In late 1968, I was just out of the service, looking for a way to make some needed cash.
That’s when I discovered I had a talent for choosing ladies’ accessories---handbags, scarves and watches, etc. I liked meeting store owners, helping them find new things their customers would enjoy. But in time, the owners started asking me to show them costume jewelry along with the other lines I brought to their shops.
I’d never thought about jewelry. So, I invited my cousin Richard Wallen to come with me to the wholesale merchandise warehouses. Richard was an artist who had quite an eye, so I figured he’d have some useful opinions.
At the warehouses that day, Richard suggested that he and I could make the stuff we were looking at ourselves rather than buy it—and we could probably do a better job of it, too. There were two big problems with our idea, though. We didn’t know how to make jewelry, and we didn’t have any money to fund a jewelry-making business.
Yet before another year went by, we’d created a fashion-forward line based on looks of the past—pieces like you’d find in Grandma’s jewelry box. Then, the next thing we knew we had a factory and a design house--and we were hitting all the marks. The result of the decisions made that day in the warehouse became The 1928 Jewelry Company, known today by jewelry lovers worldwide.
Would you like to know more of the story? Making It 1928: The Story of The 1928 Jewelry Company is a book written by my good friend, Brenda Sue Lansdowne. In it, you’ll discover how we overcame the obstacles along the way. Collectors will learn to identify our early pieces and circa-date them. And, if you are a hopeful jewelry designer you can learn a lot from 1928 Jewelry, especially how we stayed in business for over 50 years.
Thank you for everything you’ve done to help 1928 be successful--because if you purchased, wore and collected our jewelry--you were part of our journey, too.
The book will be available here at 1928.com in just a few weeks!
Best wishes to all of you,
Mel Bernie, owner and CEO, The 1928 Jewelry Company