The demand for American-made designs is so great that JCK Events, organizer of JCK Las Vegas, is now calling attention to exhibitors whose products are made within the 50 states.
Look for signs and decals at participating exhibitor booths, as well as American flags in the printed Show Guide and online exhibition maps. In total, 338 manufacturers and designers—including more than 50 new vendors—exhibiting at LUXURY, Elite Enclave, JCK, and the ETS and AGTA GemFair shows are participating in the “Made in the U.S.A.” program. (If you’re planning your itinerary online, see the list at jcklv12.mapyourshow.com; click on “Made in the U.S.A.”
“We began identifying manufacturers and designers who produce solely in the U.S.A. last year,” said Yancy Weinrich, industry vice president of JCK Events. Many retailers, she continued, “have seen the ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ hallmark positively influence consumer purchases.”
Just ask Liz Rayon, co-owner of Prime Time Fine Jewelry and Watches in Solana Beach, Calif. “As soon as you tell a customer something is made in the U.S.A., they get a lot more enthusiastic”—even if they have to pay more for it, she says.
Since Rayon’s store opened last year, she’s noticed an uptick in male shoppers willing to wait weeks for $250 hammered titanium bands made by small American firms instead of $60 in-stock, overseas-made numbers. Her custom business is booming for the same reason: Consumers, particularly military personnel, care about where pieces are made.
Avi Raz, owner of A&Z Pearls in Los Angeles and a JCK Las Vegas advisory board member, has long advocated the “Made in the U.S.A.” promo. “People are tired of importing,” he says. U.S.–made jewelry also gives merchants an edge with deliveries and quality control, lessening lead times for orders and making inspections easier.
Ten years ago, 90 percent of Bony Levy’s jewelry at L & L Diamond Co. in Los Angeles was made overseas—compared with 65 percent today. Levy, a supplier to department stores nationwide, started moving production home when gold and diamond prices increased. “We really weren’t saving any money making jewelry in China,” says the L & L owner.
And on the East Coast, Novell Design Studio was a pioneer in the push to celebrate American-made jewelry when it began heavily promoting its Rahway, N.J., manufacturing facility several years ago. “Novell has always been made in America,” says marketing and public -relations manager Rick -Mulholland. “And when we merged our manufacturing operations with Lieberfarb…retailers wanted to see more.”