Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

Dinosaur bone? Meteorite? These men's wedding bands are a real break from boredom.

Manly Bands wanted to improve on mens' wedding bands. Mission accomplished.

Dinosaur bone? Meteorite? These men's wedding bands are a real break from boredom.
  • Manly Bands was founded in 2016 to provide better options and customer service in men's wedding bands.
  • Unique materials include antler, dinosaur bones, meteorite, tungsten, and whiskey barrels.
  • The company donates a portion of profits to charity every month.

Johnathan Ruggiero needed a wedding band. As a bigger guy he had trouble finding one to fit his size 17 finger. Then he ran into another issue: His wedding was in a few weeks. He never realized you should take care of this a few months out. The cheapest ring he could find was $600. Even then, given his finger size, it would take four weeks. He also wasn't excited about the choices. His wife to be, Michelle, had a much better experience.

As Ruggiero puts it, "I did not expect it to be so difficult and so stressful."

Fast forward a few months. The newlyweds, temporarily relocated to Florida from Los Angeles, were figuring out the next phase of their careers. Johnathan had experience in web design and marketing, while Michelle's creative endeavors include writing and design. "This is our first real test as a married couple," Johnathan thought. "What are we going to do with the rest of our life and how are we going to financially survive this?"

Then they remembered the ring buying experience. Poor selection. Terrible customer service. Inflated prices. They knew they could do better.

Manly Bands was born.

The Ruggerios set out to improve on all of Johnathan's bad experiences in the jewelry store. Michelle set to work designing rings and writing website copy; Johnathan spun up a website and applied his marketing chops. The goal was to create rings men are excited about without breaking their bank account. Nearly four years later and they've built a successful brand.

With a career in acting and music, Michelle was accustomed to branding. While the couple decided to take a "silly and fun" approach to their rings, materials in the bands were equally important. This is where Michelle got to implement her creativity.

The first material on their website to jump out at you is dinosaur bone—yes, as in those dinosaurs.

"One of our manufacturers started working with dinosaur bones," Michelle says. "They take smaller pieces of bone that museums can't use and grind them down to make a mosaic. They can put it in an inlay in three different colors."

Depending on where the dinosaur died, the resulting bone might be tan, reddish-brown, or jet black. Manly's ring, the Triceratops, features all three.

After canvasing deep inside of the earth, they looked toward the heavens. Enter meteorite.

"They shave that in sheets and are able to put it in as an inlay. It's pure iron, which means it's heavy and feels significant. Also, every piece is different, so you're never going to get the same exact design. You truly have a unique band."

This causes Johnathan to jump in with his "dad joke."

"The best part is when you mix meteorite and dinosaurs, you have a cursed ring because there's a little animosity between the two."

Photo: Manly Bands

Whether antler, Cerakote, or tungsten, or more traditional fare like gold or Damascus steel, Manly Bands has greatly expanded the selection of men's rings. There's even a Whiskey Barrel collection.

By ordering in volume the prices stay low. Not having a storefront helps. In the tradition of Framebridge and Interior Define, Manly Bands is an internet-only enterprise, which is why customer service is their number-one concern.

"We're really just our shipping and warehouse operation, our designers, some manufacturers, and the marketing and customer service team," Johnathan says. "It's a different corporate set up in the sense that we can take those savings and pass it along to the customers."

In Manly Bands, Johnathan also found a calling. Growing up he always wanted to save the world. Though he realized that ambition is a bit grandiose, every month Manly Bands donates part of its proceeds to charitable causes. Just last week, they dropped off 10,000 face masks to first responders and hospital staff in Utah, the state the company now calls home.

"Every month we try to do something different to spread the goodness around," Johnathan says. "In the last few months, we've tried to focus on organizations and groups helping with the COVID pandemic. We take it very seriously. We feel that if we're fortunate enough to live in a country where we can earn money because our culture allows us to have an amazing business, we should give back."

If you buy something through a link in this article, we may earn a small commission. This helps support our team's work. Please also consider subscribing to Big Think Edge and check out our merch.

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less

Can VR help us understand layers of oppression?

Researchers are using technology to make visual the complex concepts of racism, as well as its political and social consequences.

Future of Learning
  • Often thought of first as gaming tech, virtual reality has been increasingly used in research as a tool for mimicking real-life scenarios and experiences in a safe and controlled environment.
  • Focusing on issues of oppression and the ripple affect it has throughout America's political, educational, and social systems, Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn of Columbia University School of Social Work and her team developed a VR experience that gives users the opportunity to "walk a mile" in the shoes of a black man as he faces racism at three stages in his life: as a child, during adolescence, and as an adult.
  • Cogburn says that the goal is to show how these "interwoven oppressions" continue to shape the world beyond our individual experiences. "I think the most important and powerful human superpower is critical consciousness," she says. "And that is the ability to think, be aware and think critically about the world and people around you...it's not so much about the interpersonal 'Do I feel bad, do I like you?'—it's more 'Do I see the world as it is? Am I thinking critically about it and engaging it?'"
Keep reading Show less

Russia claims world's first COVID-19 vaccine but skepticism abounds

President Vladimir Putin announces approval of Russia's coronavirus vaccine but scientists warn it may be unsafe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced coronavirus vaccine at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020.

Credit: Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
Coronavirus
  • Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved in Russia.
  • Scientists around the world are worried that the vaccine is unsafe and that Russia fast-tracked the vaccine without performing the necessary phase 3 trials.
  • To date, Russia has had nearly 900,000 registered cases of coronavirus.
  • Keep reading Show less
    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast