EAST PROVIDENCE – With the viability of their business in mind, family-owned jewelry manufacturer LDC Inc. launched their first signature brand on March 2.
The jewelry line, Alexys Ryan, is LDC’s first batch of direct-to-consumer products. Jennifer Brousseau, executive vice president, and Alexys Garrepy, director of sales, were tasked with developing the signature line to help LDC to combat changes in buyer trends and the economy.
“We’re seeing retailers out there that are closing brick and mortar and going towards ecommerce to lower their own overheads,” Brousseau said.
LDC was founded in 1985 as a findings manufacturer, but grew under President Edward DeCristofaro from a supplier of jewelry parts to a full-service jewelry manufacturer. LDC’s 30-40 employees work with large-scale retailers to create jewelry for other brands from concept through manufacturing. Alexys Ryan is the first brand to carry LDC’s name.
The line features 14 necklaces and 24 bracelets, which can be purchased online or in six boutiques across Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The simple pieces all feature inspirational phrases and Swarovski crystals.
“We knew instantly we wanted to do an inspirational line,” Garrepy said. “We wanted to do something that resonates to us personally as hardworking women.”
The jewelry features lines like “perseverance, all in time” and “endurance, stronger than you think” to empower the women wearing it. The tag line “balance, wear all the hats” was inspired by a moment in Garrepy’s kitchen when she found herself stirring dinner and entertaining her two young children while fielding emails.
In creating the brand, it was crucial to LDC that the jewelry was sold at affordable price point as “quick gifting” items. Currently, the necklaces sell for $28 and the bracelets for $38. Garrepy and Brousseu targeted online sales and boutique stores as the right niche for their line.
“People out there are looking for specialty items that you can’t find in a mass-market store,” Garrepy said.
LDC has been “soft launching” their Alexys Ryan for the past year, and though the official March launch is too recent to see revenue LDC would disclose, Brousseau is optimistic for the line’s financial potential.
“We believe that with the traction that is happening this year we’ll see double growth in the next two years,” Brousseau said.
LDC’s design team turns concepts for the line into plans for the jewelry, which the companies CAD artist prints plastic models of on the companies 3D printers. Though LDC has the ability to manufacture small batches of jewelry in-house, the majority of their manufacturing is done in China. The concept, design and model making for Alexys Ryan happens in-house.
Jewelry was Rhode Island’s primary industry in the late 1970s, with a concentration of workers so large it was considered the Jewlery Captial of the World. The industry collapsed in the late 1980s through early 1990s. LDC hopes their new line will instigate growth in their business, and contribute to the rebirth of a vibrant Rhode Island jewelry industry.
“We’ve definitely seen a resurgence coming from this area,” Brousseau said.
Alexys Ryan borrows Garrepy’s first name, paired with a spin on the first name of Garrepy’s husband, Brian, who is also Brousseau’s brother. Both women are Rhode Island natives and graduates of the University of Rhode Island’s textiles, fashion merchandising and design program.