A Vancouver packaging designer whose simple design idea for an engagement ring box is going viral around the world says he never expected this much attention for his invention.
Independent designer Andrew Zo, 26, was working on his student assignment at Emily Carr University of Art three years ago when he talked to a jewellery designer who showed him a catalogue of ring boxes.
“They all looked really similar, so I thought here is a place where I can do some innovations and play with it,” he says.
The idea solidified when his classmate, who is married, mentioned just how much of a nerve-racking experience proposing to someone can be.
He said one of the biggest worries he had was hiding the ring box from his fiancée and making it look discreet.
The comment got Zo thinking, and he got to work on a prototype that would revolutionize the ring box concept, eventually coming up with the concept of Clifton, a flat engagement ring case that can be slipped into a pocket or wallet.
The box is leather-bound, 1-cm thick and has a pop-up mechanism that hides the ring.
Next, Zo got his friend, who was about to propose, to test out the product to make sure it “was actually of value and not too gimmicky.” When his friend gave it a thumbs up, Zo decided to try to commercialize it.
Last week, Zo’s idea was picked up by Reddit and he has not looked back since.
In fact, he has received so many orders for his product, he’s had to temporarily stop taking any new ones.
He says most of his clients are in the United States and Europe.
Right now, he is trying to fulfill the existing orders, which have to be crafted by hand. And, since his customers are on a deadline, he needs to get them out the door, fast.
As to why his product is so popular, Zo says he can’t say for sure because he has never proposed himself and has not gone through the stress, but says he thinks, “it resonates with a lot of the guys who know just how hard it is to hide that ring box.”