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Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but many women would agree that customized jewelry is even better.

Created by Matt Lauzon, Gemvara (“vara” is the Sanskrit word for “wish”) is a design-your-own jewelry company based in Boston. Initially only available at physical jewelry stores, the service has been exclusively online since the Gemvara website launched in early 2010.

“To deliver a really unprecedented experience, we knew we needed to control everything, including customer care, what were were choosing to merchandise and how we were pricing it,” says Lauzon.

Shortly after making the move, Lauzon realized that most of their customers had never shopped for jewelry on the Internet before, and if Gemvara provided a better experience than going to a brick and mortar store, then they had a chance of making it big.

Now an established company with famous fans such as Katie Holmes, Halle Berry, and Khloe Kardashian, Gemvara has sold over a million pieces of personalized jewelry. With customer relationships a top priority, Lauzon has hired a dozen employees to help customers with their designs.

According to him, “We fundamentally believe that empowering our customers and their self-expression is more important than anything.”

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