like kind of resets me and kind of gets me ready to, you know, kind of tackle the morning to have items

Carrie Adams  36:27  
and just have a coffee guy, if I can confirm

Cory Ames  36:31  
I'm with you on that I have desire to add different, you know, little routines and habits into this morning routine that I think that I have, but it's just dissolved mostly into focusing on coffee is the one thing that I do most consistently. You know, and I get up a little bit earlier than any so there's there's just this moment where I'm drinking this coffee and like, it's very quiet dogs aren't up yet, you know, and there's something special about that tea won't do the same thing for me at all. So it's important that it's coffee. Next one for y'all. And you can't say Patagonia because I have a feeling that maybe you would what's a brand or organization that y'all admire that y'all look up to as some sort of model for what you're doing with Holden?

Andrew Lim  37:13  
I think I can say Warby Parker, I know again, it's sort of like a popular kind of answer to say, but I think recently, there's actually been some news that came out, I think they're filing to go public. And then a lot of the documentation that came out, it very clearly states that the founders there are just kind of doing things the right way and you know, are trying their best to be ethical with a lot of their decision making and trying to do right by their employees and all their customers. So they were kind of one of the first to do it. And it's kind of cool to just see that they've sort of maintained such like a higher level of excellence as they've continued to scale, which is very difficult to do.

Carrie Adams  37:51  
I think for me, it would be labo actually, which is a perfume company that is there say they were born in Grasse, France and raised in New York, it's a Brooklyn based company, and their entire collection is totally gender neutral as well. And I think that I have a lot of friends of all different genders who love the labo. And it's a bit out of my personal price range. But I think that it is really beautiful. And you can see where all of their products are sourced. And it is just their branding is gorgeous. And every time I walk into the lego store just to kind of sniff it just calms me and I think that they have a lot of beauty in their brand. And that's something that is really special to me. And my roommate wrote his whole thesis about the lava, so I feel very connected to it for a lot of races.

Cory Ames  38:37  
Feel like you wrote it? Yes, I've

Carrie Adams  38:39  
read it many times.

Cory Ames  38:42  
Were you a co author on it? Did you ask for that sort of site?

Carrie Adams  38:45  
I was not I was not mentioned in it, but he ended up purchasing a logo for himself and sometimes I sneak a little bit of it for myself.

Cory Ames  38:54  
Alright, y'all one last question. What's one piece of parting advice that you might leave our listeners with? These folks are changemakers innovators from all sectors all over the globe, whoever's ready to jump into this big daunting, rapid fire or not so rapid fire question first. I can have it.

Andrew Lim  39:13  
Yeah, I mean, I've kind of said this before, but like if people ask me like, hey, like, I've got this like business idea and kind of like asked like, for my two cents, what I always say is like, I don't think you should do it. And I say that like very strategically because what I mean by that is like me, just like kind of an acquaintance telling you not to do something and not to pursue something is enough to turn you off from doing it, then you definitely shouldn't be doing it. You're gonna hear no, so many times along the way. your mindset needs to be like, there's nothing else I can do. Like, I can't not do this and I'm gonna like 100% do this, regardless of what you tell me or not. And so, you know, I'm doing them a favor if it's not something that they should be doing, and They don't do it. And that's also a win. But then for them to just be like, thank you very much, but I'm still going to do this, then that's the right mindset to have.

Carrie Adams  40:08  
I think for me, it would be to either I mean, I didn't found hold on I've worked for Hold on, but to either found or find us and seek out a company that already exists a company that you really believe in. I was working in advertising before I started at Holden, and I really enjoyed it. But I sometimes found it difficult to come up with a brief for a company that I just didn't believe in what they did. And so it was really important for me to find a company that I wholeheartedly could stand behind. I feel like I am Holden's number one cheerleader and come into the office every day ready to sing its praises to the world. And so that makes my job easy is because like, no matter what happens, I really stand behind the brand and feel like it really is making a difference. And it just makes me so happy to hear our customers echo that and feel as though it's making a difference to them. So I think finding a company that you really, really believe in, it's kind of similar advice to yours. But I think just like for a moral standpoint, I think that's something that that really matters to me. And I would recommend to anybody because I just do really love my job, and I get very emotional about it sometimes.

Cory Ames  41:09  
Well, really excellent bits of advice to end on y'all. So thank you so much, once again for taking the time. Last last last thing. Where should folks go to keep up with Holden and what else y'all have in store?

Andrew Lim  41:23  
Follow us

Carrie Adams  41:24  
on Instagram at Holden rings on Instagram, we just started a tik tok, which is very fun and experimental. Our website is high hold and calm. We're all over. Yeah, but I think Instagram is really where most of the fun is happening is what I would say. So

Andrew Lim  41:39  
you know, we've got exciting announcements coming up. So yes, definitely give us a follow

Carrie Adams  41:42  
just a DM come say hi to me.

Cory Ames  41:44  
Perfect. We'll have all things holding linked up at the show posts at Grand sowell.com Andrew Carey, thank you so much. Once again.

Carrie Adams  41:53  
Thank you so much, Cory is great.

Andrew Lim  41:55  
Yeah, thanks so much, Cory.

Cory Ames  41:57  
Okay, that is a wrap another episode of the social entrepreneurship and innovation podcast in the books. I hope you enjoyed it. As always your host your Cory Ames. I always really enjoyed knowing that you're you're out there listening to this episode, engaging with the content, perhaps the folks that we featured doing this exceptional work in the world. If you enjoyed the show, and you haven't already, please leave us a review wherever it is that you get your podcasts. And hit the subscribe button if you haven't already that really helps other folks like yourself, discover the show. And lastly, if you have not yet, sign up for the better world weekly newsletter This is our weekly discussion of building a better world with our global community of changemakers and innovators from all sectors all walks of life. So go to grow ensembl.com backslash newsletter to get the next Better World weekly hitting your inbox. Alright y'all, we'll talk next time


Andrew LimProfile Photo

Andrew Lim

Co-Founder at HOLDEN

Co-Founder of HOLDEN, a custom ring company for the modern couple.

Carrie AdamsProfile Photo

Carrie Adams

Content Marketing Lead at HOLDEN

Content Marketing Lead at HOLDEN, a custom ring company for the modern couple.