I am proud to be residing and working in the first state in this
country to legalize the rights of all people to marry those they
love. This has been a great step forward in the rights of all
people to be treated equally as our constitution set forth over 200
years ago. However, in writing this I want to talk to the members of
Orchid about the economic benefits they could see if they help to
see that similar rulings, or laws, are passed in their own states.
Over two months ago I went to our local state representative and
implored him to ignore the issues of religious morality (something
that is supposed to be seperate from the state anyway) and instead
look at the economic impact of allowing gay marriages to become a
reality. Since approximately 10 % of the population is gay I
foresaw an increase of at least that much in all wedding related
businesses, and any businesses that sold advertising that
specifically targeted the gay community. I am happy to report that
my prediction was actually low. We have seen a major jump in our
wedding band business (granted we have served and supported the gay
community for 20 years) and I have noted that many of the other
large jewelers in the area have significantly boosted their
advertising to the gay community. While I have no personal
knowledge of it effecting other wedding related industries, the
local newspapers are reporting that many of these businesses have
seen significant upticks in sales. In times of economic uncertainty
and turmoil, and when most of the business upturn has been
experienced only at the upper levels of the mega corporations, it is
critical that those of us who are smaller, more locally based,
businesses do everything in our power to boost our own businesses.
So I urge all of you to get out and support any similar measures in
your own communities and states. Help people be treated equally and
help your business at the same time. What could be a better win-win
I am proud to be residing and working in the first state in this
I am just checking back in to let Orchidians know that the amount of
business we have seen from the introduction of gay marriage in
Massachusetts has now far exceeded what I originally reported. We
are now looking at not hundreds, or even thousands of dollars of new
business, but tens and tens of thousands of dollars in new business.
I have also been getting feedback from both high end and midrange
local jewelers that they are all witnessing a large bump in business
from the introduction of gay marriage. So I’ll say it again, if you
can’t find it in your heart to support gay marriage because it is
the right thing to do, then support it because it will help out your
Daniel-- or others-- What distinguished gay marriage jewelry from
other jewelry? Are gay couples looking for something different from
other engaged couples, other than the rings are likely to be more
similar in size?
As I mentioned in my introduction, I’m a designer. I have a gay
friend who saw some of my designs and suggested I show them at gay
events because I have some designs that have rainbow motifs (and
rainbow is, apparantly, a common motif that appeals to the gay
community). I created a few more, even one or two that each partner
got half of a larger design (one of those matching/fit together sort
of things with a rainbow motif).
Unfortunately, since I no longer have any set up (I had to get rid
of all my “stuff” when we moved from a large house to a small
apartment) and I haven’t done any actual work with metal in around
20 or so years, it’s all just on paper.
Noel, Actually we have always offered and advertised the same jewelry
to the gay community as the straight, but we have advertised heavily
to the gay community, as well as donated significantly to the gay
community for the 20+ years we have been in business. In our
advertising we have tried to focus on the fact that everyone deserves
to have some kind of a marriage; now that it is legal it is just that
much better for everyone. Some jewelry stores have, however, offered
specific lines to the gay community. Shreve, Crump and Low of Boston
began advertising to the gay community about two years ago and came
up with some specific lines for their campaign, but quite frankly I
think the problem in the past has been acting as if gays are somehow
different and, therefore need a different product (not that niche
advertising doesn’t work necessarily). Someone else just posted
about a “rainbow” line they had and I do know that there are other
companies that make something akin to this. Personally, we have
always treated everyone who comes in the store like a human being
(well we offer free dog treats to a lot of dogs in the neighborhood
so I’m not sure everyone is treated like a human) who is deserving of
the same treatment as everyone else. In our case, it has paid off in
a big way because we were known for this before the marriage decision
even came up. Incidentally, our storefront and our rings were seen
nationally on CNN as one of the couples involved in the lawsuit that
led to the decison in Massachusetts came and got their bands from us
and were filmed when picking them up.
Just like straight couples, gay couples have a wide variety of
desires when it comes to wedding/commitment jewelry. Some want very
traditional styles, and some want something a little different.
“Different” meaning not something that screams gay, but something
that is unique and still looks like wedding rings. Actually, most
people I’ve known, both straight and gay, want the something that’s
a little different. Not jewelry that involves sexual orientation,
politics or what-have-you, but jewelry that simply identifies the
wearer as half of a loving whole. ~kara
As well as being a goldsmith I’m also an actor and a director.
It’s just been Pride week here in the Keys and I directed the “Pride
Follies” - a variety show of professional actors, dancers, singers.
Comedians, drag queens (our saints!) and musicians - gay and
The top of the second half was an on stage wedding for an middle
aged lesbian couple. Internationally acclaimed artist Rick Worth made
a huge floral arch, I had the stage flooded with clouds and rose
petals fell from the ceiling as our mayor married them.
Everyone cried - remember this is Key West and the audience was
composed of about 60% straight people - the local leather club
provided the escort and honor guard for the couple and the cheering
didn’t stop for five minutes.
I made their rings and pearl necklaces.
908 Fleming Street
Key West Florida 33040
tel: 305 295 7334
fax: 305 294 4433
Tony That sounded like a beautiful day!! “Good for them”. Freedom
comes in many forms, its a human right! Wish I was there, sounds like
you had a fun gathering, it must have felt good to play such a key
part in making it a day to remember! “Congratulations to the happy
It sounds like it was a very happy occasion as such things should
be. I have a student who finally married her fellow a few weeks ago.
They went to Los Vegas and I was able to see it on the computer.
Because they did not have family or friends with them. She made very
simple pearl bracelets and wore all seven of them during the
wedding. After she got home she distributed them to the relatives
and close friends that would have been part of the wedding had they
married here. I thought that this was a sweet way to include them.