I remember when I was not quite tall enough to see into the top drawer of my father’s bureau, reaching my hand in to feel around for hidden treasure. I found three items, all of which I inherited after my father’s death: a stainless steel German-made contact lens case, an Italian-made utility knife, and a gold Rolex watch. Three items that, as a father looking back now, are the last things I’d have wanted my nine-year-old son playing with! Today when I see them resting in my china cabinet, I think not only of the memories associated with them, but the fine craftsmanship, design, and quality they possess. They are as “cool” to me now as they were forty years ago. The phrase, “They don’t make ‘em like they used to,” sits with me as I reflect on current trends in the marketplace.
In the past 30 years, the persona of the marketplace has changed, and with so many choices and chances for excellence and personal expression, the big box mega-vendors have made cheapness and mediocrity our king. I believe there is a common misconception out there that cheaper, easier, and disposable are virtues worth paying for.
The jewelry industry is likewise afflicted by current marketplace trends. Rather than matching precious stones, why not just use a dab of epoxy for color? A “flash” of plating will last long enough. Why weld those joints? Who will notice? If it gets attention and it’s sparkly and cheap, it’ll sell. Holly and I renounce this unfortunate trend.
We believe that beautiful jewelry should gracefully gather a patina of our life experiences. We envision a joyful child discovering her mother’s jewelry box, dreaming of the day when she, too, will wear these treasures and be warmed by their rich memories.
If a company can have a mission other than simple survival, ours is to resist the current direction the market is taking and suggest another way, where good design isn’t something disposable, and you can take pride in something you bought twenty years ago. We believe anything truly valuable takes some care, whether it’s your mother’s silver or your mother herself. And that the things you wear really can be an expression of who you are; they can make you feel good and brighten the day for others.
We have a story around every piece of jewelry we make, every joint we weld, and color we choose. We hand craft each piece right here in our northern California studio. We talk with our artisans every day, eat bagels with them on Friday, and lunch with them the rest of the week. It’s a tradition we have here. We might be a little backwards, but we’ve grown almost every year we’ve been in business, so maybe there is something to it. It is the only way Holly and I would have it.
I hope you enjoy exploring our website and all the wonderful treasures we’ve created; it is the culmination of 35 years of loving what we do.
Paul “Yashi” Lubitz
Holly Yashi, Inc.