Awards & Engraving

2016 Custom Gift Annual

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48 • A&E MID-JUNE 2016 J ewelry is one of the hottest items that can be custom- ized. From intricately engraved lockets to wedding bands featuring the special date, many people are after something unique and personal to their lives. Customizing jewelry is a bit different from personalizing a tra- ditional plaque. Sometimes it makes more sense to outsource the work. For a unique perspective on both personalizing jewel- ry and how to work with a business partner, we spoke with Mat- thew Olian of Grateful Glass located in Philadelphia. If you're interested in getting into this side of the business, he has some great advice on how to do so. SETTING THE STAGE Before we begin, let's get a quick breakdown of what Olian and his company do. Grateful Glass takes customization to a very personal level, offering hand-blown glass cremation jewelry and keepsakes. The company handcrafts remembrances including pendants, rings, bracelets, keychains and paperweights. "With the utmost care and respect, (we) take a small amount of cremation ashes and encase them within layers of optically pure Pyrex glass," Olian explains. "As the ashes mix with the heated glass, they become permanently fused and suspended from within. Each keepsake is designed so that the cremated remains themselves are the artistic focal point. When encased within glass, the cremation ashes create striking white flecks and organic bubble patterns reminiscent of the cosmos." Q&A It's a neat process, but not one that can be easily added to a traditional awards and personalization business. With that in mind, awards retailers can still capitalize on the jewelry custom- ization business in general through contract work and business partnerships. A&E: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF OFFERING PERSONALIZED JEWELRY? Olian: Offering personalized jewelry can provide your com- pany with a fantastic revenue stream. Both men and women are constantly looking for new jewelry for themselves and for gifts. By personalizing an otherwise ordinary piece of jewelry, you have made it extremely meaningful and as a result it is now much more valuable. PERSONALIZING JEWELRY: In-House or Contract? A ONE-ON-ONE INTERVIEW WITH MATTHEW OLIAN, GRATEFUL GLASS IMAGE COURTESY MATTHEW PREISER

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