HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED
"Necessity is the Mother of Invention"... Plato
In 1969, as a Confirmation present, my Mother had custom made for me by a Jeweler in Philly, a silver Star of David which was 1” tall and 1/8” thick. It was a very plain and substantial piece… the way I wanted it. I wore it for many years til one day the chain broke and it was lost forever.
For years I looked for an exact replacement and of course, because it was custom, nothing came even close to matching it. I figured that the only way it could ever be duplicated would be if someday I made it myself.
In late 2004 I decided it was finally time to do something. For over 35 years I had thought about it, and with my decades of manufacturing experience, why shouldn’t I just make one.
We’ll one thing lead to another and I started thinking. Could a very plain & very substantial Star of David have any market potential? Who might buy it and where could it be sold? Being a Military Collector of sorts, I wondered if a product such as this would be saleable to the Military.
With this in mind, I began my research and found that the Chaplain’s Division of the U.S. Military did in fact procure all styles of religious jewelry for issue to the Troops. What was surprising to find is that there had not been any consistency in the make-up of the products purchased.
The Crosses (Regular, Celtic, Orthodox, etc) and Star of David they used, were of different sizes and materials such as pewter, bronze, & silver plated whatever. Because they had a tendency to corrode or turn green when exposed to sweat, they weren’t really suitable for Military use.
So I went to work and designed a complete and continuitious line of religious jewelry, including “my” Star of David. They were to be manufactured of non-magnetic and non-reactive 304 stainless steel. Engineering drawings were done, a computerized, precision laser cutter was sourced, and prototypes were made. Of these, samples were submitted to the Chaplain’s Division. They were subsequently adopted, and National Stock Numbers (Military Inventory Stock Numbers) were issued.
The real fun began when I started to consider where else could these be sold. How about at an Army Navy Surplus Store or through a Judaica Shop. To give it a try, with the help of a Graphic Designer by choice, prototype retail packaging was made. A display rack was found and a filled rack was placed at Friedman’s Army Navy Store and my Temple Gift Shop in Nashville. Immediately, product began selling like crazy and the rest is history.
Since then, 2000 Retailers, including over 200 Judaica Shops, have taken on the line and are placing regular reorders. Although we appreciate all our Customers both large & small, one of our high profile accounts is the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
Along with our dedicated employees, we run GI JEWELRY on a daily “hands on” basis from our facility in Pegram, Tennessee.