Wedding ring company Marke values ​​one thing above all else: ease. When its founders, brothers Daniel and Ben Mardkha, realized how many men don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to buying a ring, they decided to eliminate the guesswork and confusion. Or at least move it into their living room.

Prior to committing, buyers can order an at-home fitting kit and Marke will send six replica rings in a mix of materials and widths, packaged in the company’s green packaging along with a ring sizer and fitting guide. ‘fitting. The company only offers two styles, a classic rounded band and a flat one. Each is available in three widths (thin, medium, and wide) and materials (14k yellow, white, and rose gold), priced from $299 to $629. It all follows the now-familiar direct-to-consumer model, but that’s for a purchase that’s meant to last a lifetime.

Daniel and Ben Mardkha.


Photo:

Ryan Slack

Daniel, 30, and Ben, 25, started Marke after their first jewelry business, Everband, failed. Everband offered matching women’s and men’s wedding bands to jewelry retailers, to which wearers added a diamond each year to celebrate their birthday or the birth of a child. (The women picked up the diamonds on the outside of the ring; the men, on the inside of the ring.) The idea, they now say, was too complicated. Staff turnover in jewelry stores meant it was difficult to keep retail staff members trained in the Everband process, Daniel explains. But the brothers noticed something when marketing the concept.

The guys who came to buy wedding rings were like “little lost puppies”, jokes Daniel. “They didn’t know where to start and were kind of dragged down by their partners.” Wanting to try another chance at starting their own business, the brothers tackled wedding ring shopping. Their family owns a wholesale jewelry manufacturing business in Manhattan near Bryant Park. Young Mardkhas have had access to the factory and resources there as they build their brand. They describe themselves as their own target market. Daniel is married and wears a rotation of a few of the Marke bands; Ben is engaged and plans to wear a ring that isn’t currently offered, but “hopefully it will be,” he says.

Marke hopes customers will appreciate his straightforward approach. “My fiancé had no idea what he wanted from a ring,” says Emilie Mateu, 28, an associate television producer who lives in New York. “He had never worn jewelry before. He didn’t know what color or what shape – he really didn’t know anything. She says the home fitting kit has removed the need to pick up around town. “It felt like a very millennial experience,” she adds. “Everything was very simple, it was online.” Her fiancé chose a thin classic rose gold ring.


Photo:


Courtesy of Marke

Jeremy Doroski, 32, and his fiancé wanted to get “classic, traditional-looking” bands made in New York. “I thought the try-on kit was really cool,” says Doroski, purchasing manager for a Broadway merchandising company in Queens. “I was like, ‘Great, we don’t even have to come in and talk to anybody.'”

The Mardkha brothers credit Warby Parker as the home fitting model. Giving customers the chance to choose five pairs of sample frames to try on before buying one has made the eyewear company successful. It’s easy to see why the pattern would work for wedding rings, which are also small and worn on a daily basis. The Mardkhas also aped Warby Parker’s attention to minimalist branding, hiring Decade New York and Glossier vet Rebecca Zhou to create the Marke aesthetic.

“There’s never been a time when guys have been so focused on how they present themselves,” says Daniel. “We wanted to keep it elevated, but simple and accessible at the same time.” Ben agrees: “We wanted to eliminate all the love stuff about weddings and wedding bands.”

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