It’s one of our favorite times of the year: Pride Month! Summer is finally here and we’re happy to have the opportunity to celebrate every kind of love. With all these warm feelings in the air, we’re more than excited to feature our next Shane Co. couple: Andrew and Brian! They have a beautiful love story that recently took its next step into engagement. What makes this story even more special for us is that Andrew is a proud Shane Co. employee — in fact, he was Salesperson of the Year at his store in Arizona. We loved hearing about their engagement and all the amazing things on the horizon for them. Congratulations, Andrew and Brian!
Let’s meet our couple
Andrew is 28 years old and co-parents three beautiful dogs named Finn, Mallie and Momo. He loves playing video games, food, and working for Shane Co. While growing up in Iowa, he never pictured himself selling diamonds, but is more than happy where he is now, living in Arizona with Brian.
Brian is also 28 years old and currently works for Best Western Hotels and Resorts. His interests include martial arts movies, Overwatch, Star Wars, fantasy novels and all things pop culture. He grew up always believing in the importance of marriage, so he’s overjoyed to be engaged and living with his fiancé, Andrew.
How did you two meet?
Andrew: Brian and I met online. Five years ago, I would have been mildly embarrassed to admit how we met. We had a fun story of telling people that we met while volunteering at a pet shelter, but as we grew more serious, it became easier because I was so proud to tell anyone how I met the love of my life! While working in the jewelry industry, I have been introduced to many love stories. And nowadays, many successful relationships have started their first page online.
Brian: Online dating. Not a spectacular origin story, but we certainly have built a relationship that is spectacular. We are fortunate to live in a time where technology has enabled us to connect with each other, even miles and miles apart.
How did you know you were ready to get engaged?
Andrew: A few months into dating Brian, we had a discussion that he would propose to me! Which was a great feeling at the time, because the pressure was off of me. I already knew Brian was my life partner. We spent our time loving each other and enjoying all the ups and downs love has to offer. The perfect timing of being engaged was never essential to us, we always knew we would get there one day, but I wanted to surprise Brian and that’s when I decided to propose to him instead. I asked friends and family for their thoughts and was overwhelmed with how supportive everyone was to the idea. That gave me the confidence to present him with a ring I knew he would love.
Brian: It wasn’t just one realization or reason. Andrew truly is my best friend and there are so many milestones, trials and aspirations that we have been able to conquer together. We have pretty much been through it all together and he has been my partner in crime since day one! This is the next step in celebrating our relationship. I was always ready to marry this man.
How did you plan your proposal?
Andrew: Let’s just say the moment went by fast! Brian and I were headed to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to propose on this vacation. However, I did have a ring ready because the feelings were present and having the option to present a ring was most important to me. I had several different ideas and everything seemed perfect. Puerto Vallarta has a beautiful little peninsula and a lovely little town, but it wasn’t intimate enough for us. It was hard for the friends traveling with us not to react beforehand, but luckily no one ruined the surprise. In fact, they helped ensure the surprise was made!
We started with a personal moment between us while walking on the beach late at night. I had a few minutes to tell him how important he is in my life and with the moonlight shining down on us, I did it. Looking back at it today, I’m lucky to have a person who makes me feel amazing every day, and that’s why I planned to propose. The pictures and videos that people tried to capture secretly were not great quality since it was very dark, but I am actually glad that the moment was not captured — it was so unbelievably magical that I will never forget that night!
Were you surprised when Andrew proposed?
Brian: I was EXTREMELY SURPRISED! In our dating phase, I had always made it a point that it would be me that would be proposing. Although, thinking back on how nervous Andrew was that night, I should’ve known something was up. I had always pictured me popping the question to Andrew and it was such an amazing surprise as it happened. It seemed unreal. We have been together for five years now and I was always looking for the best way to ask; it had to be so special and intimate. Andrew found the perfect time and place for the proposal.
What’s your favorite thing about him?
Andrew: There are so many things. Let’s first acknowledge the fact that Brian can COOK! He attempts new recipes and I get to taste-test everything — of course, I can’t lie about the flavors being good or bad because he knows me too well. He makes the evenings at home feel like a night out at a restaurant. At the same time, he’s adventurous, which keeps me on my toes. He thinks of great things to do together and amazing places to visit. He’s supportive of my friends and welcomes them when we plan adventures.
