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Why I Make My Jew-elry in the U.S.A.

by carlen altman | December 12, 2013

Every time you buy something, you are supporting a system. Often when you buy cheap items, someone else far away is paying the price, whether it's sweatshop workers in Asia who are getting paid slave wages, or African diamond miners who are dying in record numbers retrieving diamonds from horrendous conditions so consumers can get a "good price" for their new jewelry. When I started Jewish Rosaries in 2008, I faced obstacle after obstacle trying to produce my jewelry in a manner that was both affordable to consumer but also not harmful to the people making it or the environment. I have learned that sadly, it is MUCH easier to produce jewelry (and pretty much everything in general) in China. Even the local factories I worked with here in NY mentioned to me that I would pay much less money for my materials if I just outsourced and ordered beads and parts from China. But then I thought to myself, What Would Jesus Buy? What Would Moses Buy? As a maker of jewelry with a religious connotation, I knew in my heart of hearts that I could not feel proud of myself or my inventions if I just took the path of least resistance and produced my sacred jewelry overseas, made most likely by a woman who is exhausted and has no connection to her work. After 6 years since I officially started Jewish Rosaries, I have finally been able to find a company here in New York City that is able to sustainably produce all my jewelry. Of course it would be a lot cheaper if it were made in China, but it would also have less soul, and be supporting a system I refuse to add to. Thank you for supporting local. Thank you for supporting fairness and doing the right thing. 


Carlen Altman