Polishing a vintage engagement ring.
Polishing a vintage engagement ring.

Blog

Whitehouse Brothers Customer Story: Mandy and Eric Baker

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Mandy and Eric are much more than customers, they’re family -- literally. Mandy’s great-great-grandfather was Frederick William Kolde, one of Whitehouse Brothers’ designers in the early 1900s. She now wears one of her great-great-grandfather’s designs every day.

How They Met

Mandy and Eric met in 2011 while Mandy was going to school in Savannah, Georgia. Eric was stationed at Fort Stewart, just outside of Savannah. Mandy has a tattoo of Ohio with a heart where Cincinnati is located on her foot. Mandy and Eric met at a bar one night and he noticed the tattoo, so he struck up a conversation. They quickly learned they’re both from Cincinnati.

But the day after they met, Eric had to leave for California for a month as part of an Army training program.

“While he was gone we talked every day for hours,” Mandy said. “When he came back in early September we started spending all of our time together. We moved together to Columbus, Georgia and then to Indianapolis, which is where we were living when Eric proposed.”

The Engagement

The day Eric proposed Mandy and Eric took a tour of historic breweries in Cincinnati with Eric’s sister Sarah and her husband Rick. Eric planned to propose at the last part of the tour -- an underground beer cellar.

“Everyone knew about it, even the tour guide (I think the beer cellar was his idea for the place!),” Mandy said. “When we got to the last stop and were heading down, the guide warned us that we'd have to go down several flights of scaffolding stairs to get there. I took one look at those stairs and had an anxiety attack -- I couldn't do it! Eric begged me to go down, his sister even came back up and was telling me I was REALLY going to want to see it, but I just couldn't do it! Little did I know, Eric had our close friends and family members waiting for us at Arnold's in downtown, which was the ending point of the tour. Sarah scrambled and called her mom to let them know Eric hadn't proposed yet so they could all hide outside! When we got back to Arnold's, the tour guide asked Eric if he wanted to go upstairs to the bathtub room. Sarah, Rick, Eric and myself went upstairs and he proposed in the bathtub room! I had no idea it was coming! We went downstairs and got to celebrate with everyone. It is one of my most fond memories. I couldn't stop staring at the ring! I still stare at it all the time!”

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Mandy's engagement ring

The Ring

Mandy has our Halley’s Comet ring (#8136), a gorgeous ring her great-great grandfather designed in 1910 to pay homage to the reappearance of Halley’s Comet.

“I wasn't really aware that anyone was making his designs for a while, because marriage wasn't really on my radar,” Mandy said. “The first time I brought Eric home to meet my family, however, my grandma ‘subtly’ mentioned it and showed me drawings, but it still seemed kind of far off. “

When Eric and Mandy really started talking about marriage, Mandy told him about her great-great-grandfather and sent him to the Whitehouse Brothers website.

“I wanted the ring to be a surprise, so I didn't look at them, and I told him if he saw them and didn't think any of them were ‘the one’ that was ok, but I think we all knew I would have [a Whitehouse Brothers ring],” Mandy said.

When Eric went to look at rings for Mandy, he took along her grandmother, Rosemary Kolde.

“I think it was really neat for him to see that part of my family's history with my grandma,” Mandy said.

Mandy’s Family History and Whitehouse Brothers Connection

Mandy’s grandma, Rosemary Kolde, was married to Frederick William Kolde’s grandson, Fred Kolde.

“My grandfather passed away when I was a kid, but my grandma has many memories of him,” Mandy said. “She said he was quiet, mild-mannered, and a gentleman at all times. He adored his wife and often called her his inspiration. I actually have her wedding band too! It is inscribed with the name Fritz, which is what she called him, and their wedding date -- October 3, 1900.”

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The Bakers' wedding rings

When Mandy’s grandparents got married, Frederick William Kolde made Rosemary a pearl necklace. He hand-picked and strung each pearl. Rosemary and Mandy both wore the necklace on their wedding days.

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Mandy and Eric on their wedding day

Wearing a Whitehouse Brothers ring designed by her great-great-grandfather is special to Mandy.

“I think it is so cool that Whitehouse Brothers respects my family's history,” Mandy said. “I love knowing that other people who wear his designs can put a name to the designer. How many people can say that about their rings? I am so proud to tell people about my ring. It's more than just an engagement ring to me, it's like a family heirloom. I think if my great-great-grandfather were alive he would be thrilled!”

You can put a name to your ring designer with a Whitehouse Brothers ring. Locate one of our authorized retailers to see a Frederick William Kolde design.