Phone Rings a Good Call
M.W. Samara's silver cell phone accessory dials into a trend
First they gave us the ability to call someone from any location. Then cell phones gave us the option to check the Internet or exchange email. Now thanks to digital imaging, we can send pictures via cell phones. What next?
Jewelry, says Robert Ebert, executive vice president of M.W. Samara, Hawthorne, NY, a silver jewelry designer, importer and distributor. On recent trips to the Far East, Ebert saw most cell phones were personalized with some type of jewelry, mostly base-metal chains or fabric straps attached to charms. I thought that as a silver company, we could create something to be used the same way, he says. The designers at his 100-plus employee, 31-year-old company came up with products now sold under the name Phone Rings.
His instincts were right on the money. In our 30-plus years of business, weve never had a better reaction to a product, he proudly reports. Were not aware of any other sterling silver accessories like these in the U.S.
Designs range from simple hearts, hoops and words such as love to miniature open-toed shoes, faceted glass pendants and real flowers encased in glass. Suggested retail, $10-$20.
Most U.S. customers are female, and of all ages, says Carol Wasserman, the sales and marketing executive who handles the Phone Ring line at Samaras showroom in Manhattan. In the Far East, they sell to men and women.
Phone Rings connect to the cell phone at the small hook on the side of the phone, the antenna, the inside of the battery pack or the cover if one is used. The Phone Rings short black cord loops at one of these points and connects to a sterling silver chain that holds one or more charms. Samara makes 77 styles, and more are on the way, says Wasserman.
Though only a handful of jewelry stores carry the line, Ebert plans to expand that number among those already sell- ing Samaras sterling silver collections. The minimum $500 order includes 75 Phone Rings and a showcase display unit. Contact Carol Wasserman at (212) 686-0700.
Full Line Silver Firm
M.W. Samara is a full-line silver importer and distributor that designs pieces at its headquarters. Specialties include hoop earrings, bracelets, necklaces and ensembles. We have a small charms business, but this Phone Rings line has expanded that category, says Ebert.
Pieces in the collections include colored gems and diamonds and retail for about $100. The company also works with Manhattan jewelry designer Rage, whose edgier-looking silver pieces retail for $30-$300.
M.W. Samara, Hawthorne, NY; (914) 347-4200.
by Michael Thompson
|M.W. Samaras Phone Rings comprise sterling silver chains and charms. Styles range from silver icons to colorful faceted glass.