Brian: I’d have to say his magnetic personality. Andrew is such a charismatic person, it’s hard to pick just one thing. I have never met a person that didn’t love being around him. His glowing energy and positive attitude lights up the room.
How did you decide on a ring?
Andrew: I’ve worked at Shane Co. for almost five years now, and over the years I’ve asked several times what style of ring he would want. It started with a simple yellow gold band until recently, when Shane Co. introduced our Damascus steel collection. I knew he’d love it because he has a collection of swords, and his favorite swords are made of Damascus steel. I still asked him to look through our website and to my surprise he had a handful of favorites (who wouldn’t?!), but he LOVED the classic Damascus steel ring with the rose gold strip in it. So naturally, I presented to him what I knew he would love and wear forever as a symbol of our relationship.
What was your favorite part of the proposal?
Brian: I would have to say the moment Andrew got down on one knee. As he knelt, the tide came in and nearly knocked him over. Andrew stood tough and didn’t budge. I was so in shock about what he had asked me that I was speechless for a few moments. Andrew shouted out in laughter, “I need an answer before the tide takes me and the ring!” It was definitely a priceless moment.
What is your favorite thing about Shane Co.?
Andrew: The people I work with! It is so important to me that the environment I work in has a great team culture. I enjoy going to work so much that it basically seems like I am going to visit my family five days every week to sell beautiful jewelry and diamonds together! It is such a refreshing feeling to know that the company I work for cares about my mental and physical health, with an understanding of letting us have a work-life balance.
What do you love about your ring?
Brian: I absolutely love it! I’m a sword/knife collector, so I was already familiar with Damascus steel. As soon as I saw the ring I knew it was meant for me. I love that each pattern is a unique “fingerprint” on every ring and the rose gold accent is just enough flair for my taste. There were a few different rings that I had considered, but it always came back to this one.
How did it feel going from salesperson to buyer?
Andrew: Oh, my gosh. It was interesting … I would talk out loud about it at work and to myself nonstop. Every day for about two weeks before I bought the ring, I would hold onto it while I was working. Trying it on, figuring out what fingerprint of the Damascus steel I liked the most. My coworkers (the AMAZING SALESPEOPLE that they are) definitely gave me the push to purchase the ring and to just have it on hand for when the right moment came around. It was a positively emotional feeling being on the other side of the jewelry case.
What are you looking forward to most about married life?
Andrew: We look forward to having children someday; however, if that does not work out, we will look forward to many more pets, hopefully on a large lot of green land. I am grateful to be living in a time in which I am able to call Brian a husband and to be recognized legally as a married couple. I am excited to spend my life with this man and I know wherever we end up, we will be happy that the adventure will be together.
Brian: Filing our taxes together will be nice! I’m joking! Marriage is such a special commitment between two loving adults, and having our relationship validated through marriage wasn’t even a possibility until recent years. We are truly blessed to have the support of our friends and family. Marriage will allow us more opportunities to grow our family and household together — that, by far, is the most exciting.
Where do you see yourselves 10 years from now?
Andrew: Regardless of where we live, we want to be on a large lot of land. Hopefully a little greener than Arizona. We want to grow our family — maybe with children, but definitely with more animals! I still imagine I will be selling the prettiest diamonds here at Shane Co. It’s hard to imagine what will happen in a 10-year span because Brian and I are naturally spontaneous with the opportunities that come our way.
Brian: I see us living in a cozy home somewhere greener than Phoenix. Exactly where is still up for discussion, but I hope it’s somewhere cooler! Andrew is a Midwestern boy so I know he misses the green outdoors. Lots of pets and hopefully a larger family.
What does love mean to you?
Andrew: Love means knowingly choosing to take on all of the rough days and all of the rewarding days with the one you want by your side for the rest of your life. Whatever negative or positive experiences we go through together or individually, it has always been easier with Brian in my life. Everyone experiences a different kind of love, and I truly believe our love is one in a million.
Brian: Love to me is difficult to define with words, as you love different people for different reasons. Consider the deepest physical, emotional and spiritual bond you can form with another person — this is the kind of love I have for Andrew. I know he will be there to share my struggles and celebrate my triumphs, as I will do the same for him. We have the kind of love that is built through mutual respect and honesty.