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From Past to Present

From Past to Present

‘Vintage’ is a word thrown around by a lot of companies nowadays to capture the attention of the nostalgic-hearted. It’s slapped on marketing materials like a bumper sticker to imply something is ‘unique’ and ‘cool’.

We all have a sense that vintage is somehow more special than something that’s shiny and new, right? It survived. It’s still here. There’s something badass about that.

If we’re keeping it real (and we always do), we’re total suckers for all things ‘vintage’ and ‘antique’ because of the stories attached to these types of pieces. 

There’s something so juicy about being around items created in a different era that are still here rockin’ it today. 

The value associated with vintage is more than dollars. It’s history.

Vintage, to us, means pre-loved. Whatever that piece is, it was made because somebody thought it was awesome enough to craft into existence. 

Getting a chance to play a part in the continuing story of something that was created with intention so long ago is damn inspiring.

Rhode Island was the jewelry capital of the world in the 1940s-1950s.

Yup, Little Rhody really had it goin’ on back in the day. Our small state was bumpin’ with manufacturers and was producing 80% of the country’s costume jewelry back then. 

Fun fact: Gold-plated jewelry was invented here.

Made in the U.S.A...in 1966.

Our co-founder’s grandfather, Ralph Rafaelian, started a jewelry manufacturing business here in 1966 during the Vietnam War. He began by creating Patriotic Jewelry (U.S. flag tac pins) because he believed so strongly in the American dream.

Over time, many of Ralph’s jewelry competitors moved their businesses overseas to increase their profit margins, but he stood firm in his choice to produce in the U.S.

Even though it was sometimes a struggle, he stuck with what he believed in, and successfully kept manufacturing in Rhode Island for his entire life. Just as importantly, he instilled a sense of pride in his family members for U.S. manufacturing. 

 Still Made In The U.S.A.  

Our desire to carry on Ralph’s legacy led us to reopen the family factory that had fallen vacant, revitalizing connections with local craftsmen and artisans.

In the factory today, we have thousands of vintage beads and charms that Ralph and his team sourced and handcrafted decades ago. We love mixing these pieces into the new jewelry designs we’re creating with the intention of them being worn together. 

So, what’s vintage for jewelry on our website right now? The beads we use in our Vintage Jet Beaded Cuff Keeper and our Refuse to Sink Necklace Set. The two crystal pendants Expect the Unexpected Vintage Crystal and Timeless Tradition Vintage Crystal Pendant. And the beads of the necklace set Find Your True North Necklace Set.

 Nostalgia as the ‘New Normal’

In addition to our jewelry, we’re hardcore about infusing the feeling of nostalgia into all of our products because to us? Mixing old with new is like fist-bumping who you were while french-kissing who you are right now.

Fact: We can’t create everything with pieces from the 1960s. But we can infuse that sense of nostalgia into newly created products like our mugs, blankets, and clothing. 

(But what does that even mean?!?) 

1 - As we develop new products, we source only the best quality materials

(Literally, the best.) We don’t cut corners or buy the cheapest materials we can find because you shouldn’t pay for something that’s going to tear or break in a year. It should last you for generations. This is how products were created in the past. And we carry this same mentality forward today.

We also look to partner with local, family-run businesses whenever possible because we love to support other businesses with similar mindsets.

2 - The pieces you buy from us can be handed down to the next generation

One day, when your son enjoys his morning coffee out of your Air & Anchor® mug, he’ll remember your smile as you sipped from it at breakfast next to him. When your daughter grows up and wraps her baby in the Air & Anchor® Throw that she was once snuggled in, she’s building the family nostalgia that you started.

Home is where the heart is.

Home is where all of our stories begin. The same can be said for our business. It began in 1966, and now, three generations later, we’re continuing to develop new products to inspire new generations of people. 

Honoring the past while being in the present moment; Working toward the future while incorporating where we came from...That’s the stuff that drives us. That’s the magic. It’s who our family was and who we will always be. 

Our greatest wish? That our jewelry can become part of your family’s nostalgic story and be handed down to create a lasting legacy of connection and love.

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