My Start in the Emblematic Jewelry Business by Steve Weinstein

When I was in High School, my family business was a small struggling woodworking factory. We made ornate cabinets and cornices in the style of Louis XIV and a line of inlaid serving trays. It was a difficult market with slow growth, large inventory and high marketing costs. One day a family friend and local Distributor came to the factory. He had a need for some award plaques that his Supplier could not meet and asked my father if we could make them. “If it’s made of wood we can make it” was my father’s proud reply.

The next day the Distributor returned to pick up his order. “These are beautiful! There’s nothing of this quality available in our industry. What do I owe you?” My dad, sensing an opportunity replied “I don’t know, I never made one before. What are they worth?”. He told us, and a few months later we were exhibiting at our first trade show in New York.”

A few years later I had come into the business full time, and was tasked with scheduling production of the awards portion of our product line. We had begun to acquire a reputation for producing custom products, and a Distributor brought us a project for desk pen sets. Part of the project involved insetting a custom medallion in the base. Our domestic source for casting medallions could not produce them at the required price point, so my Dad asked another Distributor friend for a referral. He was given a contact in Taiwan who made coins, which was passed to me for follow up. I sent a Telex (fax machines had yet to be invented) to the Taiwanese factory owner, who gave an acceptable estimate. I sent detailed specifications and payment via Express Mail, and about 8 weeks later the medallions arrived.

My father was so impressed that he gave me the project of adding emblematic products to our line, making me proprietor of that part of the business. About 15 years later I sold the woodworking part of the business and Emblem Marketing Team or EMT was born. Our line of products has diversified and grown over the years, but we remain focused on our core products of lapel pins, medals, key tags and embroidered emblems.

 

The Chief Emblemologist tells his story

 

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