Color Story, a popular and award-winning line of gemstone jewelry, is being discontinued, its owner and designer Robert Leser tells JCK.
Leser says it finally got to be too much to run two businesses.
“I’ve been in the business a long time, 47 years,” he says. “I need something simpler in my life.”
At times a sightholder, a distributor for Italian brands, and inventor of the Tulipset brand of engagement ring, Leser founded Color Story in 1997 as a way to differentiate himself.
“When I started Color Story, I feel like I was in on the beginning of the boom of colored gemstone jewelry,” he says. “I don’t claim I started it, but I was in it before a lot of other people did color.
“Before you would walk into a jewelry store, it would be like walking into a clothing store where everything is black,” he says. “If everything is just diamonds, it’s boring. I thought that color was much more vibrant. It gives a sense of the person’s personality.”
He says a lot of jewelers thought the was “crazy” at first, that no one would buy his brand’s sometimes-audacious mixes of color. (One Rhapsody ring was available in 40 different color combinations.) But the brand attracted notice from the beginning, winning an American Gem Trade Association Spectrum Award in its first year and Jewelers of America’s Golden Apple Award in 2006. A pair of blue topaz earrings (pictured) won JCK’s Jewelers’ Choice Award in 2015.
Still, Leser admits the business has changed.
“I used to have hundreds of [jeweler] customers. Now a lot of them have gone out business, and the way they buy since the Great Recession has become much more conservative.”
But he remains upbeat about the business and committed to his charm line, which also sells in gift stores.
He says that with LovePendants, “I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every year. It’s one cute, unique product with thousands of versions and thousands to come.”
(Image courtesy of Color Story)