For Michael Anthony Jewelers, Wednesday night was defined as the moment the company returned to its roots.
“This takes us full circle. The mission of the company from day one was to make affordable fine jewelry that 90 percent of the population could enjoy everyday,” Michael Paolercio, told an audience of cheering fans at a New York City reception.
Yes, fans. The Mount Vernon, N.Y.-based jewelry manufacturer that sells to large retailers has earned a strong base of fans from around the country. That’s because for the past 14 years, the brothers designed and sold a branded line of 10k and 14k gold jewelry for TV-shopping retailer HSN (formerly the Home Shopping Network). Wednesday night, the company introduced the rebranding of the line now known as Everyday Gold (formerly USA Gold) during a cocktail reception and silent charity auction at Cipriani 23rd Street, attended by approximately 100 of Michael Anthony Jewelers’ best HSN customers from the New York metro area.
Anthony Paolercio, the on-air face of Michael Anthony Jewelers, told JCK during the event that as a manufacturer, until the company’s partnership with HSN, it was rare to have direct contact with consumers. He added that dealing with the public is often a lot easier then dealing with retailers.
“I love to make jewelry,” Anthony said. “But as a manufacturer we starve for this customer contact. … Dealing with the industry, they always say it costs too much. … The customers, they say, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.'”
Those customers were there in full force proudly wearing their Michael Anthony jewelry. One woman, Pat Long, said she has been a fan even before they began selling their products on television. “It’s my only fault,” she said. “I don’t drink or smoke.”
She wore several gold rope chains and gold bracelets, some of them were among the first items she purchased from the company.
“They still sparkle. They still shine,” she said.
Dominic Stoker, a Brooklyn resident who works for an insurance company, has been buying the company’s jewelry for four years on HSN. Mostly for himself, but also for his nieces.
“I love everything about his jewelry, the pendants, the rope chains,” he said. “When I received the invitation (to attend the event) I was shocked. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.”
Another woman named Cathy from Brooklyn wore five pieces of Michael Anthony jewelry for the event, including earrings, two bracelets and a necklace. “I just love jewelry,” she says.
Michael and Anthony spent a lot of time with the crowd. Some folks milled about the display of rings, earrings, pendants, rope chains, and other items that make up Everyday Gold line. Others placed bids at the silent auction table. The event was billed as the “Hearts of Gold” benefit to raise money and awareness for Jewelers for Children. David Rocha, JFC executive director, spoke to the crowd, explaining the charity’s mission.
More than 40 pieces were donated by HSN jewelers for the auction, a Tahitian pearl necklace estimated at $4,000, a diamond tennis bracelet, and diamond stud earrings.
In addition to what is sold at the auction, Michael Anthony Jewelers will donate money based on live HSN sales on Aug. 27, when the company introduces the rebranded jewelry line to the television audience.