tiny rhode island very big in costume jewelry : but imports are making an inroad
Rhode Island produces 80% square meters of clothing and jewelry--
Or fashion jewelry because the industry calls it a medium-priced jewelry.
Price decoration--Made in America.
900 jewellery companies are concentrated in Providence and its suburbs, employing 24,400 workers with an annual salary of $0. 35 billion.
Products produced by the Providence factory include earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pins, pendants, rings, chains, cufflinks and ties.
\"Jewelry is the largest manufacturing industry in Rhode Island,\" said Bill Parsons, assistant director of the state\'s economic development department.
\"We ship 1 million pounds of clothing jewelry every week from outside the state. It is a $1. 5-
A billion Industries in Rhode Island.
\"Rhode Island has been the heart and soul of clothing jewelry for nearly two centuries.
1794, nehemla Dodge--
Considered the father of the industry-
At his small Providence store, he developed a revolutionary process for plating base metals in gold.
Many other companies have used the technology he pioneered to grow rapidly around Dodge\'s factory.
Today, the attention of jewelry producers has shifted to the Massachusetts town bordering Rhode Island ---
But almost everyone is at 30-
It is only a few minutes drive from Providence.
Most of the jewelry makers in Rhode Island are still small, familyowned and -
Businesses with 25 to 100 employees.
But there are a lot of big
Well-known companies such as Trifari, Monet, Jewel Co.
In the United States, keenhoff and Mung, Anson, blova, Goram, Swansea and spedel.
Apparel jewelry accounts for 40% of jewelry made in the United States.
The other 60% are precious metals and precious stones, mainly from New York, New Jersey, California and Florida.
The fashion jewelry market is booming at 1980.
But America is not the biggest beneficiary. S. manufacturers.
2,400 spokesman Charles Rice lamented: \"When fashion jewelry is sold like hot cakes, we are squeezed out by foreign imports --\"
A member-made jeweler and silversmith based in the United States.
Over the past eight years, significant progress has been made in imports.
Since 1978, more than 8,000 jewelry workers have lost their jobs and 300 companies have closed down.
According to MJSA, the United StatesS.
Sales of all types of jewelry have increased by 40% in the last four years, with a total value (
Increase to $6.
4 billion from $4. 5 billion.
However, the value of jewelry imports increased by 83% during the same period ---to $1.
$9 billion and $1 billion.
American Ring Companyand Excell Mfg. Co.
Examples of two families
State-owned enterprises that successfully meet the challenges of foreign imports.
Renato Calandrelli, 59, is from Naples, Italy and came to the country at the age of 18.
He makes a minimum wage for a tool. and-
Until the company died in January.
1973, when he decided to try to make his own by launching the American Ring Company
In Providence, East
\"In the first year, I was the only employee of the company.
\"The company earned $24,000 from the sale of 2,000 rings,\" Calandrelli recalled . \".
S. Ring hired 180 workers last year, with total sales of more than $11 million, he said.
\"Competition from the east is fierce.
\"This is an ongoing concern,\" Calandrelli admitted . \".
His company is a fashion leader.
It produces 80,000 rings a week, most of which retail for $15 to $20.
\"Every three months we will introduce new styles,\" he explained . \"
\"This is a way to beat them (imports).
I spend $200,000 to $300,000 a year on new ideas, developing new models.
\"Foreign producers don\'t know what the American public wants.
They must follow us.
We build trends (that)they copy.
\"Fred kilgos, 75, is the chairman of Excell Mfg. Co.
As one of the largest jewelry chains in the country, he tells how his company has taken a different approach to deal with the commercial losses caused by Italian imports.
\"Italians have launched a new fashion chain that is popular overnight in the United States,\" says Kilguss . \".
\"We are not making this chain.
Our sales plummeted.
\"We could have had a stomachache.
It\'s like a few chain companies in Providence, but we \'ve caught up with the trend.
Italians not only make chains, but also sell machines that make them.
We bought Italian machines.
Despite the success, Kilguss said, \"it is almost impossible for companies here to compete with the low end of the apparel and jewelry industry.
Currently, in Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea, almost all goods sold for less than $1 to $5 are being produced.
But on higher-priced items like our chain stores, we can compete, with retail prices ranging from $20 to $2,000.
\"Excell did not disclose the total sales, but Kilguss said that his company employs twice as many workers as it did 10 years ago and that sales were 10 times as high as in 1976.